The Fiat 500 when re-released in its current form has proven to be a very popular automobile for Fiat. People around the world are drooling over it’s retro-ness, its coolness and its style. Now, in an effort to capitalise on those successes Fiat has released a larger version, the Fiat 500L, but does it meet the same applause that it’s little sister got? Well it’s been surprisingly well-received. I’m not completely sold though.
Inside and Out
It’s large, and frankly in my opinion it’s rather ugly. But, then again, don’t they say “le freak c’est chic”? And maybe this is what is making the Fiat 500L stand out for so many motor journalists. They effectively took the Fiat 500 and enlarged it, this of course means that it looks very unstylish by comparison.
I’ve often admitted to not being the biggest fan of the Fiat 500, but despite the strange look of the Fiat 500L, I actually found myself quite endeared to it. The interior is surprisingly spacious with a nicely laid-out floating dash to the front which allows for a spacious feel. To further add to that feeling of spaciousness the panoramic roof is a lovely touch. Head height in the vehicle is extraordinary in the front and to the rear and so too is leg room. This is a family wagon.
On the downside, although the plastics inside the Fiat 500L are glossy, there is something about it that feels a little cheap, I can’t put my finger on it but I think I’d call the dash plastics stylish but not classy.
On the upside you will get USB and Bluetooth connectivity within this vehicle, and I can vouch the Fiat infotainment system is easy enough to navigate. The steering wheel controls which are available are a nice touch too.
Most vehicles I hast test driven come with an option which adjusts your steering depending on whether you are inside the city or not. This is incorporated into the 500L which I drove and it makes the steering much lighter which there to aid with manoeuvres within the city itself. Of course the City option can be turned off and the steering becomes stiffer which would be more suited to cruising.
Because this car is rather chunky it can feel a bit loose which mean there is a bit of lean when cornering. With that said however I have driven cars which create more body-roll.
I founds that the 1.3l MJet engine in the car I was driving was pretty nifty in the city but I did find it a bit sluggish on motorways.
Price: €22,000 – €26,000
Tax: Depending on the engine type you opt for this falls into category A3 or A4 in Ireland.