Think of the Fiat 500 and you naturally picture a small, cute Italian city car. But Fiat has expanded the 500 range over the last couple of years to now cover a total of five different models. This 500L is, as you may have guessed, a larger 500, and although it might bear some family resemblance, any links to trendy city cars ends there.
On the outside, the 500L is a big enough car with chunky styling that is aimed squarely at younger parents. Its funky looks will appeal as will the variety of colours available. It comes in just five-door hatchback form and thanks to a high roofline it delivers bucket-loads of space inside, while the large doors make it easier when getting the younger rear passengers strapped into their seats – something parents will appreciate. The rear seats feature two ISOFIX points and alternatively (at a push) can fit in three adults too.
The kids (and
Steven Cooper, adults) will also get a kick out of the airplane-style tables that fold out from the back of the front seats, great for eating on the go or balancing an iPad on. Other features like the full-length glass roof make the cabin that bit brighter and might act as a further distraction for the kids. Fiat has built in plenty of useful features with the 500L such as well-sized door pockets, a huge boot-lid which has two levels and conveniently also has a very low loading level.
As for driving it, the 500L’s 1.3-litre diesel won’t set the world alight with its 85hp, but the 200Nm should be enough for it to cope with day to day family life. Fiat claim that on a combined cycle it will return 4.2l/100km, which when driven frugally seems reasonably accurate. The five-speed manual gearbox isn’t the most refined in the world but, realistically, precise driving enjoyment probably isn’t the reason you’ll be considering a 500L in the first place.
Fiat do offer two other variants of the 500L – the 500L MPW which is a longer, seven-seat version, and the 500L Trekking which takes on more of a crossover stance, but for the majority of buyers the standard 500L will tick most of the boxes. Its styling might not be as cool as say the MINI Countryman, but it is way more spacious inside and ultimately in a car like this, that’s the kind of thing that matters more.
Model Tested: Fiat 500L Lounge 1.3
Road Tax: Band A3 (€190 per year)
Full details available at Fiat.ie