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What is it?
Fiat’s 500L sits in the small family car class and is a bigger and more spacious version of the popular Fiat 500 city car (the ‘L’ stands for ‘Large’). The smaller car’s distinctive styling has remained with the 500L, though it has been stretched out somewhat.
What is the Fiat 500L like to drive?
The 500L has been set up to be more comfortable and family orientated than the city car on which it’s based so the ride is smooth and it does a reasonable job of keeping noise out of the cabin. The high seating position means visibility is good and it also makes it easy to get in and out of the car.
What engines are available?
There is quite a wide choice of engines with the 500L including two diesels: a 95hp 1.3 and a 120hp 1.6. Petrol engines comprise two 1.4-litre units – one with 95hp and a more powerful 120hp version. There’s also a tiny 0.9-litre petrol engine known as the Twinair with 120hp. A manual gearbox comes as standard, though an automatic transmission is available with certain models.
What are the key standard features of the Fiat 500L?
Three trim levels are available with the Fiat 500L, starting with Pop, which comes with a 5in touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, front electric windows, 15in steel wheels, a leather steering wheel and gear knob and audio controls on the steering wheel.
What are the key options?
Personalisation is a big thing with the 500L and it’s possible to order a number of livery combinations for the exterior along with various different mirror covers. Most unusual of all is an espresso machine for the cabin.
How spacious is the Fiat 500L?
The 500L has a lot more room inside than the city car on which it’s based. There are 22 storage areas in the cabin and both the front and rear seats are high up, so it’s easy to get in and out. Boot space for the 500L is good for the sector at 400 litres with the rear seats in place. Fold them down and the luggage capacity increases to 1310 litres. Every 500L also has what Fiat calls Cargo Magic Space, which allows you to adjust the height of the boot loading area.
What will it cost to run?
The smallest diesel engine, the 95hp 1.3, delivers the lowest running costs. Go for that engine with the Dualogic automatic gearbox and the 500L’s emissions drop to 104g/km, which puts it in the 18% tax band. The manual version emits 107g/km, which bumps it up one band to 19%. The 1.6-litre diesel engine emits 112g/km, which is one group higher at 20%.
What safety features does it have?
There’s a good amount of standard safety equipment with the Fiat. Every 500L comes with six airbags, a brake assist system, hill hold assist, which stabilises the car when you’re driving up a slope and a driving aid that makes acceleration and deceleration smoother.
The alternatives include the Mini Countryman, Ford B-max, Vauxhall Meriva, Citroen C3 Picasso, Nissan Note and Hyundai ix20.