Fiat 500L Review
As you might have gathered from the name and its appearance, Fiat’s 500L is a Fiat 500, but larger.
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What's not so good
Fiat 500L: what would you like to read next?
The 500L is Fiat’s attempt at injecting a little style and character into the small multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) market, and it would certainly stand out parked between the equivalent Ford or Vauxhall.
The 500L itself is actually based on the Fiat Punto, and is aimed at customers who find the idea of a 500 appealing, but need more space.
The 500L looks like a Fiat 500 with a pie addiction
It’s certainly a practical choice, but reviews are mixed when it comes to deciding whether it’s worth the money or not.
Testers have mixed opinions on how the 500L rides and drives. As a fairly tall vehicle the suspension has been set up a little on the firm side, most testers found it hard to feel uncomfortable in one, although the driver’s seat does not offer much support.
TwinAir engines are fun, but claimed full economy is impossible to achieve
There are six engines available for the 500L, as two more joined the range in 2014, and Fiat have kept most of them small.
The turbocharged 0.9-litre is the tiniest, and until recently, one of the more powerful options with 105hp. There is a more conventional 1.4-litre petrol available that has 95hp, although this struggles when it meets the motorway and becomes strained under pressure.
If you need a petrol engine it’s probably better to opt for the new 1.4-litre T-Jet, which is turbocharged and produces a healthy 118hp.
The 1.6-litre Multijet II diesel available from 2014 is probably the soundest all-round choice, producing 118hp and achieving over 61mpg.
The 500L’s gearboxes do not get such good reviews, and critics note that both the six-speed and the five-speed manual are notchy and are not as good as the gearboxes in rivals.
Some critics state that the 500L feels more controlled than the regular 500 and others comment that it the body rolls a lot in the bends, so it is likely to fall to individual preference as to whether either of these things are good news or not.
One things testers have generally agreed on disliking is the steering. The 500L is certainly easy to navigate in most situations, but there have been reports of artificially weighted steering that generally feels too light, which snaps back to centre rather aggressively.
Saying that, the regular 500 isn’t perfect here either, so perhaps customers trading up won’t notice too much.
Combining style with practicality was obviously an aim for the 500L’s designers and they’ve done a good job of giving buyers a decent chunk of both.