The Fiat 500 city car made a major contribution to the renaissance in fashionable superminis seen in the last few years. Its retro styling, combined with exceptional performance, low running costs and a generous amount of equipment, endeared it to thousands of younger buyers in Britain. In the new Fiat 500L the manufacturer has produced a car aimed squarely at those same buyers, many of whom have started families and are looking for additional space and practicality.
At the same time, the importance of keeping the snub-nosed charm of the original 500 could not be understated. The front profile of the car, therefore, retains the steep curve of the bonnet and windscreen as well as the rounded headlights. A full-length panoramic glass roof measuring 1.5 square metres, optional on all models and standard on Lounge and above emphasises the stylish look as well as increasing passenger visibility and the impression of space inside the cabin.
The exterior of the 500L also features a vast array of customisation options, enabling owners to create a highly individual take on the 500L's inimitable style. Buyers can choose between 10 different body colours, a black or white roof, and black, white or silver alloy wheels. Colour-coded front and rear bumpers only add to the general air of sophistication.
The 500L is 600mm longer, 170mm taller and 147mm wider than its sibling – extra size that has not been wasted. The car offers a class-leading 400 litres of storage space with the rear seats folded forward, as well as an amount of headroom and legroom allowing even large adults to stretch out and relax. As well as being ample in terms of pure volume, the boot's notable length allows the transport of objects up to 2.4 metres long. The 22 luggage compartments are also very convenient when storing smaller items.
Three Euro 6-compliant engines – a 0.9 turbo TwinAir (petrol), 1.4 litre FIRE (petrol), and a 1.3 Multijet (diesel) – deliver a confident, refined driving experience. Running costs are also impressively low – the 1.4 diesel motor is capable of achieving combined fuel economy of 68.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 110g/km.
The extensive list of standard convenience and comfort equipment on the 500L includes such features as a 5" touchscreen radio, Bluetooth® connectivity and cruise control. The high-spec Lounge variant offers a plethora of high-quality features, among them climate control air conditioning, rear parking sensors, electric rear windows, and rain-sensing windscreen wipers.
Like the initial 500, the 500L is a car built with safety in mind. Six airbags are complemented by an array of active stability and traction measures – ABS brakes, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, ASR/MSR anti-slip functions, ERM (Electronic Rollover Migration), and DST (Driver Steering Torque).
The Fiat 500L represents a significant increase in size compared to the original Fiat 500. at 4147mm long, 1784mm wide and 1665mm high, the 500L is truely a practical family car which even outdoes the Panda in terms of space.
500L engine sizes range from the 0.9litre Twinair and 1.4 litre petrol engines to the 1.3 diesel engine variant enabling a young "trendy" family to get the best efficiency out of this five seater mini MPV.
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