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New Fiat 500L: price, design and test drive

We met the first Fiat 500L in Geneva, while observing the Fiat Style Centre. We had already seen the videos and the new one arrived just in time to try it. In the presentation speech Olivier Francois used a phrase that every politician wants to take from him or any man of finance: growing up is cool. The valence of ‘grow’ in this case is even double, because it concerns on one hand the purely dimensional scope and the on the other a segment that occupies Fiat today only marginally. The Fiat CEO therefore introduced the 500L, talking about growth. This term expresses the main features of a car designed in the wake of the 600 Multipla and Giardiniera 500, functional and smart cars in a more fruitful way to combine compact dimensions and generous interior space. It was then up to the design manager Roberto Giolito to imagine those elements that express a stylistic kinship with the 500 model which,  specifically in Fiat, is not going to form a sub-brand.

Fiat 500L side

Fiat 500L side

Fiat 500 L front view

Fiat 500 L front view

Fiat 500 L by night

Fiat 500 L by night

Exterior

Auto reviews reveal that the new MPV’s Lingotto measuring 4.15 meters long, 1.78 wide and 1.66 in height, offers a five-passenger interior and a luggage compartment of 400 liters. Later versions will be introduced with up to seven seats by 4.40 meters for Trekking and crossovers of which we have already shown the first pictures.

Fiat 500L

Fiat 500L

Fiat 500 L side view

Fiat 500 L side view

Fiat 500 L rear right

Fiat 500 L rear right

Interior

The interior of the 500L is also characterized by the extreme modularity of its components: the rear seats folded and the front right has a flat surface of up to 2.40 meters long. The trunk has a shelf adjustable on three levels and in the cockpit There are 22 storage compartments. The rear bench also slides 12 cm so as to foster a space for the knees or the trunk, which reaches a maximum volume of 1,310 liters.

Fiat 500 L interior

Fiat 500 L interior

Fiat 500 L gauges

Fiat 500 L gauges

All the above forming a nice and pleasant family car proof that Giolito is taking out the concept of “space efficiency”. This expression is translated into a very large cockpit, whose numbers fully describe its qualities: wide enough to know that you can count on 139 to 146 cm at the front and rear, while rear passengers knees never interfere with backrests’ front. Thus, four passengers traveling comfortably while the fifth is in a much more precarious position. It is valid and effective for the system to fold the rear bench seat, hydraulic in nature and controlled through a lever you can just pull to make the whole operation.

Fiat 500 L seats

Fiat 500 L seats

Performance

The two engines subject of our road test impressions had very opposite returns. We started the 1.3 Multijet 85 bhp and 200 Nm which brought the 500L from 0 to 100 in 14.9 seconds and up to a maximum speed of 165 km/h, while the 0.9 TwinAir 105 hp and 145 Nm ensures a 0 – 100 km/h in 12.3 seconds and a top speed of 180 km/h. Thanks to both of them you can go over 20 miles per gallon of fuel (20.8 the TwinAir, 23.8 the MultiJet). The 1.3 MultiJet reflects the character of the 500L and shows round, generous, always available, combined with a five-speed manual gearbox from the precise graft soft. The 0.9 TwinAir draws a very different character. Up to 1,500 rounds/minute discounts the inertia of the turbo, then pulls out vigor that makes the car very lively and pleasant. This motor is driven, however, like a diesel, because it can be completely unproductive with a six-speed pull up to over 4,500 rev/min.

Fiat 500 L engine

Fiat 500 L engine

The 500L is a comfortable car but not too soft or pliable as the phenomena of rolling and pitching are kept to a minimum. The road performance is not affected by the typical defect attributable to the lower segment of Fiat.

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