Following the successful launch of the Fiat 500, the Italian car maker, in partnership with its American ally Chrysler, launched the Fiat 500L in the U.S. market. The 500L is an MPV version of the iconic car for those who want something stylish but practical. The L is more suitable for family use, offering 42 percent extra interior space than its hatchback brother and five seats.
Despite being a family-centric car, Fiat promises that the 500L offers the same engaging drive and the same features as the beloved 500. In America the Fiat 500L comes with a 160-horsepower 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine with two fuel-saving, six-speed transmissions, and offers four trim levels of Pop, Easy, Trekking and Lounge.
The 500L may drive like a 500, but design-wise it is nowhere near as cool and sexy as its sibling, which is understandable. The 500 is like a woman in her 20s, and the 500L is the same woman after giving birth to four kids.
The car does offer a great set of features though, even in the base 19 grand model. It comes with bi-halogen headlamps with daytime running lamps, 16-inch chrome-accented wheel covers, all-season tires, stainless-steel exhaust tip, black exterior mirrors with driver- and passenger-side spotter mirrors; heat, air conditioning, power lock and windows with one-touch up/down, cruise control, body-color instrument panel, six speakers, Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) with trip computer, miles-to-empty, average fuel economy and tire-pressure monitoring (TPM) display; steering wheel controls, six-way cloth seats with driver and front-passenger height adjust, 60/40 split-fold rear seatbacks with segment-exclusive fore-aft adjustment, recline and tumble/slide feature; tilt and telescoping steering column, 12-volt console and auxiliary power outlets, multi-position cargo area trunk panel, cap-less fuel-filler door, floor mats, interior observation mirror and dual sun visors with vanity mirrors.
That is a long list of features for a small, sub 20K family car. But that is not the end of it. You also get Uconnect 5.0 with its 5-inch touchscreen display, radio voice commands, handsfree phone, Bluetooth-audio streaming, text message reader, personalization settings and media hub (USB and auxiliary ports) for seamless integration of portable devices. Safety features include seven standard air bags, reactive front head restraints, vehicle theft security alarm, child seat anchor system and electronic stability control (ESC) with Hill-start Assist.
Fiat realized the only way to beat the Korean and Japanese cars in this segment at their own game is by outdoing them in terms of value for money.