This is where the 500L ticks the right boxes.
Ride and Handling
The 500L rides quite comfortably and absorbs bumps in the road surface pretty well, but the downside to that is a softness in the damping that gives the car a bit more body roll on the corners than we would ideally like it to have. It’s quite a tall car for its length and the centre of gravity is higher than that of some of its rivals, and you do notice the effect of this on a winding country lane when the 500L leans quite a bit on the bends.
It’s fine if you are reasonably gentle driver, but if you are more often in press-on mode trying to get somewhere against a deadline, it can feel a bit roly-poly on a twisty road. It is a car for an undemanding driver rather than an enthusiast, the handling is a bit on the sloppy side and isn’t taut enough to be considered a ‘driver’s car’.
Ease of Use
This is where the 500L ticks the right boxes. Tallish, boxy and practical, it makes a good family workhorse with lots of space inside for its exterior dimensions, and reasonable luggage room too. The back seats have a 60/40 split back and they can be slid fore and aft, folded down and pivoted forward to let you vary the passenger/cargo space. The backrest of the front passenger seat also folds down to accommodate a long load all the way from dashboard to tailgate.
The standard boot space is 400 litres, but that extends to a maximum of 1,310 litres. There is a split floor in the boot that lets you hide away precious items you don’t want on view, or it can be opened up to make the boot deeper for a bigger load. All round access is pretty good. The tall doors allow ample room for access and the tailgate from bumper to roof gives a big clear area for loading, with a reasonably low sill height.