Fiat 500L Road Test (2013)

Fiat 500L (Interior View) (2013)
71%

Fiat 500L Review

Fiat 500L ReviewFiat 500L Review  | Part Two

the driving position is a bit sit-up-and-beg,

Comfort and Refinement

The seats are nicely shaped and give good support, but the driving position is a bit sit-up-and-beg, it’s more in the style of an SUV than that of a traditional lower-slung car. For some that will be an asset, it means that you sit a bit higher than in many other cars, and there are safety benefits to this elevated view. It may not suit everyone though, so try it first if this is a car you would consider buying.

Refinement is generally quite good, with not too much engine noise and only modest road rumble feeding up through the suspension. But those double front pillars ahead of the door mirrors do seem to collect a bit of wind noise at speed.

Safety and Security

In Euro NCAP crash safety tests the 500L was awarded the maximum five stars with high scores in all three categories, for adult, child and passenger protection. The standard kit list right across the range on every 500L includes six airbags, and it has the unusual electronic braking safety aids so it is equipped as a safety-conscious family transporter.

Infotainment

Every version of the 500L comes equipped with a five-inch touch-screen audio system that both looks good and is intuitive to use. Also standard across the range are electric front windows and mirrors, air conditioning, cruise control and Bluetooth connection for your mobile phone. Never mind worries about coping with a puncture repair kit if you get a nail in a tyre, the 500L comes with a spare wheel. With Easy trim models the standard kit list includes electric rear windows and parking sensors. With the Lounge model we tested there is a further tally of goodies: automatic lights and wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, front fog lights and a huge panoramic glass roof that floods the cabin with light. Nice.

Rivals
  • Ford B-Max
  • MINI Countryman
  • Vauxhall Meriva
What We Liked
  • Its roominess and practicality
  • Good for growing families
  • Versatile interior with seats that slide and fold to create extra space
  • Friendly and low-effort to drive
  • Did very well in safety testing with high Euro NCAP scores
  • Characterful retro design of light and bright cabin
  • Marmite looks that will be lovable to some
What We Disliked
  • Gawky styling, its Marmite looks do not endear it visually
  • Handling is too roly-poly
  • Predicted second-hand value poorer than rivals’
  • Hard-touch interior surfaces
  • Wind noise from the front pillars
What We Would Like To See
  • Stiffer suspension to control body roll on a country road
  • Different badges, it’s more of a bigger Panda than pumped-up Fiat 500
Conclusion

Fiat bills the 500L as a bigger 500, keen to piggyback on the undoubted success of the popular little car. The 500’s cute looks haven’t quite scaled up though, and the 500L is a bit gawky. It will win friends for its roomy cabin, and has appeal for those looking for something a bit out of the ordinary in a family car. It has character and it drives ok, but it’s not the best-driving car you can find for the money.

15 April 2013 Sue Baker
Fiat 500L ReviewFiat 500L Review  | Part Two
Fiat 500L Road Test Data
Model ReviewedFiat 500L 1.6 16v MultiJet
  
Body Type5-door MPV
ColourPastel Blue
  
Performance (manufacturers data) 
  
0 - 62 mph11.3 Seconds
Top Speed 112 mph
  
Transmission6-Speed Manual
  
Fuel TypeDiesel
  
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
  
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
  
Urban52.3 mpg
Extra Urban72.4 mpg
Combined62.8 mpg
  
Insurance Group18
Euro NCAP Rating5 Stars
Warranty3 Years / Unlimited Miles
Price (when tested on the 15/04/13)£18,890

The information contained within this Fiat 500L review may have changed since publication on the 15 April 2013. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Fiat dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2017