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Old 06-11-2012   #1
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500 l

I was at the Fiat dealer today, and I happened to run into a Fiat 500 L in the showroom! I was pleasantly surprised, so I immediately went to have a look. First impression; it is HUGE compared to the 500. I mean really huge, the roof feels twice as high! (I think the fact that the showroom car didn't have a panorama glass or sunroof did add to the fact but still huge). You would need to be over 7ft tall to have issues with the headroom!! The front of it reminded me of the 500, the rims are nice, the back not at all it is really square looks like a MPV back! Inside, it is really huge, think Mini Countryman style, I sat in the back and I fit comfortably at 6ft 3. In fact it kept on reminding me of the Countryman with the higher ride height, the accessible doors, and the front seat. I prefer the Countryman to be honest interior wise, but it is a good deal cheaper than the Mini Countryman, so it feels like the cheap version of that!

The interior reminded me of it being more of a big brother of the Panda than the 500, it does not have the same charisma. I must say though it is INFINITELY more practical than the 500, you really don't need a car bigger than the 500 L. Its like a golf but a bit bigger and higher. When the salesman friend said that it handles very well, I asked him if I could test drive it; he said yeah sure call me tomorrow! So I think tomorrow I will have a drive! They have the 1.4 version as a test car so it should be quite interesting to compare it to my 500 1.4, I guess it would be slower as it is MUCH bigger than the normal 500.

Overall I was quite impressed, and with the price being quite reasonable for such a big car (19,000 euros for the showroom version which was a diesel and according to the dealer, pop star is the mid range version), it is definitely a good buy for someone with dogs and kids. The boot proper massive, at least twice as much space as the 500! I'll let you guys know how she drives tomorrow, lets see if the dealer is saying the truth with his 'good handling' claim!

Between the two, I would still go for the 500 normal though, but there again as a bachelor I really don't need the space and many people really do!
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Last edited by ahmett; 06-11-2012 at 18:50.
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Old 07-11-2012   #2
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Ok guys I took the Fiat 500 L for a two hour test drive today, so I had a chance to get used to it. First thing I noticed, the 1.4 engine on the 500 L is TOO SLOW. I got about 10l/100 km in 2 hours driving, so it is I would say about 10% less economical due to the fact that it is heavier. I mean seriously think about it, the car must be a good 300-400 kg's heavier (someone tell me the exact figure plz) so fast it aint. It needs a turbocharger to go anywhere, the TA 105 or a diesel definitely, something with torque plz! I took it to 6500 rpm and even then didn't feel so fast! The normal 500 feels MUCH quicker, what a difference weight makes! This one feels like a 1.2 500 = ).

Second impression, it rides the bumps amazingly well, I have to say the suspension is really really good I barely noticed any potholes while with the 500 I really notice them. The steering is ridiculously light as well even with city mode off, so I must say that in town handling of this car is absolutely perfect. It is heavier though, so that means it under steers more than the regular 500. This, with its practicality, makes it a very good family car for the town, amongst the best I would say. Moving on, I have to say that the brakes are just fine, the hillholder is very useful, it has Bluetooth for the iphone so u can listen to your music without connecting the cable (although bye bye battery so you might as well have the cable!). The knobs are much more chunky, it feels like a wrangler with the ac manual knobs! Fiat must have borrowed that from when they bought Chrysler. Oh and wow, you really need parking sensors I parallel parked a few times and was really scared of hitting the back (the test car didn't have parking sensors!), so I was quite careful. Other than that parking is easy, and with the big 4 windows I must say visibility is much, much better than the normal 500.


So final impression; the car is really nice for the town, it is very manuverable with the pefcect steering and suspension (really I haven't been in a car so smooth over the bumps, my car had 16 inch rims btw 205 width Eco Contacts). It has a lot of space and from the outside looks ok!


As I said before, as a bachelor I would rather have the 500. But for a family, this car is both practical and a joy to drive, something that is rare. But make sure you get the 105 TA or the diesel, the 1.4 is too weak for this car. I am attaching some pics for you guys, as you can see I sat in the back and fit perfectly and I am 6ft 3.
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Last edited by ahmett; 07-11-2012 at 19:03.
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Old 07-11-2012   #3
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Re: 500 l

Quote Originally Posted by ahmett View Post
Ok guys I took the Fiat 500 L for a two hour test drive today, so I had a chance to get used to it. First thing I noticed, the 1.4 engine on the 500 L is TOO SLOW. I got about 10l/100 km in 2 hours driving, so it is I would say about 10% less economical due to the fact that it is heavier. I mean seriously think about it, the car must be a good 300-400 kg's heavier (someone tell me the exact figure plz) so fast it aint. It needs a turbocharger to go anywhere, the TA 105 or a diesel definitely, something with torque plz! I took it to 6500 rpm and even then didn't feel so fast! The normal 500 feels MUCH quicker, what a difference weight makes! This one feels like a 1.2 500 = ).

Second impression, it rides the bumps amazingly well, I have to say the suspension is really really good I barely noticed any potholes while with the 500 I really notice them. The steering is ridiculously light as well even with city mode off, so I must say that in town handling of this car is absolutely perfect. It is heavier though, so that means it under steers more than the regular 500. This, with its practicality, makes it a very good family car for the town, amongst the best I would say. Moving on, I have to say that the brakes are just fine, the hillholder is very useful, it has Bluetooth for the iphone so u can listen to your music without connecting the cable (although bye bye battery so you might as well have the cable!). The knobs are much more chunky, it feels like a wrangler with the ac manual knobs! Fiat must have borrowed that from when they bought Chrysler. Oh and wow, you really need parking sensors I parallel parked a few times and was really scared of hitting the back (the test car didn't have parking sensors!), so I was quite careful. Other than that parking is easy, and with the big 4 windows I must say visibility is much, much better than the normal 500.


So final impression; the car is really nice for the town, it is very manuverable with the pefcect steering and suspension (really I haven't been in a car so smooth over the bumps, my car had 16 inch rims btw 205 width Eco Contacts). It has a lot of space and from the outside looks ok!


As I said before, as a bachelor I would rather have the 500. But for a family, this car is both practical and a joy to drive, something that is rare. But make sure you get the 105 TA or the diesel, the 1.4 is too weak for this car. I am attaching some pics for you guys, as you can see I sat in the back and fit perfectly and I am 6ft 3.
Thanks for the review and pictures Ahmett
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Old 07-11-2012   #4
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Re: 500 l

I saw & pawed over one at Padova a weekend or so back. Really liked it. A perfect car for a young family. Great quality & fantastic packaging. Distinctive rather than ugly too

One negative part though, the front seat base seemed awfully narrow to the point that I was sat on the bolsters rather than in between them.

My 500 has sports seats & this isn't a problem......
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Old 08-11-2012   #5
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Re: 500 l

A very interesting review, thanks.

It is perfectly normal for a new Fiat to be under-engined, they always do it. Give them a year or so and the right engines will finally be provided.

Apparently there is a Multiair Diesel engine in development, so that wil be worth waiting for...
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Old 08-11-2012   #6
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Re: 500 l

Quote Originally Posted by 306maxi View Post
Thanks for the review and pictures Ahmett


Quote Originally Posted by ahmett View Post
Ok guys I took the Fiat 500 L for a two hour test drive today, so I had a chance to get used to it. First thing I noticed, the 1.4 engine on the 500 L is TOO SLOW. I got about 10l/100 km in 2 hours driving, so it is I would say about 10% less economical due to the fact that it is heavier. I mean seriously think about it, the car must be a good 300-400 kg's heavier (someone tell me the exact figure plz) so fast it aint. It needs a turbocharger to go anywhere, the TA 105 or a diesel definitely, something with torque plz! I took it to 6500 rpm and even then didn't feel so fast! The normal 500 feels MUCH quicker, what a difference weight makes! This one feels like a 1.2 500 = ).
Looking at some youtubes it looks like the 1.4 engine is the 'old' one and has been 'de-tuned' to 94bhp - possibly for more torque.

There's speculation across the pond that the 500L might get the 'Abarth' engine - they could end up offering the detuned multi-air one with 135bhp that's in other Fiat models but that may well be only in the US.

If Fiat has a 1.6L petrol engine they would probably have used that instead of the 1.4L.

Not too sure if the TA is the right engine choice given the weight of the 500L. The MJ isn't suitable for mostly city driving although it does appear to be the preferred choice on the reviews to-date.
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Old 08-11-2012   #7
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Re: 500 l

Quote Originally Posted by Squadrone Rosso View Post
I saw & pawed over one at Padova a weekend or so back. Really liked it. A perfect car for a young family. Great quality & fantastic packaging. Distinctive rather than ugly too
I think that last point depends on personal opinion - I think it's hideously ugly - I'd rather have a Multipla as at least that's ugly with a purpose and isn't merely trying to look like some other car.

The front of the 500L looks like it's had too many Botox injections, the wheels are far too small, the interior looks like a cross between a 500 and a van, and the back of the thing is indistinct.

All just my opinion of course, but yeah, Multiplas look great - particularly the early ones - timeless styling.

-Alex
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Old 08-11-2012   #8
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Re: 500 l

I know which car I would rather drive and it's not the Multipla.
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Old 08-11-2012   #9
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Re: 500 l

I always thought the Multipla was a genius piece of design, and it hasn't aged either. All the detailing is just brilliant, and the light and visibility while driving it is amazing too. But the press said it was ugly, so that was that. In fact it was wonderful.

The 500L on the other hand looks a bit disproportionate to me, and although I don't worship at the altar of big wheels I feel that it has a very odd stance on the standard wheels I've seen in pictures.

I suppose it will be here soon enough. The thing is, it is nothing to do with the 500 and I just can't rationalise the name at all.
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Old 08-11-2012   #10
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Re: 500 l

Quote Originally Posted by loveshandbags View Post




Looking at some youtubes it looks like the 1.4 engine is the 'old' one and has been 'de-tuned' to 94bhp - possibly for more torque.

There's speculation across the pond that the 500L might get the 'Abarth' engine - they could end up offering the detuned multi-air one with 135bhp that's in other Fiat models but that may well be only in the US.

If Fiat has a 1.6L petrol engine they would probably have used that instead of the 1.4L.

Not too sure if the TA is the right engine choice given the weight of the 500L. The MJ isn't suitable for mostly city driving although it does appear to be the preferred choice on the reviews to-date.
You could be right. It sounded different than my 1.4 that's for sure. The car I would be interested in would be the Automatic Diesel, but that will come in like 5 months so I guess we can wait and see what they do for the car as Ulpian said.
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Old 08-11-2012   #11
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Re: 500 l

Quote Originally Posted by Ulpian View Post
I always thought the Multipla was a genius piece of design, and it hasn't aged either. All the detailing is just brilliant, and the light and visibility while driving it is amazing too. But the press said it was ugly, so that was that. In fact it was wonderful.

The 500L on the other hand looks a bit disproportionate to me, and although I don't worship at the altar of big wheels I feel that it has a very odd stance on the standard wheels I've seen in pictures.

I suppose it will be here soon enough. The thing is, it is nothing to do with the 500 and I just can't rationalise the name at all.
It looks better in real life than the pictures! The only thing I didn't like was the back of the car, looked a bit 'fat' to me.
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Old 08-11-2012   #12
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Question Re: 500 l

Quote Originally Posted by ahmett View Post
It looks better in real life than the pictures! The only thing I didn't like was the back of the car, looked a bit 'fat' to me.
How does it compare to the Panda...?

Without seeing it in the flesh, there seems, to me, to be some overlap in purpose/role; and, with the Panda struggling to sell (at least here in the UK), it just seems to me that the popularity of the 500 will lead to the 500L cannibalizing sales....
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Old 08-11-2012   #13
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Re: 500 l

Quote Originally Posted by homeward View Post
How does it compare to the Panda...?

Without seeing it in the flesh, there seems, to me, to be some overlap in purpose/role; and, with the Panda struggling to sell (at least here in the UK), it just seems to me that the popularity of the 500 will lead to the 500L cannibalizing sales....

I think it looks much better than the Panda. It is priced I would say about 3,000 euros more than the Fiat 500 all things being equal.
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Old 08-11-2012   #14
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Re: 500 l

Good review, but unsure how you can test both acceleration and speed at the same time as how good the MPG is
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Old 08-11-2012   #15
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Re: 500 l

Quote Originally Posted by Most Easterly Pandas View Post
Good review, but unsure how you can test both acceleration and speed at the same time as how good the MPG is

I can because I usually drive like that with my normal 1.4 500 = ) Its really not a good engine for the city, you have to rev it to go anywhere, especially in a car as heavy (compared to the 500) as the 500 L!
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