Register Login
endrop - for all your online needs
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 16-12-2012   #1
500 fan
 
PandaLounge's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Newcastle-under-Lyme
Posts: 435
Thanks: 25
Trader Rating: 0
PandaLounge has donated!
United Kingdom 
Better in the flesh

Hi guys

Been to see the 500L yesterday at BS Marson in Newcastle, Staffs. Its a French Pop Star with many, many options added.

In actual fact (a bit like the Punto Evo and the new Panda IMHO) looks a million times better in the flesh than in any photograph.

The HUGE panoramic glass roof is an amazing feature. The electric blind would keep me amused for hours !

It feels huge too on the inside considering its not much larger than the current Punto. Very tardis like indeed.

The touch-screen stereo is also a very good feature and one that I thought would be gimmicky and naff, but actually its very easy to use and the car menus are much easier to access and use through this system.

The tumble rear seats are an excellent idea. Flip the switch, fold the seat and it tumbles out of the way very neatly. The only issue is that its very heavy lifting the seat back into its position that some might struggle with.

My only gripe with the car is that dashboard itself. The display feel very yesteryear. First gen Grande Puntoish tbh. The heater controls feel cheap and nasty and the gloveboxes feel a little 'rushed' in their fitment and finish.
Having said that this is an early production car so things might change. The Punto Evo had some big issues with fit and finish in the beginning and that did cost 14500 upwards for top spec cars, so things might improve.

Overall though I was very impressed. Its certainly for someone who wants a large Fiat and the practicalities of an MPV or an estate car. It is a miss-mash of Fiat 500 and new Panda but perhaps the harmony of both cars is a winner. The style of a 500 with the everyday practicality of the Panda.

And when you consider that the 4X4 diesel Panda is topping out at 14500+ the 500L is pretty good value.

Steve
Likes Jazzist liked this post
__________________
Fiat fanboy since 2008. Many 500's owned, the odd Panda and Punto Evo, plus a 124 Spider. Now a 595 owner. .

Last edited by PandaLounge; 16-12-2012 at 14:50.
PandaLounge is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 16-12-2012   #2
Ulpian
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: My flat mostly
Posts: 3,581
Thanks: 133
Trader Rating: 0
Ulpian has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: Better in the flesh

How tall are you Steve? When I sat under the panoramic roof at the back my head was crushed - really - against the headlining where it drops down at the back of the glass. I noticed on Youtube that when Fiat has taken punters out in the car for tests everybody in the back had headroom to spare, but then the individuals involved must have been very, er, little. I'm only medium height - six feet - so what would happen to a tall man in the back I wonder?

PS. I just wondered: the rear seat slides doesn't it? Maybe it was positioned at the back of it's run and so there might have been more headroom if it was slid forwards a bit...just wondering.

I only looked briefly at the car, but excepting my criticism of the glass roof, which I hate anyway, and the poor placement of the gearlever, I liked the car a lot. It reminded me more of my Doblo than anything else, in as much as it is airy, has great utility and is easy to use, and you drop out of it easily and can see out well. Lots of plusses there.

The price is not great once you specify fogs, paint, wheels and parking sensors, and a decent engine - heading north of 18,000 - but it is refreshing after the cramped and very uncomfortable Bravo.

The slightly tinny heater controls look like they come from the Giulietta, but never mind, I'm sure they work, and the interior is far far better than the cramped, inconvenient and uncomfortable Alfa. These cars look to be much the same price so, notwithsatnding the more powerful Alfa engines, I'd take the L any day.

Actually there is nothing quiite out there to compare with this car. The Picasso is smaller and has a nasty seating position, and a digital speedometer The Japanese and Koreans seem to be churning out nothing but dullsville hatchbacks which are initially fashionably stylish but soon fade into mediocrity, and VW does the same range of vanilla cars it has always done.

Skoda Roomster maybe?

I'd like to have a go in the TA 105, just to see what it is like on the road.
Likes Jazzist liked this post
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides


Last edited by Ulpian; 16-12-2012 at 18:39. Reason: Idea!
Ulpian is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 16-12-2012   #3
Brain stopped play
 
homeward's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Location: On the hard shoulder...
Posts: 6,159
Thanks: 328
Trader Rating: 1
homeward is part of the official FF Events Team :)
homeward has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: Better in the flesh

Quote Originally Posted by Ulpian View Post
Skoda Roomster maybe?
How does the David, er, Kia Soul compare? I think it looks quite 'funky' (he said, showing his age...): but know nowt about it.... Just keep seeing them all over the place... -- so assume they're not that bad....

Likes deeyup, panda panda liked this post
__________________

1990 Panda 750L Formula '90: Pippin (26,131 miles; 47.18 mpg)
2009 Panda 1.2 Eleganza Dualogic: Pandora (55,670 miles; 47.87 mpg)
2002 Punto 1.2 16v ELX Speedgear: Priscilla (100,465 miles; 41.30 mpg)
homeward is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 16-12-2012   #4
Ulpian
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: My flat mostly
Posts: 3,581
Thanks: 133
Trader Rating: 0
Ulpian has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: Better in the flesh

When I sat in one I found the seat bloody uncomfortable. And the boot is small. But if they have sorted the seat position - the front drops as you raise it - the Soul might indeed be a contender.

Americans like them

Certainly a possibility, but he 500L is huge by comparison. There will be road tests to come no doubt.
Likes Jazzist liked this post
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

Ulpian is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 17-12-2012   #5
Join Date: May 2009
Location: South Staffordshire
Posts: 34
Thanks: 2
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Re: Better in the flesh

Nothing wrong with the digital spedo in the Citroen C3 Picasso. IMHO its the best feature of that car the spedo is so clear at all times. And combined with the cars speed limiter/cruse control. If you get caught speeding in a C3 Piccasso you have only your self to blame.
As a C3 Picasso owner they don"t seem to popular in the UK. So not sure if the 500L willl sell well here.
However when i drive the wifes Mk 3 Panda. I always like it. And often think, If only Fiat made a larger version of this car with better quality carpets!
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

ThePostman is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 17-12-2012   #6
Ulpian
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: My flat mostly
Posts: 3,581
Thanks: 133
Trader Rating: 0
Ulpian has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: Better in the flesh

Well there you go. I totally hate digital speedos and wouldn't have one. I like well placed instruments - in front of me then - with clear needles that can be assimilated instantly. But we aren't all the same obviously. My mother had a couple of Citroen GSs years ago with revolving drums - vile.

The Picasso has a slightly weird seating position, or the one I looked at seemed to, and although it should suit me well there is just something about the car that doesn't gell. My local Citroen salespeople are not all the best either. Actually the Picasso was one of those cars on my list for a long time, but....
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

Ulpian is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 14-01-2013   #7
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Beccles, Suffolk
Posts: 2,356
Thanks: 197
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Re: Better in the flesh

Saw one of these in the flesh today.

It is absolutely H U G E - it's very wide, and I could only just see over the top of it (I'm 5'10") - and it's not in the least bit cute. If you close one eye and poke yourself in the other, there's a faint resemblance to the 500 from the front, but a 500 that's overdone it on the pies, and needs a gastric band fitted pronto. It's not a good look.

There was a C3 Picasso parked next to it in the showroom (a Citroen/Fiat franchise) which looked much better balanced, more interesting, and less bulbous - and it was no less roomy than the 500L inside.

This one will bomb, mark my words.
Likes homeward liked this post
Dislikes Jazzist disliked this post
__________________
Barchetta LE (no 2468), 1998, Silver with Red Hood and Red Leather Interior, Hardtop, Wind-stop, Novitec SS Exhaust
Panda Cross Twinair, 15 Reg, in glorious Yellow , replacing a much-loved yellow DS3 DSport THP
gar074 is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 18-01-2013   #8
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 9
Thanks: 3
Trader Rating: 0
Switzerland 
Re: Better in the flesh

Neighbour just got one here in Switzerland.

First impressions: personally it didn't strike me as the most appealing design, because it's so large that the "charm" of the original didn't translate for me. Loved the Pano roof though, the car looks like it will suit their growing family well.

They admit it wasn't the looks that sold them - I'd guess it's because it will keep them in the Fiat brand, as they had a Panda 4x4 previously and they held that in high regard.
__________________
Toscana Green 2013 Panda 4x4 Twinair
Techno pack.Winter pack.Fogs.5-seat flex pack.Leather SW+GK.Comfort kit.Tints
Uluru is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 06-02-2013   #9
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Norwich
Posts: 168
Thanks: 7
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Re: Better in the flesh

Saw my first one in the flesh today - a LHD model at Desira in Norwich. I wasn't aware that left hookers were ever brought over before a launch - perhaps a sign that Fiat are serious about getting folk interested.

As others have stated - it is big, much bigger than I was expecting, especially when sitting in a showroom next to 500s and Pandas.

Everything about it screams USA - this is a style driven design with the Yanks in mind. It may prove too niche for UK tastes but I say fair play to Fiat for making it distinctive. If I was a thirty something mum of two regretting having sprogs then this would be a practical way of expressing my fear of ending up in a VW Touran.
Likes JTD_Liam, panda panda liked this post
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

jamesbrownontheroad is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 07-02-2013   #10
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 656
Thanks: 27
Trader Rating: 0
Jazzist has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: Better in the flesh

Saw it today briefly and fell in love with it straight away. Will get one within the next 12 months for sure.

Will have a better poke around when the Bravo goes back in to get its 4th yr warranty job signed off by the warranty company (1200 for a heater box - clicky clacky motorised footwell vent flap in climate control).

The wife loved it too.

Looking at the dimensions it is the same width as the bravo but 7" shorter... but is way bigger inside.

Thinking of the 0.9 105bhp TA Lounge.
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides

Jazzist is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 23-02-2013   #11
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 986
Thanks: 2
Trader Rating: 0
United Kingdom 
Re: Better in the flesh

I went to have a look around at Dacia, whom are in a corner of the Renault showroom at Bristol Street Derby. Fiat showroom is the other side of the wall, so I wondered through after looking at the Duster, as the Sandero hasn't appeared there yet. Tried Qubo and new Panda for size and then saw the 500L... WOW!

The main family car is a Golf Plus, which is an MPV'd Golf but the 500L has an unbelievable amount of space inside by comparison! Apparently only 8cm longer than Grande Punto. Sliding rear seat bench with good range of adjustment, rear seat backrest fold flat and also tumble for even more space. (LHD 'Pop Star' trim)

Asked for an invite to the launch event... like mathew above, maybe top of my list of replacements for the Golf Plus in a few years time. Dragging Mrs along with me :-)
Likes Jazzist liked this post
__________________
Stilos 1.6 & 115 JTD consigned to history Punto 2B 1.3 MJ SOLD 2B Punto 1.2 16v Speedgear taking its place
wotnowarninglight is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 23-03-2013   #12
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Italia for a while
Posts: 1,091
Thanks: 34
Trader Rating: 0
ivantate has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: Better in the flesh

Agreed its definately better in the flesh/close up. I wasnt really a fan but after having a play with one I definately dont mind it now. Part of the problem for me was that it was being sold as 'the new multipla' and I saw it as just a normal 5door hatch.
Also all the ones I have seen on display have already had appeciative comments from people passing by.

With regards to size I made a comparison in the car park at work the other day and from the front it has just about the same frontal area as the Fiat Freemont which is meant to be a big american suv.

The best looking one I have seen had black roof and a dark silver body, with the bigger wheels too. I dont really like big wheels or silver cars but it stood out in the traffic the other day whereas the red abd whites just pass by..
__________________
Reality: 55reg Idea Eleganza. The car in the facelift press release.
Dream: Panda Trekking.

Last edited by ivantate; 23-03-2013 at 08:31.
ivantate is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 18-04-2013   #13
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bit south in Devon like
Posts: 1,926
Thanks: 151
Trader Rating: 0
Super Uwe has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: Better in the flesh

Went to our dealer today to sort out a service for our Panda, and got to have a good nose at the 500L in the showroom. Once again this was one of those French LHD ones (I wonder if the French FIAT dealers have worked out that we've nicked their demo cars?!!)

First impressions are very good though. The rear seat/boot layout is superb IMO, you can basically do whatever you want to fit all your stuff in. I slid the rear seats as far forward as they would go and there was still decent enough legroom in behind the driver's seat.

Lots of familiar bits from the Panda - electric mirror switches, handbrake, steering wheel audio controls; all of these have been taken from the Panda. Not a huge surprise of course.

Any dislikes? For me personally, the gearstick is positioned far too low. Real shame that they couldn't replicate the Panda/500 layout in that respect. I love having the gearstick just to hand as it makes life so much easier.

Overall though, I do think FIAT have done a really good job. Make no mistake though, this is one seriously practical car.
__________________
Had a 500, then a Panda, then a Punto, wife had another 500...now a Fiesta
Super Uwe is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 19-04-2013   #14
Ulpian
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: My flat mostly
Posts: 3,581
Thanks: 133
Trader Rating: 0
Ulpian has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: Better in the flesh

As I've posted before, it was the low gearstick that annoyed me too. A real disappointment when Fiat has pioneered the close to hand high-set lever that everyone likes so much - and that other makers have copied.

When I fixed the seat at the right height for my average height but long-legged six foot frame I found myself twisting and leaning over to find all the gears. Very very bad ergonomics and awful for posture and back health. And I totally hate sitting low in a car so lowereing the seat is NOT an option.

Did you sit in the back with the rear seats set at the rearmost extension? if so you'll have had your head bent over as it touches the glass roof surround

And there are some odd recesses on the dashboard that are seemingly not suited to holding anything yet designed my man.

But apart from those faults, and the ergonomic ones are very real, it's a lovely car. If you fit it!

But expensive though....
__________________
FIAT Forum Useful Links:
Donate to FF | Buy FF Merchandise | Classifieds | FF Insurance | How-to Guides


Last edited by Ulpian; 19-04-2013 at 18:27.
Ulpian is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Old 20-04-2013   #15
72 Year Old teenager
 
chas379's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Arundel
Posts: 1,155
Thanks: 71
Trader Rating: 1
chas379 has donated!
United Kingdom 
Re: Better in the flesh

I saw one in our local showroom this week when my OH went to pick up her new 500 1.2 Lounge. Must say I was impressed with what I saw and if I had the resource I would take it as my second car but unfortunately the Abarth takes preference for the time being. Afraid the pension can only stretch so far.
__________________
[SIGPIC]
chas379 is offline Reply With Quote Quote 
Reply
Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
(G) Has anyone seen this car in the flesh? 711 Cinquecento / Seicento 10 29-05-2012 02:04
(G) Just seen the new colurs in flesh... Melanabb 500 43 04-05-2009 02:28
(G) Just seen the Lounge in the flesh andy armitage 500 32 03-02-2008 20:40
Never thought I'd see one of these in the flesh FuzzyPanda Leisure Lounge 5 10-04-2007 01:38
New Punto in the flesh Gav Lets Talk FIAT 35 08-02-2005 16:50