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Used Fiat 500L review – Big it up in this mini MPV

Daily Record logoDaily Record 21/04/2017 Giles Blair
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

FIAT’S decision to revive the 500 in 2007 proved to be inspired as the car quickly gained cult status.

The trouble was, as many young owners matured and started families, they found they needed something larger than the trendy two-door car.

And the Italian auto makers came to the rescue of parents in the spring of 2013 with the launch of the 500L – a rival to the likes of the Citroen C3 Picasso, the Ford B-Max and the equally trendy MINI Countryman.

This mini MPV was designed to provide the space and practicality that its little brother couldn’t while retaining the flair and trendy image.

So it had all the style and all the panache of the 500 but in a larger form. In fact, it was so cool, you could even have a proper espresso coffee machine fully integrated into the dashboard to give you genuine Lavazza coffee.

Personalisation was also a buzzword as owners could choose the body colour, roof colour and dashboard colour as well as adding any of more than 100 accessories.

Credits: Fiat © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Fiat

At launch, the 500L was available with a choice of four engines – two petrol and two diesel – and three trim levels.

In petrol, you could have a 95hp 1.4-litre or the lively turbocharged 875cc, 105hp TwinAir. In diesel, there was a choice of an 85hp 1.3-litre and a 105hp 1.6-litre that averaged 67mpg and 62mpg respectively.

The trim levels were designed to suite the personalities of prospective buyers.

There was Pop Star – with a vibrant youthful feel – and Easy – for owners seeking more comfort and equipment such as rear electric windows and parking sensors. The range-topping Lounge was for those looking for the highest spec they could get – such as the suede dashboard.

Standard equipment on all models was high, with all trim levels getting features such as cruise control, air con and fully adjustable leather steering wheel with audio controls.

It was the first Fiat to have the standard UConnect system to manage communications by voice, remotely or touchscreen, as well as Bluetooth.

Credits: Fiat © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Fiat

On the practical side, the 500L had a sizeable 400-litre boot, 22 handy compartments to cater everything from mobile phones to umbrellas and there was good room for five in the cabin.

Best of all, the rear seats came with a “Fold & Tumble” function that allowed you to get a completely flat floor in the rear with one simply action.

From behind the steering wheel, the 500L offered excellent all-round visibility thanks to the narrow twin windscreen pillars rather than one thick one and the elevated seat position due to the high roof.

The 500L had a nice chunky feel to it and the ride and handling were good while noise levels were low, giving a refined feel to the car. Secondary controls were straightforward and conveniently laid out and the instruments clear and easy to read.

Safety is usually a priority for family car buyers and the 500L had electronic stability control with ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution and Brake Assist as standard – earning it a Euro NCAP five-star status.

So if you’re in the market for a funky, family-friendly, second-hand vehicle, the Fiat 500L should be on your list to check out.

We found a 2013 13-plate 1.3-litre diesel in Easy trim with less than 41,500 miles on the clock for just under £6000. Another £300 could buy us a 63-plate 1.4-litre petrol Pop Star model with a mileage of just 25,000.


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