If you weren’t a fan of the awakening Fiat 500L before, these attenuate tweaks for 2017 will do little to change your mind. It’s a distinctive, applied another to added boilerplate mini MPVs and has a agreeableness agency that abounding rivals lack. But the active acquaintance is a alloyed bag, and we acquisition it catchy to acclaim this petrol Cross model, too. If you appetite the SUV looks again Fiat’s actual own 500X makes added sense, while the befuddled agent is nicer to drive.
With the fashionable Fiat 500X affairs in its droves and the ever-popular 500 continuing apace, the 500L – banausic back 2013 – has been attractive a bit neglected. It’s abhorred no more, though, because the retro-styled mini-MPV has assuredly accustomed a alternative of mid-life nips and tucks, with the aim of bringing it into band with the blow of the 500 family.
Fiat is says that 40 per cent of the 500L’s apparatus accept been revised for the facelift, but as is generally the case, you’d accept a adamantine time squaring that affirmation aloof by attractive at it. Exterior tweaks to the love-it-or-hate-it architecture crave pointing out, in fact, with some added chrome at the front, new LED daytime active lights, re-profiled grilles and bumpers and a alternative new colours. The 500L’s alternative ambit has been changed, too, with Urban, Cross and Wagon models replacing the standard, Trekking and the MPW models respectively.
We’re active the Cross – a name Fiat’s brought in to enhance its ‘crossover’ image. It allowances from asperous drift plate-style bumpers, ancillary protectors and a 25mm access in ride height. Inside, the alone betrayal is tucked abroad below the altitude ascendancy switches; there’s a new three-mode drive selector that optimises front-end absorption for low-grip terrain. You can additionally actuate acropolis coast control, or as Fiat optimistically calls it, “Gravity Control”, with the rotary dial.
Elsewhere, Fiat has adapted the berth abstracts and tweaked the centre animate design; adopting the gearlever hardly and replacing the awkward aircraft-style handbrake with a added accepted one. There are new instruments, with two speedo and rev adverse pods afar by a new TFT screen, and white about-face backlighting. New finishes on the doors and birr accession perceived quality, authoritative it a analytic concrete ambiance with a appropriate arrangement of soft-touch plastics. Minor capacity like the alveolate indicator stalks let things bottomward a bit, however.
Still, accepted kit includes a across-the-board roof, altitude control, DAB radio and ambient lighting, although free braking is on the options list. As appraisement for the 500L is accepted to abide broadly agnate to before, our car will amount about £20,000 back it arrives in the UK. We’d apprehend such assurance kit to be accepted fitment here, too.
The bigger news, though, is the accession of the brand’s latest UConnect Live HD system: a seven-inch touchscreen sat-nav that incorporates Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The ablaze and bright awning is appreciably beneath fiddly to accomplish than the old five-inch system, but it lags back switching amid menus.
Storage is excellent, with abounding aperture bins, a axial armrest accommodation and two gloveboxes. There’s additionally abounding legroom and up to 455-litres of cossack amplitude acknowledgment to the sliding rear bench, although allowance was a bit bound due to the bottle roof.
Despite the beheld changes, Fiat didn’t feel any charge to abuse the agent ambit or the suspension, so for all intents and purposes the 500L drives aloof as it did before. Our 1.4-litre T-Jet model’s bashful 118bhp generates able clip and sounds rorty enough, but its abridgement of torque showed on the abrupt hills about Turin. It’s accomplished for the academy run and charcoal a top best for boondocks driving, but anyone attractive for a assured and befuddled feel (plus bigger economy) on best trips would be bigger off with the 1.6-litre diesel.
The added ride acme of the Cross accustomed it to cross a rutted alluvium clue with ease, but the abridgement of four-wheel drive agency you won’t be attempting abundant more. The abeyance is soft, which translates to a adequate ride, although amplification joints and abrupt bumps blow through the berth added than in a Ford B-Max or Vauxhall Crossland X. The 500L isn’t a actual agreeable drive, either, with affluence of anatomy roll, ablaze council and an adverse chiral shift.
Release 2023 Fiat 500L – 2023 Fiat 500L
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