Fiat 500L brings practical emotion

Comment on this story
IOL mot feb3 fiatfivehundred a . Retro charm of the 500 hatch has been woven into a more practical mini-MPV wrapping.

The trendy little modern-day 500 hatch has proven a success for Fiat in the lucrative retro car market, so much so that the company is now extending the nostalgia to those needing a more practical mode of transport.

And despite what its 500L designation might suggest, this new family member (aimed at those with families) is far more than just a stretched 500 hatch.

A bigger car with a completely new body, Fiat says the 500L offers “MPV passenger space combined with the feel of a small SUV.” It's basically something of a tall-roofed, practical B-segment hatch then - which makes us wonder where it leaves the Grande Punto in the pecking order.

The 500L's styling shows strong ties to its hatch sibling but it's definitely not an enlarged carbon copy. If anything, it takes perhaps a bit too much inspiration from Mini, with a clear resemblance to the Mini Coupe (and even Fiat's own Panda) in its helmet-style rear roofline and there's a bit of the '90s Mini Spiritual Concept in those vertically stacked circular lights at the front.

Yet the 500L also serves as something of a spiritual successor to the 1956 Fiat 600 Multipla, with its cab-forward design providing generous space for five occupants.

Powering the new hatch is the best of Fiat's small engine range, including the diminutive turbocharged Twinair petrol engine and more conventional 1.4-litre four-cylinder and a 1.3-litre MultiJet II turbodiesel.

IOL mot feb3 fiatfivehundred b From behind the Fiat 500L looks like the love child of a Mini Coupe and Fiat Panda. .

While Europeans will see the 500L in their showrooms towards the end of this year, it has yet to be confirmed whether South African school runs will feature this car any time soon, with Fiat SA doing feasibility studies to determine whether bringing it here could be a good idea.

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines 

Jiems, wrote

IOL Comments
10:35pm on 8 February 2012
IOL Comments

Just bring the oilburner to SA. Fast enough for it's purpose and everlasting reliability.

Report this

IOL Comments

jag, wrote

IOL Comments
09:40pm on 8 February 2012
IOL Comments

bring it.

Report this

IOL Comments

allan, wrote

IOL Comments
04:31pm on 3 February 2012
IOL Comments


Report this

IOL Comments

Showing items 1 - 3 of 3