By: Veeno Dewan
The tiny Fiat 500 is now a common sight in Vancouver streets since its introduction in 2011 and has been a smash hit for Fiat/Chrysler. The cute, funky two-door is renowned for its great styling, retro charm and spunky handling. However one its drawbacks have been the tiny rear seats and lack of rear headroom due to the small dimensions. Thankfully, this issue has been redressed now that the Fiat 500L is here. The 500L adds an extra set of rear doors and at 27 inches longer, six inches wider, six inches taller offers almost 45 per cent more space than the original 500. The 500L keeps the same unique good looks, but with more practicality and good use of space.
The 500L is powered by a Fiat derived MultiAir a 1.4-litre, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that delivers 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. This is the same engine as found in the in the high performance Fiat 500 Abarth version. Transmission is via a six-speed manual or six-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission.
The rear bench seat in the 500L now seats three adults in the back with decent enough head- and leg-room. The 500L is also; being of European heritage and where fuel is very expensive is quite fuel-efficient – rated at 8.7 litres/100 km in the city and 6.0 on the highway.
The Fiat 500L is mighty impressive and will be a big favorite with Canadian families. If you are looking for a good-looking retro inspired family vehicle with plenty of heritage charm you can’t do any better.