The Fiat 500 has always been a small niche hatchback and, with this, Fiat has decided to grow it a little to appeal to newly expanding families who were previous looking at the likes of the Kia Soul, Opel Meriva and the Mini Cooper Paceman.
I must admit, they’ve done an exceptional job in speccing the car, with a good engines and good standard equipment. While the car is no minivan or Kombi, it has a fair amount of room and still feels rather compact around town, where I guess it would be used the most.
Featuring 2 engines at the moment; a 1.4 multi-jet engine making a rather healthy 70kw and 124nm torque, mated to a 6 speed gearbox which claims a rather impressive 5.0l/100km extra urban consumption rating with a top speed of 178km/h. Then, the top of the range, fitted with a 1.6 Diesel multi-jet engine making 77kw and a much healthier 320nm torque, proved to make mincemeat of any hills. It’s very drivable, with minimal turbo lag and gives exceptional economy. With very little economical driving in mind, we averaged 4.8l/100km, while the book claims 3.9l/100km.
The interior is typically Fiat, with funkiness splashed all over the show. The top of the range diesel also had dual zone climate control, U connect audio, which includes a large 5 inch touch screen radio with blue tooth streaming, hands free telephone and also Android/Apple support.
The entire range is fitted with a huge glass roof on the lounge model, 6 airbags and an array of safety features from brake assist to a hill holder, for those hilly cities or out in the country. The 500L has proved to go the extra mile, giving you more space for your Rand.
The 500L is a breath of fresh air for the brand and I predict that it will sell pretty well. Prices start at R230 425 for the 1.4 Easy model and R287 990 for the top of the range 1.6 Diesel multi-jet Lounge.
For more info, check out Fiat.co.za