Fiat 500L Review: 2013 Model | 500L | Car Buyers Guide

Fiat 500L

I’m about to say something which will be unpopular. I was never really a fan of the Fiat 500. I’ve test driven a couple and although they drive as well as can be expected, I just never got the hype. I feel that there is only so far you can get on being retro. Yes it’s chic looking, but it feels like a fashion statement and styles change, as do fads.

  Fiat 500L

This week I test drove the Fiat 500L, and despite what I’ve just said in the opening paragraph I am actually more open now to the 500 family. I’m still not a fan of the regular 500, but this larger, more family 500L has something about it that I quiet like. I’m not sure if it’s the space, or the panoramic roof, but there’s something there which doesn’t completely rub me up the wrong way.

To drive 
Initially when I got the 500L the first thing that I noticed was the gearbox. It nearly floats when you go to change gear and at first this to me was a big no-no. But would you believe it was a gear box which I got used to fairly quickly. The Fiat 500L is a fairly lively car when you drive it in “city” mode and as you would expect when in that mode things are a lot lighter and niftier. The 500L which I drove was the 1.3 MJet (Lounge), and although it was nifty enough in the city when you bring it on the motorway it can be slightly sluggish – this is not what this car was built for though, it is not a speed machine, it’s a good performer for what it was built for.

Fiat 500L

The normal Fiat 500 is an exceptionally small space, even for those of you who are looking for a smaller car, the 500L however is a different story. Head height is phenomenal as is the front and rear cabins. The car is slender but you will have no difficulties getting four adults into this car and at a push you will get five. This is not, in my view, a car that you will be too likely to see four or five adults in. This is a family car for the Moms and Dads of this world who want to stand out in what they drive. So, with that in mind you will have no problem getting a small family into this car.

Space is one thing, but this car offers more than that with the wonderful glass panoramic roof as well as a dash which is well loaded. The dash is laid out better than the smaller 500 and it offers everything a modern car should, steering wheel controls, USB, iPod connections and more.

Price, fuel economy and road tax
Fuel economy in this car is very adequate and Fiat says you will use about 4 litres per 100km in combined driving. There are many variants of the 500L available here and the price range starts at just under €22,000 and goes up to €26,000. All Fiat 500L cars fall into tax band A3 or A4 depending on which one you go for, so this will be inexpensive to tax at today’s rates.

Fiat 500L

The Verdict
I really like this car in comparison to what I consider to be the over-rated Fiat 500. The biggest downside is that this car is not a very attractive vehicle to me – which might tell you that I’m not the most fashionable guy in the world. This car is spacious, reliable and surprisingly enjoyable.

Daragh Ó Tuama


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