Fiat 500L

Home "sweet 500L" home

"L" stances for Large"

"A 500 with two additional doors"

"Fiat's heaven"

"Following MINI's tactic" said Issam

After the success of the most famous Fiat 500 and its high sales around Beirut, here comes the bigger brother of the 500, the 500L. I picked up the 500L straight after its arrival on Lebanese soil, and more specifically, from the official distributor Saad&Trad. The 500L tries to seize what makes the 500 so fascinating while adding two extra doors for five people and their gear, and by offering 42 percent extra interior space compared to the normal 500.

What's new for 2015?
For 2015, the Fiat 500L is available with a six speed automatic transmission. Also new for 2015, the Fiat 500L adds Blue Tornado to its broad color palette, which includes a total of 11 exterior paint colors across all models.

Fiat 500L
Since the modern Fiat 500's global launch in 2007, more than one million of these efficient and city-friendly vehicles have been sold in more than 110 countries worldwide. And now with the Fiat 500L, the Cinquecento has grown up to accommodate even more of life's greatest experiences and emotions all together: children, friends, journeys, music and community. The letter "L" sums up the six dimensions of the Fiat 500L:

- Leveraging - the FIAT brand's approach to its iconic Cinquecento design DNA
- Large - meant as functionality and space via its "small-wide" vehicle architecture with "cab forward" design that enables this Cinquecento to offer:
-Best-in-class interior volume
-Best-in-class front head and shoulder room
-Best-in-class rear cargo space (with back seats up)
- Loft - a trendsetting environment with segment-exclusive glass A to D pillars and an available large dual-pane glass sunroof for panoramic views
- Lifestyle - four unique models, including the Fiat 500L Trekking, that blends rugged styling and versatility for a Cinquecento that complements customers with a highly active lifestyle
- Light - when ‘lightness' means human- and eco-friendly technology

Drivetrain
There's a 1.4 liter, 16 valve turbocharged inline four cylinder engine under the hood, and it produces 160 hp and 250 Nm of torque. Two transmissions are available: a six speed manual and a six-speed automatic.

Uconnect 5.0
The 2015 Fiat 500L features the Uconnect 5.0 system with a 5 inch touchscreen that enables hands free calling via Bluetooth-equipped phones, as well as voice-command control of AM/FM and optional SiriusXM Radio, USB media port and navigation system. Compatible smartphones, equipped with Bluetooth and Message Access Profile (MAP), can receive text messages and send from a list of 18 pre-defined messages. Digital music can be streamed wirelessly from compatible Bluetooth smartphones or audio players supported by a media hub equipped with an auxiliary jack and USB port that enables recharging and seamless operation of portable devices. An integrated CD player offers additional media flexibility.

Also available on the Fiat 500L is the Uconnect 6.5 model with a 6.5 inch touchscreen display, voice operation of AM/FM and standard SiriusXM Radio, mobile phones and navigation with intuitive map graphics. Additional features include hands-free calling, text messaging (with MAP compatible phones, check UconnectPhone.com for compatibility) and audio streaming via compatible Bluetooth-enabled phones, personalization settings and a premium media hub with USB and auxiliary ports, as well as SD card reader. Both Uconnect 5.0 and 6.5 systems are available with optional ParkView rear backup camera.

Driving Impressions
To deliver class-leading levels of control and comfort, the Fiat 500L features a MacPherson front-suspension design with exceptional rigidity for increased cornering performance and reduced weight.

A specially designed front cross member serves two roles by providing rigidity to achieve greater acoustic comfort and to integrate a third-load line to improve energy absorption in the event of a crash. The adoption of a "split" type shock absorber mounting transmits road vibrations to the body through two different routes for improved acoustics and better efficiency of the shock absorber.

At the rear, the Fiat 500L features a torsion axle structure with a high level of rolling rigidity to save the weight of an anti-roll bar. Unique to the North American market are specially tuned bushings that deliver ride control and comfort, with the durability needed for more treacherous unpaved roadways like Beirut.

Verdict
After a two day drive in Beirut and upon some mountainous roads, I can say that the Fiat 500L proves that loving the outdoors doesn't mean giving up your love for adventurous design and style. Roomy enough for up to five adults, it offers a unique exterior design that stands out in the crowd, plus all the comfort and features that make a road trip one memorable souvenir! Check your nearest dealer in the Middle East.

Pros: spacious, stylish, good visibility
Cons: weak acceleration
Rivals: Mini Countryman, Kia Soul, Subaru XV

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