5 years after its arrival, the Fiat 500L is retouched both inside and out. Fragile leader in Europe in the stillborn category of mini spaces, it comes in a pleasantly refreshed form and new names. However, it is difficult to find the 40% of new parts announced triumphantly by the Turin brand.
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The LPG or liquefied petroleum gas car may cost more than a conventional petrol car, but the extra cost is moderate and can be offset by fuel savings.
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Renault Modus, Citroën C3 Picasso, Kia Venga, Hyundai ix20, Opel Meriva: all of them have given up, and have deserted the niche of mini spaces that has never really taken off. And all of them have been replaced by small SUVs or Crossovers: Renault Captur, Citroën C3 Aircross, Hyundai Kona, Opel Crossland, etc… At the moment, there are only two surviving mini spaces: the Ford B-Max, and our brave 500L which has dominated the category in Europe since 2012, when it was launched. If it is not certain that it will one day have a replacement, the 500L has now been redesigned with a rather successful facelift and new names. This will allow him to continue his journey for a few more years.
The 500L family is always divided into 3 distinct ranges. The classic 500L in short version becomes 500L Urban and, as its name suggests, offers its qualities (space, habitability, trunk) for essentially urban use. The 500L Trekking becomes 500L Cross in order to harmonize with the Panda Cross in its extra-urban, even baroudeuse vocation. It is always based on the short version. Finally, the 500L Living extended version becomes 500L Wagon, which may be a better way to move the pill from a questionable style, still using as an argument a giant trunk and two additional small extra seats.
We will come back below to the external evolutions of each range and will first discuss the changes common to the entire 500L family, namely those affecting the passenger compartment.
At first glance, there is not really anything new, the dashboard still looks plump and colourful. However, there is a real evolution if we want to take the time to look at it. First, a new instrumentation block, certainly less colourful, but more practical with counters framing a central 3.5″ TFT colour screen that is much more readable for on-board computer information. A new multi-function steering wheel with a more ergonomic and less toy-like appearance is introduced. The Uconnect system screen changes from 5″ to 7″. Be careful, however, entry-level versions do not have them. On the menu, the must-have compatibilities with Apple Car Play and Android Auto, and several useful connected services (TomTom Live), or fun (music with Deezer, news with Reuters, social networks, etc…).
We notice the appearance of the famous 500 logo on the coloured band on the right of the centre console, which will remind us that the 500L, despite its left style, belongs to the large family of the Fiat small chip.
Fiat 500L Urban and 500L Wagon
The changes mainly affect the front end, with a completely redesigned front bumper in a more sophisticated and less “Panda” style. The lower air intake is visually enlarged and dotted with small chrome prints. The license plate will now be installed between two chrome moustaches. A bar, once again chrome-plated, is placed in the air intake under the logo. And finally, the light signature is changing, especially for the additional small daytime running lights that copy those of the 500 with a pattern reminiscent of the 0 of the 500 logos. Nothing to say: the qualitative contribution of this new front panel is undeniable, and this excess of chrome succeeds, seen from the front, in convincing us that the 500L is indeed part of the 500 family.
At the rear, there is a clear evolution for the short Urban version, with a painted tailgate down to its lower part, and a new rear bumper housing the reversing lights/fog at ground level. Instead of the old location of these lights: two small chrome buttons. All these details give a much lighter look to the stern, but strangely enough the long version Wagon doesn’t benefit from them because it keeps the old configuration.
In profile, we can notice the new shape of the lateral door protection, with a chrome bar placed higher. Finally, a new collection of aluminium rims is available.
The 500L Urban is available in three trim levels: Popstar and Lounge and Business (for professionals). The Popstar finish is already well equipped: air conditioning, cruise control, electric and heated outside mirrors, Uconnect Bluetooth radio with voice control, 60/40 seat. The Lounge finish adds dual-zone auto air conditioning, sunroof, fog lights, aluminium wheels, automatic lights and wipers, and the famous Uconnect 7″ touch screen. 6 different packs allow you to accentuate the equipment even more.
The 500L Wagon is only available in Lounge finish in France. But in this configuration, the sunroof is not provided as on the Urban.
Fiat 500L Cross
Nice evolution for the front end of the 500L Cross, which loses the chrome parts
of the Urban version to focus on the satin effect. The front bumper changes to a more massive style and loses its protective ski. The air intake under the logo is enlarged and adorned with 4 satin rectangles that give it a small “Jeep” effect. Finally, the light signature changes like that of the 500L Urban.
At the rear, as on the Urban, the tailgate is painted down to the bottom and loses the raw black assembly that included the license plate and reversing lights/ fog lamps. The latter migrate lower to a wider satin protective ski, while the tailgate threshold is also always satin. In profile, the side door protectors move backwards slightly with a satin bar placed higher.
As on the old Trekking version, the ground clearance is raised by 2.5 centimetres, and the wheel arches are reinforced with raw plastic reinforcements. A small innovation: the Cross version is equipped with a system that allows three driving modes: Normal, Traction +, and Gravity Control. This system plays on the ESP and, combined with 4-season tires, makes it possible to get away from delicate situations where traction is reduced (snow, mud, etc…).
The 500L Cross is available in two trim levels: Opening Cross and Cross.
Motorizations and prices
6 engines are available:
– 1.4L 95hp petrol, manual gearbox, available on Urban, Cross and Wagon
– 0.9L TwinAir 105hp petrol, manual gearbox, available on Urban, Cross and Wagon
– 0.9L petrol/methane TwinAir 85 hp, manual gearbox, available on Urban
– 1.4L petrol/LPG T-Jet 120hp, manual gearbox, available on Urban
– 1.3L Multijet diesel 95hp, manual gearbox or Dualogic, available on Urban, Cross and Wagon
– 1.6L Multijet diesel 120hp, manual gearbox, available on Urban, Cross and Wagon