The Fiat 500L MPW is quite possibly the longest Fiat can, quite literally, stretch the concept of the 500. The car, which is the smallest 5+2, ergo seven-seater, on the market is perhaps better thought of as a five-seater with a huge boot. It retains the same wheelbase as the 500L, but length grows by 205mm.
But those seeking the cutesy looks of the common-or-garden 500 will be slightly disappointed - the MPW, which standards for Multi Purpose Wagon - looks ungainly from most angles. Nevertheless, the high roofline and big glasshouse makes for a spacious cabin.
The model tested here is the largest of two engines. The 118bhp 1.6-litre Multijet, which by far develops the most torque, is joined by a 94bhp 1.3 Multijet, which is also available with Fiat's robotised manual 'box. On paper, the big diesel looks like the best all-round drive.
Headline economy figures are around the class norm: with the 1.6-litre Multijet capable of 112g/km and 67.3mpg, while the smaller 1.3-litre oilburner can manage 107g/km and 68.9mpg. While the purchase cost of this Pop Star variant (the lower of two trims) puts it in direct competition with the far larger seven-seat Ford Grand Tourneo Connect.
Moving on to trim levels, there are two to adorn your 500L MPW with - Pop Star and Lounge. The entry-level trim, as worn by our test car, comes with 16in alloy wheels, hill start assist, cruise control, rear parking sensors and front electric windows as standard, while inside there is air conditioning, a leather clad steering wheel and Fiat's Uconnect infotainment system complete with a 5in touchscreen display, DAB radio and Bluetooth.
Upgrading to the range-topping Lounge models adds automatic wipers and lights, electric sunroof, rear picnic tables and dual-zone climate control to help complete the mini-MPW equipment list.
The Fiat 500L MPW lacks the innovative storage spaces of the class best, but there’s a stylish logic to the cabin. The middle row of seats fold and tumble in one movement and the jump seats in the boot fold out by pulling a simple strap. Once in place, the seats are really only suitable for kids; an adult could probably ride side-saddle for a short journey.
Better is headroom in the front and better still is legroom in the back. The cabin feels bigger than it really is, and its narrowness comes as a shock when looking across to the passenger side mirror – it is mounted far closer than you’d expect.