What is it?
No matter how divisive its looks are, the Fiat 500L has been a sales success for Fiat, shifting more than 430,000 units since launching in 2012. However, here in the UK sales have been more stunted than those on the continent. There was great interest in the immediate aftermath of its launch, but the arrival of the 500X crossover slowed sales as customers preferred the more traditional 500-look of the Fiat 500X, as opposed to the bloated 500L.
The 500L has now been facelifted, and although nothing mechanical has changed, Fiat says more than 40% of this model’s components are new. These new bits are mainly styling tweaks, with the car having a redesigned front end – so it bears more resemblance to the 500 city car – and a new interior.
It’s available in three different forms: the 500L Urban is the standard car that will take the biggest chunk of sales, but there’s also a seven-seat 500L Wagon as well as a lightly off-road-styled Fiat 500L Cross, which replaces the old Trekking model. The Urban and Wagon are available in Popstar and Lounge trims, while the Cross comes in one trim only.
We’re driving the 500L Urban with a 1.6-litre diesel engine - the combination that's expected to be the biggest seller in the UK – in range-topping Lounge trim. Official pricing is yet to be confirmed, but it’s expected to stick closely to the outgoing model, which is priced from £15,000 to £22,000.