Forget all of your preconceived ideas of a Fiat 500 being a small car – the Fiat 500L is definitely BIG – in fact at traffic lights I found myself looking some 4×4 and people carrier drivers in the eye!
I have always liked the look of the original Fiat 500 (or new Fiat 500 depending on your point of view!) but I was initially not so keen on its big brother. From the outside it certainly bears only a passing resemblance to its smaller counterpart. It is not just a bigger version of the 500 – it has a completely new look of its own.
The sharp colours and funky, modern interior that I absolutely love are still there though, and the 1.6 diesel version I drove was in a great looking bright red with black and red interior. It also has plenty of room inside and, being four door, it was easy to get in and out of and had plenty of room for my daughter’s school bags, sports kits and hockey stick! The touch screen multimedia system made it easy to tune in the radio and simple to connect my phone and iPod. Apparently I could also have checked my fuel efficiency and even see how I was driving and share this via Facebook and twitter (I am not quite geeky enough for that though!)
Being so much bigger I was expecting it to be heavy and a bit slow – on the contrary, I found it to be quite nippy and the steering was really light. The 1.6 engine made it pretty responsive and it went up through its 6 speed gear box quickly and cleanly.
All in all, this car actually won me over. I am not sure that it can ever replace its iconic little brother but if you like the 500 but need a lot more space, than this could be the one for you.