Fiat has launched the 500L small MPV in the United States, with the first cars to arrive in dealerships this June. Priced from $19,100 (equal to €14,790), excluding an $800 destination charge, the 500L will be available with four equipment lines – the base 500L Pop, 500L Easy, 500L Trekking and 500L Lounge.
Sporting a similar style to the much smaller 500, the "L" model adds two extra doors and room inside for five passengers. Fiat says the 500L offers 42 percent extra interior space, but that’s pretty obvious for anyone looking at the two models put side by side: besides the name and the related styling, they are very different cars.
In the U.S., the 500L will be available with a 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine good for 160 horsepower and mated to a standard six-speed transmission or an optional six-speed auto. The base 500L Pop model comes equipped with the manual and has standard features such as air conditioning, power lock and windows, cruise control, body-color instrument panel, Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) with trip computer, miles-to-empty, average fuel economy and tire-pressure monitoring (TPM) display, steering wheel controls, 60/50 split-fold rear seatbacks, among others.
Additional equipment includes the Uconnect 5.0 with 5-inch touchscreen display, radio voice commands, handsfree phone, Bluetooth-audio streaming, text message reader, personalization settings and media hub (USB and auxiliary ports) for seamless integration of portable devices.
Safety features include seven airbags, electronic stability control (ESC) with Hill-start Assist, vehicle theft security alarm, reactive front head restraints and child seat anchor system.
Starting at $20,195, the 500L Easy model adds standard 16-inch aluminum wheels, front-seat center console with armrest, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob with chrome accent and a six speaker Fiat premium audio system with 520-watt amplifier.
The Fiat 500L Trekking brings a crossover appearance to the car with aggressively designed two-piece front and rear fascias with graphite inserts, fog lamps, door handles and unique lower front- and rear-fascia accents, among others. It also features larger 17-inch aluminum wheels, while on the inside it has a painted instrument panel bezel and a unique two-tone Nero/Marrone (black/brown) interior environment. The 500L Trekking costs $21,195.
Finally, the Fiat 500L Lounge (starting from $24,195) is fitted as standard with a Twin Clutch six-speed transmission, vinyl-wrapped instrument panel available in two colors, heated leather front seats with power four-way adjust, two-way power driver’s side lumbar, integrated armrest with cup holders, automatic dual-zone climate control and auto-dimming rear-view mirror with compass.
It's worth mentioning that for the upper three trim levels in the first year of production, Fiat will offer a no-charge Premier Package with ParkSense rear-park assist, ParkView rear back-up camera and Uconnect 6.5 with a larger 6.5-inch touchscreen and navigation.
By Dan Mihalascu