LARGE Fiats haven’t always been a popular choice with company car drivers, but here’s one that might buck the trend.
The trick? Producing a big Fiat that plugs into the success of the company’s most successful small car, the 500, by adopting as much of its looks and style as possible.
The new 500L – the L stands for Large, by the way – follows the path already successfully trodden by BMW when it produced the much bigger Countryman version of the MINI.
Fiat says the five-door Fiat 500L is longer than a Punto and as wide as a Bravo, and its roomy interior certainly offers plenty of practical space for passengers and their luggage. It also has a 5-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating in its favour.
Where it could really score over the MINI Countryman, though, is on price and value. The Fiat 500L starts at £14,990 – that’s for cars with the 1.4-litre petrol engine and the entry level Pop Star or Easy trims, with all 500Ls getting a five-inch touchscreen radio, Bluetooth, six airbags, ESP stability programme, cruise control and a leather gearknob and steering wheel.
The Pop Star also gets a body-coloured dashboard, alloy wheels and side door mouldings, while Easy gets rear parking sensors, a soft-touch dashboard and electric rear windows instead. At the top of the range, cars with Lounge trim have climate control, 16-inch alloys, side mouldings, rear parking sensors, electric rear windows, a large fixed glass roof, light sensor, rain sensor, front fog lamps and a rear armrest. There’s also a long list of personalisation options, including a Lavazza-branded on-board coffee making machine.