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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Look at the 2014 Fiat 500L

Here is a quick look at the two Fiat 500L models that were on display at the 2012 LA Auto Show. The cars shown were pre-production models and had a combination of US and Euro specifications so the public was not allowed inside the cars, however, we were able to get a few images of the interior that show some of the versatility of the 500L.

The US spec Fiat 500L features body colored front and rear bumpers replacing the Euro versions black covers. The 1.4L MultiAir turbo engine in the Fiat 500L is the same one used in the Fiat 500 Abarth and is rated at 160hp and 184 lbs.-ft of torque; giving the 500L the most power and torque in its class.

One of the concepts that helped shape the Fiat 500L was to make the car roomy and give the interior a light, airy ambiance. The Fiat 500L boasts the most front seat legroom and headroom in its class and meets EPA Large Car size interior standards.

A shot of the front anterior pillar. This design gives the Fiat 500L almost 360 degrees of all around visibility, contributing to the cars bright interior atmosphere. The pillars also contribute to the enormous structural strength of the Fiat 500L and helped the car achieve a 5 star crash rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests.

The LA Auto Show hosted the world debut of the Fiat 500L Trekking, a rugged urban-utility style vehicle.  Different front and rear fascias, fender flares, trim and wheels turn the 500L Trekking into a real head turner.  Talk is the 500L Trekking will not be at the top of the 500L price range, but more in the middle, so expect the 500L Trekking to make up a significant percentage of 500L sales.

The headlight of the Fiat 500L is a bi-halogen unit and incorporates a side marker light. In Europe, the car has an interesting “Cornering Light” feature. When the headlights are on low beam and the speed is below below 25 mph (40 km/h), if the steering wheel rotation angle is large or the direction indicators are on, a light (incorporated in the fog light) will switch on the appropriate side to improve visibility at night time. We'll see if that feature makes it to the US...

Another view of the Fiat 500L Trekking showing the 17x7 inch wheels and blacked out trim and fender/side skirts.

Besides having a lot of room for passengers, the Fiat 500L also has plenty of storage space for all the papers, pens and paraphernalia that typically accumulates inside a car. The dashboard sports two glove boxes and a package shelf.  The top glove box contains an A/C vent on some models.  Just the thing you need if you like to carry emergency chocolate in the summer!

Front seat armrest is shown along with the hand brake design, which is unique and doesn't take up much room. The center console has the obligatory cup holders front and rear.

The Fiat 500L was designed to be quite versatile.  The rear seats individually adjust for and aft as well as having an adjustable backrest angle. The seats fold forward in two stages.  The first is just the backrest. The second tilts the entire seat unit forward and makes for a very spacious cargo area.

Difficult to see here, but some versions of the Fiat 500L in Europe come with a rear load platform which can be adjusted to three different heights called "Cargo Magic Space", permitting a modular luggage compartment volume.

Much effort has been put into the Fiat 500L to offer cutting edge connectivity but with a user friendly interface. An example is the Uconnect 5.0 system with a five inch touchscreen that provides  handsfree calling and Bluetooth-streaming audio, as well as voice-command control of the radio and a media hub. An optional 6.5 inch touchscreen is also available.

A detail on the Fiat 500L Trekking is the brushed aluminum trim that gives the car a premium look.

The rear door opening on the Fiat 500L is wide to offer easier entrance and exit compared to the MINI Countryman.  The door panel also has a storage area for rear seat passengers.

The above touches on just a few preliminary details on the new Fiat 500L, which will be making its showroom debut in the summer of 2013.  Rest assured, we'll have more on the Fiat 500L going forward throughout the new year.  In the meantime, visit the Fiat 500L forum and join the discussion!


I would like to thank Mark Bisaha, one of the members of the Fiat 500 USA Forum for sharing these images with us.

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