Fleet News

First Drive: Fiat 500L 1.6 M-Jet Lounge

Fiat
BIK List Price
£18,835
Fiat 500L BIK list price
BIK Percentage
17%
Fiat 500L BIK Percent
CO2
117g/km
Fiat 500L CO2
Combined MPG
62.8
Fiat 500L MPG

Review

Take a look at Fiat’s sales figures and you’d be forgiven for thinking the hugely successful 500 is the only car the company sells, at least in the UK.

The small-but-practical Panda was revised last year and it’s too soon in its life to make much on an impression in volume. Fiat no longer sells a large car or a people carrier in the UK. The Punto is nearing the end of its life

But the 500 has been an immense success, which is why Fiat must have been nervous of choosing a name for its latest new model.

The 500L is being marketed as a larger version of the 500. It is, of course, no such thing. It is longer than the Punto and uses a new small car platform. It would make a good rival in terms of size to cars like the Kia Venga, Nissan Note and Ford B-Max.

However, by giving the car the 500 name and drawing on some of the smaller car’s appeal (and perhaps heritage given it has been on sale for six years) it can aim to attract style-conscious drivers for whom the normal size 500 is too small.

It means Fiat is also aiming to steal sales from Mini – for drivers of the Clubman or Countryman – and the Kia Soul.

The 500L is an attractive car, and looks part of the 500 family. It comes with a range of mostly fuel-efficient engines, including the two-cylinder turbocharged TwinAir engine (developing 105bhp in the 500L) and a choice of 1.3-litre and 1.6-litre diesels.

We tried the 1.6 diesel which offers a lively 105bhp and in the high-specification Lounge equipment grade. It delivers 62.8mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 117g/km. The 500L does have a more upmarket feel than a typical small car, helped by the option of colour co-ordinated interior and low noise intrusion.

Like the small 500 there’s a wide range of customization and options, and the 500L is the first cat to offer an on-board Lavazza coffee maker as a factory option. A gimmick? Maybe.

But the 500L is a well-rounded product and gives Fiat another small car weapon with which to go into battle in the fleet sector, but leaves you wondering why it seemingly can’t apply this knack for decent small cars to anything larger.

CO2 emissions
CO2 emissions of 117g/km seem a little high for a 105bhp 1.6-litre diesel launched in 2013, and the 500L is in danger of being left behind very quickly as newer rivals come to market.
Fuel costs
Official combined cycle figure of 62.8mpg seems fine subjectively, but when you consider there are now some executive cars that can achieve this, it looks like the 500L isn't trying hard enough.
Residual values
Some of the original Fiat 500's popularity seems to have rubbed off on the 500L with strong residual value predictions.
Running costs
Strong residual values should offset any small disadvantage in fuel costs, so the 500L should offer low overall running costs.
Driver appeal
A practical shape and an appealing design will make the 500L a bit more attractive to drivers than some other small cars.
FN Verdict
The 500L doesn't particularly excel in any area, but it's an appealing practical compact car that might allow some people to downsize from the medium sector into something cheaper to run.
Top Speed
112mph
Fiat 500L Top Speed
VED band
N/A
Fiat 500L Ved
Fuel Type
Diesel
Fiat 500L Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : £6,800
4 Year 80k : £5,650
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : 33.64
4 Year 80k : 30.79

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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