News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Z_CNHI News Service

October 21, 2013

Fiat 500L adds space, practicality to fun Italian design

This is a car that can't be judged by the pictures.

If you haven't seen it in person, you might assume the Fiat 500L is an ever-so-slightly larger version of the Fiat 500, the cute, lovable Italian car that's one of the smallest vehicles on the road.

But that one letter makes a huge difference.

The 500L is not only a whole lot bigger than the 500 — six inches wider, six inches higher and a whopping 27 inches longer — but it drives like a dramatically different vehicle, more like a van than a car.

Part of that feeling comes from the sheer amount of volume inside. The 500L has 42 percent more interior space than the ordinary 500, enough to be classified as a "large car" according to the federal government, yet its styling makes it look deceptively small. It has the same adorable puppy-dog face as its compact sibling.

The bigger size makes it eminently more practical, starting with the fact that the 500L actually has back doors, unlike the two-door 500. The extra width and height makes the cabin feel spacious and airy, and the extra length gives it a surprising amount of cargo space — enough for Fiat to claim best-in-class honors.

The downside of all that space is that the 500L loses some of the driving fun of the 500, which is one of its best attributes. With a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, the 500L is not quite as zippy as the 500 because of its added heft and size. 

Still, by large-car standards, it's fun to drive, with a firm, very European-feeling suspension that nicely transmits texture from the road. 

Fiat could do a couple of things to improve it. One is shorten the throw of its manual transmission, which feels a bit long and truck-like for an Italian car. The other is to tighten up the feel of some of its dials on the dash, a picky thing that some of its competitors do a better job of.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Z_CNHI News Service
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced.
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity