Earlier this week, a manufacturer-plated Fiat 500L was spotted roaming suburban Detroit. Its resemblance to its three-door cousin is very obvious, despite the liberal camouflage, because of its round headlights and cheerful grill.
Although the 500L and smaller 500 models have the same styling cues, the five-door hatchback is not just a stretched version of its cousin. The car is based on a widened version of the subcompact Fiat Punto. The car manufacturer plans to use the Punto platform to expand the 500’s range in Europe.
Fiat 500L: Hitting the Road Soon
After making an appearance at this year’s Geneva Auto Show, the Italian automaker has confirmed that the vehicle is coming. The “L” stands for lungo, which means large in Italian, and the Fiat 500L definitely lives up to its moniker. It offers two more doors and an additional seat for a fifth passenger than the regular 500 hardtop.
The car’s spec dimensions for the United States have not been available yet, but the European variant will be 163 inches long, 70.1 inches wide, and 65.4 inches tall. Because of that, the cargo room is expected to increase compared to the 10-cubic feet of space available in the back seat of its Fiat 500 cousin.
Although the vehicle doesn’t look that attractive, the bulging fenders and the wraparound windshield add some zest to it. While the enormous front quarter windows are somewhat debatable, the big black bumper on the front end and the big chunky plastic trim on the doors and rear end have added to the crossover appeal of the Fiat 500L.
Talking about crossovers, the 500L will be a front-wheel drive. However, it is still expected that an all-wheel-drive option that is adapted from the Fiat Panda will be available eventually.
There is also a scarcity of engine details, although the 500’s 101-horsepower, 1.4-liter four-cylinder is most likely to power the car. However, a 160-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder from the 500 Abarth would be a nice alternative. Meanwhile, the European 500L will get a TwinAir 2-cylinder and 1.3-liter turbo diesel as an option.
Both the five-seat and seven-seat variants of the vehicle will arrive in the European markets this summer. The American consumers, on the other hand, will have a chance to purchase the Fiat 500L’s five-seat variant when it arrives early next year.
The US sales of the Fiat 500 have been disappointing—that’s why a bigger and more practical 500L is integral to Fiat’s American lineup. However, the car brings to mind a host of European vehicles that the company has tried to import through the years even though they didn’t suit the American buyer’s aesthetics. This means that, because of its looks, the vehicle’s sales are likely to disappoint its manufacturer in the future.