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In-depth reviews

Fiat 500L MPV (2013-2021) - Engines, drive & performance

Fiat 500L has one lethargic petrol engine and the car isn’t much fun to drive

Carbuyer Rating

2.5 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.9 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

2.0 out of 5

The Fiat 500L is based on the Fiat Punto – a car no longer available that was long past its sell-by date. This becomes evident the first time you tackle a corner at speed. Its steering is both very light and almost completely devoid of feel, which makes it difficult to judge how much grip the front tyres have and how quickly you can safely go around a corner.

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Not that there’s much to encourage fast cornering. You sit quite high up in the 500L and there’s plenty of body lean – both of which conspire to make it feel more like an SUV than an MPV. A fun driving experience might not be a top priority for people buying a small MPV, but when some rivals can put a smile on your face, it’s a shame the Fiat can’t, too.

Fiat 500L petrol engines

There’s not much straight-line performance on offer, either, with the standard 94bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine taking a leisurely 13.6 seconds to get from 0-62mph.

One of the later additions to the 500L range was the Cross model. It comes with a raised ride height, a clever traction-control system and special mud tyres that mean it can tackle rough tracks and wintry road conditions, but a lack of four-wheel drive disqualifies it from any serious off-roading.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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