Our cars: Fiat 500L - February

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  • After 10 months and more than 9000 miles, we say goodbye to the Fiat 500L

    After 10 months and more than 9000 miles, we say goodbye to the Fiat 500L

  • Our 500L's alloy is now as good as new, and the door's been fixed, too

    Our 500L's alloy is now as good as new, and the door's been fixed, too

  • Driver's door locking issue diagnosed by our local dealer. Great service, and parts now on order

    Driver's door locking issue diagnosed by our local dealer. Great service, and parts now on order

  • A huge wheelbarrow fitted into our 500L's 1310-litre load bay without much fuss

    A huge wheelbarrow fitted into our 500L's 1310-litre load bay without much fuss

  • Door locking problem previously identified has returned, so a trip to the dealer could be on the cards

    Door locking problem previously identified has returned, so a trip to the dealer could be on the cards

  • Built-in Lavazza coffee maker is a £200 option, but it's not officially available as a retro-fit

    Built-in Lavazza coffee maker is a £200 option, but it's not officially available as a retro-fit

  • Mel's driven the trendy 'Beats' edition of the 500L. But does she prefer it over the standard car?

    Mel's driven the trendy 'Beats' edition of the 500L. But does she prefer it over the standard car?

  • The 500L stood out in our car park for Paul Garlick - but not because he likes the looks

    The 500L stood out in our car park for Paul Garlick - but not because he likes the looks

  • Diamond-cut finish on alloy looks great, but kerb damage can't be repaired by a mobile technician

    Diamond-cut finish on alloy looks great, but kerb damage can't be repaired by a mobile technician

  • Mel's new phone is now recognised by the Fiat, meaning she can make the most of the Uconnect system

    Mel's new phone is now recognised by the Fiat, meaning she can make the most of the Uconnect system

  • The alloys have unfortunately suffered from some damage

    The alloys have unfortunately suffered from some damage

  • The 500L's stop-start system seemed to struggle in the colder weather

    The 500L's stop-start system seemed to struggle in the colder weather

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Fiat 500L 1.6 Multijet 105 Pop Star

Read the full Fiat 500L review

Week ending February 28
Mileage 8310
Driven this week 102 miles

Our 500L long-termer is nearing the final three months of its year-long stay with us, and one thing I haven’t experienced yet is the delight of fresh coffee on the move, courtesy of the Fiat.

Yes, the 500L offers the option of having your very own built-in Lavazza coffee maker, which, to me, as a confessed bean-to-cup junkie, makes perfect sense. It sits in the place the storage bin would normally occupy between the two front seats, so I could easily sacrifice this space for my daily caffeine hit.

The coffee maker costs £200, too; although this may sound a bit on the steep side, if you buy, say, a £2 latte every day, in around four months you would’ve broken even.

However, there is just one snag: apparently the coffee maker can only be fitted when you first spec the car, so isn’t officially available as a retro-fit option.

I’m currently trying to find a way around this, so here’s hoping I can get coffee in my car soon.

By Melanie Falconer
Melanie.Falconer@whatcar.com

Read the full Fiat 500L review

Week ending February 14
Mileage 8208
Driven this week 65 miles

I’ve been driving other 500Ls this week, while my one has been languishing in business parking at Heathrow.

I’ve sampled the new ‘Beats Edition’ 500L, which, as the name suggests, is a tie-up by Fiat with the popular audio brand Beats by Dr. Dre. I’m already familiar with Beats, as I have a pair of their headphones; the new seven-speaker 520W system, complete with sub-woofer, is pretty impressive. It’s plenty loud enough, but manages to produce a fairly balanced, yet admittedly bass-laden sound throughout the cabin. It’s certainly much better than the standard system in my car.

This new 500L Beats Edition is based on the Trekking version, and is also available with two new engines: a 1.6 Multijet turbo-diesel plus a 1.4 petrol, both producing 118bhp.

Having driven both of them, I still prefer the diesel motor: the extra power (118bhp compared with 104bhp for the diesel motor in my 500L) is nice to have.

Prices are yet to be announced, but the new version is expected on sale mid March.

By Melanie Falconer
Melanie.Falconer@whatcar.com

Read the full Fiat 500L review

Week ending February 7
Mileage 8143
Driven this week 123 miles

It's not often I get to try family cars for Pistonheads, so I was keen to sample a car that had stood out to me in the What Car? car park, even if it was for all the wrong reasons. The way the 500L looks is, erm, challenging, more in a Ssangyong Rodius way as opposed to the quirky cool of an early Fiat Multipla.

However, I wanted to have a go in the L as the normal 500 is a car I admire. It wasn't a good start; the diesel engine was louder than that found in the latest Ford Transit, but I headed home in the dark, struggling hard to read dials, while manhandling the gearknob that's apparently been lifted from a Scania truck.

The return journey was a revelation. I could appreciate the great dashboard design (and the dials are more visible in daylight), the traffic was lighter and I realised that the noisy diesel was actually quite sprightly.

Sadly, the light meant I could see the 500L’s embossed seats, but the space inside wasn't to be sniffed at and I guess the car is reasonable transport for the average family. I got to the office with a changed heart, but as I stepped out I was reminded of how the 500L looked and wished I'd taken a Ford instead.

By Paul Garlick

Our cars: Fiat 500L - January

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