Our cars: Fiat 500L - January

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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 January 31
Mileage 8020
Driven this week 0 miles

The 500L hasn’t turned a wheel this week, because I've been busy driving other cars on the long-term fleet. However, the Fiat has received some attention in the form of a specialist alloy repairer, who came to evaluate the kerbed front passenger wheel, as reported about a couple of weeks ago.

The good news is that it can be repaired; the bad news is that because the wheel has a polished, diamond-cut finish, it can’t be repaired on-site by a mobile technician. Instead, it has to be driven to the workshop for a day to remove the wheel in order to do the repair. The approximate cost quoted so far is around £70, but this may change once the wheel is off the car and they can fully assess the damage.

I am now in the process of getting this arranged – watch this space for pictures of the finished result.

By Melanie Falconer
Melanie.Falconer@whatcar.com

Week ending January 24
Mileage 8020
Driven this week 50 miles

A small triumph this week: I can finally connect my new Nexus 5 phone to the Fiat's Uconnect multimedia system and make calls on the move via Bluetooth.

The reason this is good news is that my previous phone, a Samsung Galaxy S3, was a complete pain to try to pair with the 500L's system. Once connected, the Bluetooth was erratic and dropped calls seemingly on a whim. Nothing I did, either with the phone's settings or the car's menus, seemed to help.

I'm not sure if this was the phone's fault or the Uconnect system, but it was very inconvenient having to wait until I was parked up before being able to return calls missed while driving. Either way, I'm now much happier this issue has resolved itself.

By Melanie Falconer
Melanie.Falconer@whatcar.com

Read the full Fiat 500L review

Week ending January 10
Mileage 7970
Driven this week 51 miles

I’m pleased to report that I am finally back in the 500L’s driving seat a week earlier than planned, after three long months of letting other people drive the Fiat instead.

This means that I have been able to give the 500L a little cleaning TLC at last, which has been revealing in more than one way.

Unfortunately, the front passenger side wheel has sustained some kerb damage in a couple of places (one of the more minor scrapes is shown in the picture above), so I need to get it looked at and repaired as soon as possible.

By Melanie Falconer
Melanie.Falconer@whatcar.com

Week ending January 3
Mileage 7919
Driven this week 221 miles

Just before the Christmas festivities, I finally had the cast removed from my broken leg, so have been busy over the last couple of weeks learning to walk again.

However, I am now counting down the days until January 14, as that’s when I am hoping to be given the all clear to drive again after almost three months. In case you are wondering how the Fiat has mysteriously clocked up the miles, my partner has been very kindly ferrying me around everywhere.

It will be good to get behind the wheel of my Fiat 500L again, but first I need to do more mundane things to it, like give it a thorough wash and adjust the tyre pressures. I simply haven’t been able to do any of this while casted; I did try once, but almost fell over, so the 500L is pretty grimy; what makes it worse is the fact it is white.

I live opposite a pub, too, so some patrons like to lean on my car sometimes, which has resulted in a few dirty scuffs along the passenger wing. They are just surface marks and come away easily enough, but show up, which annoys me. So, it’s plenty of elbow grease and lots of soapy suds required come tomorrow. Wish me luck, especially cleaning the wheels.

By Melanie Falconer
Melanie.Falconer@whatcar.com

Our cars: Fiat 500L - December

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