Fiat 500L 1.6 Multijet 105 Pop Star
Week ending September 6
Driven this week 120 miles
I first drove the Fiat 500L shortly after the UK launch, but this week was my first opportunity to get behind the wheel since my own long termer - the Renault Captur - arrived on our fleet.
At first glance, the 500L and Captur don't appear to be obvious rivals. The former has a mini MPV stance, while the latter looks more like a micro SUV. But the truth is that both attempt to offer enough space for a young family in the footprint of a supermini. So now I've driven them back-to-back, which car do I prefer?
The most noticeable advantage of the Captur is the level of overall refinement. True, there's a bit of wind noise over the bonnet and wing mirrors at speed, but the engine is hushed unless it's worked hard. However, the Fiat trumps the Renault with its punchy 1.6 diesel. Several colleagues who've borrowed the Captur have commented on its lack of pace, and it does make overtaking slower traffic a ponderous affair.
The Captur is still the more suitable car for me though. It's not got the 500L's turn of speed around town, but the economical engine means it will easily return more than 50mpg on almost every journey. By the looks of the fuel log in the 500L, the same can't be said of the Fiat.