Dash is well arranged and the driver sits comfortably
The 500L’s upright stance might not be for everyone, but it does ensure a comfortable upright driving position for the driver. Also helping is plenty of steering wheel adjustment, as well as lots of manual adjustment for the driver’s seat, including standard height adjustment. That said, you have to pay extra for lumbar adjustment on all models.
The seats themselves are relatively comfortable, though, and the pedals line up nicely with the driver’s seat, so you aren’t forced to sit at an awkward angle. The dash has been sensibly designed and nothing is set frustratingly far away from the driver.
Fiat 500L visibility
Large windows ensure a decent view front and back
Another advantage of the 500L’s tall stance is its good visibility. Tall windows and thin pillars on all sides mean the view forwards is extremely good, while looking over the should reveals a similarly clear line of sight. It’s the same story through the side windows for easier judgment of roundabouts and junctions.
Unfortunately, though, the 500L doesn’t get rear parking sensors as standard until you get to expensive Lounge trim. Entry-level Pop trim can’t have them added at all, while Pop Star cars can have them added as an option. A rear-view camera is optional on the top trims, but not on Pop
Fiat 500L infotainment
Touchscreen system is one of the less easy to use
Entry-level Pop 500Ls come with the most basic system of the range. It consists of a CD player slot, below which sits an orange-on-black monochrome screen underlined by buttons. Either side of the screen sit the menu and shortcut buttons. It’s a simple system that takes seconds to get to grips with.
Pop Star and Lounge models then add a 5.0in touchscreen system with Bluetooth phone connection as standard. For an extra cost, DAB radio and sat-nav can be added. It’s a reasonably responsive screen, but bright sunny days will mean the screen glare stops you seeing everything as clearly as you’d like.
Even so, the shortcut buttons are sensible and well placed and navigating through the menus is easy. Most of the major functions are accessed quickly and connecting your phone takes less than a minute. A USB socket comes with the 5.0in screen for charging your mobile and playing music by wire.
Fiat 500L build quality
Some soft-touch areas, but the doors and dash top aren’t great
The 500L’s dashboard has chunky switchgear, nice bright colours including the large front section, and colour that continues on the door trims on more expensive models.
The trouble is, aside from the soft-touch front section, the plastics on the top and bottom of the dash feel cheap, while the switchgear doesn’t feel as substantial as the best rivals’. Entry-level models miss out on a leather steering wheel, which doesn’t help matters.