Earlier this month I was invited to try out the new 500L form Fiat. In a time where choosing a car is one of the most important decisions made by a family, I wanted to see for myself just how suitable it would be for younger families.
Before getting into my experience with the car, let’s get some of the facts down on the page:
- Not just a range, but three separate identities to cover all needs: Urban, Cross and Wagon
- The 500L options feature flexible internal configuration, enabling customers to create up to 1,500 internal customisations
- 40% of all components are new
- Boot volume with the rear seat in the forward position is 455 litres for the Urban and Cross models. The boot on the Wagon offers up to 493 litres
I’m that annoying passenger nobody wants as I’m quite fussy, especially on long journeys. I like to be able to spread a little, be comfortable and be able to access Lily if needed. The 500L impressed me. There is enough room in the back for car seats and to still be able to manoeuvre easily. The same again can be said about the front, plenty of room and on a long journey, it would be easy to relax into it. I feel like even though I could reach round to the back seats, it wasn’t swift or comfortable. I’m quite a relaxed parent but when we’re travelling, I like to be able to get to Lily in the case of an emergency.
I’m a nervous driver. It takes me a while to get used to a car and its features. I bought my current car back in May and I’d say it’s only the past month or so I’ve felt 100% okay in it. The 500L, I LOVED it after about 10mins. The size of it felt strange at first. For me, it’s a larger car then I’m used to a sitter higher up felt odd, but after a while, I stopped noticing.
The 500L has received 5 stars from Euro NCAP. Breaking it down, in relation to adult occupants it received a high score of 94%, Children 78% and safety features scored 71%. The panel’s comments in relation to child safety were “Both the 3 year and 1½ year dummies were sat in rearward-facing restraints and, in the frontal impact, the heads of both dummies were well contained by the protective shells.” Examining the car, there are clear ISOFIX points on the back seats which I find really helpful. In older cars, it can be a pain to find them under the seat cushion but the Fiat 500L has them clearly displayed. The car also has top tether points installed which really opens up the choices available to you when purchasing car seats.
As always, when buying a car seat, get it fitted in the car to see how it works and if it’s compatible.
Looking back on my experience of the test drive, I’d say this car is great for all families. It has a lot of storage room in the boot which we all know is essential for pushchairs, changing bags and all the other junk that comes along with family outings. Most of all though, I felt safe in the car. When i’m in the car, I like to feel safe because if I feel safe, I feel Lily is safe.