Fiat has updated the 500L, but, in spite of some tweaks to the lights (new chrome highlights on the headlights, new LED daytime running lights similar to those seen on the 500 hatchback and which are meant to remind you of the double-0 in 500), new bumpers, new chrome elements front and rear and new colour options (Bellagio Blue, Sicilian Orange and Donatello Bronze, if you were wondering), the 500L looks much as it did before.
Fiat says that the interior is 'completely new', which is odd, because it looks pretty much the same, aside from some new trim elements. What is new is the three-gauge instrument cluster, which, like the 500X, now has two analogue dials flanking a central digital display. The gear lever is also new, repositioned and a little higher to make it easier to grab, while the updated seven-inch Uconnect touch screen (it's one of the best and slickest touchscreens around) now comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and is standard on Lounge spec models. It can also be had with live news, petrol costs, parking, traffic and more connectivity options, as well as streaming radio and Google Play Store access, which should help you make the most of the optional Beats 520-watt stereo.
On the safety front, there's an updated autonomous emergency braking system that works at speeds below 30km/h, as well as an updated parking camera that is said to have better performance in low-light conditions.
As before, there are three distinct versions of the 500L - the standard car, which can now be had in new 'Urban' and 'Business' trims in addition to the usual Pop, Pop Star, and Lounge editions; the Cross (neé Trekking), which gets some stick-on plastic padding to give it a vaguely off-roader-y look, a suspension lift of 25mm and a three-mode traction control selector that allows you to choose between Normal, Traction+ and Gravity Control (which is Fiat's term for hill descent).
Finally, there's the Wagon (neé MPW), which gets even more distended looks, but does compensate with the option of seven seats, or a five-seat model with an enormous boot (up to 638 litres depending on how far forward you slide the rear seats).
The engine line-up is pretty much unchanged, with a base 95hp 1.4-litre petrol, a 120hp T-Jet petrol turbo and a 105hp two-cylinder turbo petrol MultiAir. Diesel options are the venerable 95hp 1.3-litre and 120hp 1.6-litre MultiJet engines.
Sales of the new 500L will start in the summer.
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