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Fiat 500L

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5/10

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Road Test

Fiat 500L 1.6 Multijet Trekking Driven

Driven January 2014

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Let's imagine you're interested in buying a 500L. If this is the case, there is no reason not to choose the Trekking version over the standard car. Its increased ride height and special traction electronics can only improve the package, and though the standard mud and snow tyres do add to cabin noise on the motorway, no owner will be complaining about grumbly tyres when they're the only ones in their street able to find grip during the inevitable snow storms this winter.

Which is great news. Particularly for city dwellers who like the whole not-4WD-but-still-has-chunky-bumpers-and-a-higher-seating-position thing. But... the 500 this behemoth takes its name from is not a large car. It's a cute, little, city runabout. The 500L is a bus. Quite literally. I have had the fortune to drive a bus, and driving the 500L feels exactly the same as driving a double-decker.

There are other, better, less National Express ways to transport your family. The Skoda Yeti, for example, which is roomy, good to drive and costs from £18,095. Or, if you must have a car that feels like a bus, how about a Doblo? That's better value still at £15,860.

Esther Neve

Verdict: Retains none of the charm of the 500 - it looks and feels like a bus. Fidgety ride plus noisy tyres and engine lose it points, too.

Stats: 1598cc, 4cyl diesel, FWD, 104bhp, 236lb ft, 60.1mpg, 122g/km CO2, 0-62mph in 12.0secs, 109mph, 1365kg, £19,590

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