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Fiat 500L Cross

CROSS PURPOSES (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

The Fiat 500L MPV dons a pair of hiking boots in its more aggressively-styled 'Cross' guise. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 55

Customers like the practicality of small MPV People Carriers but sales in this category are falling because small SUVs are more charismatic. So what if you could produce a little MPV with the charisma of a little SUV? That's the thinking behind Fiat's much improved 500L, especially in the case of the SUV-like 'Cross' variant.

Backgroundword count: 140

Is there still a place for the Fiat 500L in this changing market? The Italian brand thinks there is. To prove the point, the company thoroughly updated this car in mid-2017, changing 40% of all its components and in the process, creating the much improved model we're going to look at here. The previously rather awkward looks now have more in common with the 500 citycar, media connectivity's taken a step forward and the cabin is of much higher quality. Just as importantly, this model now has three distinct identities: the standard 'Urban' version; the mid-range 'City Cross' model; and this top 'Cross' variant. Lots of options then, for a compact People Carrier that aims to bring a welcome dash of fashion to family motoring, a car that Fiat says you can be passionately practical about. Let's check it out.

Driving Experienceword count: 256

There's no off road gadgetry to give the 500L Cross any off-tarmac prowess, but buyers to get a 'High ride' suspension that takes you a little further off the deck, which might be helpful in muddy car parks. As with the standard model, you get an urban confidence with the 500L, something encouraged by the light lock-to-lock steering. It's a car you might enjoy on the school run, if not quite so much pushing on beyond the city limits. Unfortunately, only one engine is now on offer, a 95bhp petrol 1.4 that's one of Fiat's older efforts and which, thanks to limited pulling power, doesn't really feel as fast as the performance stats suggest (rest to 62mph in 12.8s on the way to 111mph). Beyond town tarmac, the 500L feels a little out of its comfort zone. Here, you might wish that the steering offered you a little more feedback and that there was a bit less body roll through the bends. That probably won't bother most likely owners too much but on longer trips, they might wish that the issue of refinement had been slightly more thoroughly addressed. We highlighted this when we first tested this car back in 2012 and nothing's been done to improve things since, which is a touch disappointing. It isn't something you really notice at lower speeds, but when you're pushing or are cruising at or around the legal limit on the highway, there's simply more road and wind noise than you'd normally expect from a car of this kind.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-62 mph (s):

11.3

15.1

Boot capacity min (litres):

343

Boot capacity max (litres):

1310

Combined mpg:

45.6

70.6

CO2 (g/km):

105

145

Extra urban mpg:

56.5

76.3

... and 8 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: MPV People Carriers

Performance
50%
Handling
50%
Comfort
50%
Space
80%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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