5-door Fiat 500L to be released in North America
By Dave LeClair
November 29, 2012
The 5-door Fiat 500L was first revealed back in February of this year, and now we're finally seeing more of the plus-sized version of Fiat's popular 500. The 500L made its U.S. debut this week at the LA Auto Show, which coincided with Fiat's announcement that the vehicle will be available in North America as of the middle of next year. The automaker also released more details about exactly what the larger version brings to the table.
The L in its name stands for large, and Fiat has announced exactly how much larger the new version is. It comes with 26 inches (66 cm) more length, and six inches (15 cm) more height and width. Overall, the car adds 42 percent more interior space. It's designed to comfortably seat five people.
The 500L comes with a 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine that boasts 160 horsepower. Comparatively, the Mini Cooper Countryman S comes with a 1.6L turbocharged engine pushing 181 horsepower. In terms of engine size to power, that puts the Fiat in a good position. There are two 6-speed transmission offerings, the first of which is a manual, and the second of which is a dual dry clutch transmission.
Fiat also used the auto show to premiere the Trekking version of the 500L, which shakes things up on the exterior and offers a more rugged look. It adds 17-inch wheels, a different front and rear fascia, and flared wheel arches. On the inside, it comes with a two-tone interior, designed to change the look up a bit from the standard 500L. The Trekking also gets the choice of a 5-inch or 6.5-inch Uconnect system installed, which includes a touchscreen interface, hands-free calling, and Bluetooth-streaming audio.
Fiat hasn't revealed pricing for the 500L and 500L Trekking, but did state that the new models will reach North America some time in mid-2013.