FIAT appeared in the US market in 2011 with their FIAT 500 and 500c models. A year later the much anticipated 500 Abarth arrived on the scene. While more and more FIATs can be seen zipping down the road, initial sales have been slightly disappointing. While many consumers have interest in the Italian flair that FIAT offers, and/or purchasing a fuel efficient car, they may be turning towards vehicles that are slightly larger – whether they need the space for a family, cargo, or co-workers in a daily commute. FIAT has answered that need with a brand new model that is due to arrive in showrooms in summer 2013. The 2014 FIAT 500L model recently debuted at this year’s LA Auto Show. The ‘L’ stands for Large, and FIAT knows this will be an important model for their success in the North American market.
This FIAT model will be the first to have five doors. The automaker claims its daily functionality will be increased, but also promises the trademark ‘Italian Flair’ will still be present. With a increase in headroom and legroom, Fold & Tumble seat capabilities, and room for five occupant, this FIAT will be able to handle a small family’s needs. Another aspect to the 500L that may draw buyers is its focus on safety, including an airbag system to offer unique protection for its passengers. The airbags that come standard include driver and front-passenger advanced multistage airbags, driver’s knee airbag, full-length side-curtain airbags and standard seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax airbags.
For those concerned about having to deal with a mopy car, regardless of its style or design, the FIAT 500L is built to perform. It is driven by a 1.4L MultiAir Turbo engine that will put off 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft torque. The 500L can be equipped with either a six-speed manual or six-speed Dual Dry Clutch Transmission (DDCT). With the 500L’s Turbo engine’s high-performance transmission and driveline you are sure to achieve full-throttle enjoyment.
After checking out current FIAT models at Philadelphia’s top FIAT store, Reedman-Toll, it seems as though this brand, with its unique style and fuel efficient ability, has the potential to be a success. We are looking forward to seeing this new FIAT on the road, and it will be interesting to see if American consumers are drawn toward its new architecture which gives more cabin space, more doors, more room for passengers, and, one would think, the potential for more fun. If you are the type that likes a customizable car, then the 500L should please. It will be available in eleven exterior paint colors and have the availability of a stylish roof in body-color, Nero (black) or Bianco (white). A large sunroof with sunshade is also available; dual-glass panels create an airy, roomy and scenic passenger compartment. Details like the bulging fenders and a wraparound windshield add some zip to the exterior design.