posted 6 years ago

UK Launch: Fiat 500L Trekking

Fiat Adds Trekking to L Range

The Fiat 500 has gone onto bigger things, quite literally. The 500L launched as a bigger version of the 500 and although it lost the appeal of the original size, it has proved quite popular too. So as with the Fiat Panda and Qubo, Trekking is now added to the 500L. The UK launch took place at Longleat Safari Park, an ideal location to put the cat among the pigeons, or in this case, the 500L Trekking among the lions.

Fiat 500L Trekking Exterior Design

Fiat have taken the 500L and added their crossover bits to make it into an even quirkier looking car. Bumpers with a protective shield, diamond finished alloy wheels, satin handles and brushed steel side panels make it look ready for rough terrain and with an extra 10% of ground clearance, it’s not likely to hit anything. As standard are mud and snow tyres, so knowing how unpredictable UK weather is they are ideal. Available in seven different body colours, with names such as Beatbox Green and Hip Hop Yellow, they can be combined to make seventeen colour combinations. A nice quirky feature to making the car stand out on the roads.

Fiat 500L Trekking Interior

One thing you notice about the 500L Trekking is how spacious it is. There is bundles of space and a huge amount of head room. The interior is quirky, seats are extremely comfortable thanks to their black fabric. Only thing I didn’t like was the white ‘eco’ leather that was on the seats and interior trim. It looked tacky and is something that would get very dirty. White plastic also adorns the dash and an easy to use centre console. Standard equipment is really good on the Fiat 500L and includes cruise control, a 5” touchscreen radio with Bluetooth that operates the Uconnet ‘infotainment’ system, air-conditioning, 17” alloy wheels, rear parking sensors and dark tinted windows.

Seats fold down to offer more boot space should you need it with the Fiat fold&tumble system. This will fold them down onto themselves to provide a flat load platform across the entire length of the car. A practical ‘Cargo Magic Space’ lets you separate objects in the boot ideal for those days out in muddy fields.

Fiat 500L Trekking Adds Traction+

Now the 500L isn’t the most fun to drive, shame as the 500 is. Aimed at families they’re looking at something practical, not at whether you can throw it around corners at speed. What comes as standard on the Fiat 500L Trekking is Traction+. The weather can be so unpredictable at times in the UK and back in January when the country was covered in snow and struggling just to get to the shops, this is where the 500L Trekking would have been in its element. A simple button will assist you driving over tricky surfaces by powering the wheels that have better grip and braking spinning wheels. It turns it into being as good as a four-wheel drive and a lot more practical than a two-wheel.

Fiat 500L Trekking Engines

The 1.6 MultiJet turbodiesel we drove produces 105bhp, but lacks grunt which makes it feel like hard work when going uphill. The 6-speed manual does have a top speed of 109 mph, but it’s in the fuel economy stakes that it is a hit. It has a combined 60.1mpg and produces just 122g/km which places it in the D tax band, so costs just over £100 a year in road tax.

The entry level petrol version is the 1.4 Fire which with a maximum 95bhp and 149g/km still gives good performance, although the 0.9 TwinAir Turbo engine also has Start&Stop technology helping to lower CO2 emissions further.

Fiat 500L Trekking City Brake Control

Another system as standard on the car is City Brake Control. Now we’ve all been there approaching a roundabout, not looking what the car in front is doing but at what traffic on the roundabout is and then driving forward and slamming on the brakes to avoid hitting the car that is still hesitating in front. City Brake Control uses a sensor to detect obstacles in front and will then automatically brake. We tried it out on the launch and although you want to hit the brakes because you can see the object approaching, when it does stop it’s impressive how close it gets without hitting anything.

Fiat 500L Trekking Pricing

The entry level Fiat 500L Trekking 1.4 FIRE will cost £17,095 rising to £19,490 for the 1.6 MultiJet. Options such as an electric sunroof will cost £950 and Bicolour body colour with White or Black roof will cost an extra £850. The Fiat 500L will get larger soon with their MPW - a Multi Purpose Wagon. Their five-plus-two will launch later on this year.