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The Fiat 500: the cute little Italian car that resembles a cannoli? The delicious fried pastry desert, filled with a delicate sweet cream filling and containing mouth-watering ricotta. You know? The Fiat 500 is just like that - cute and delectable.
Fiat’s been cooking up something bigger in the kitchen: making a larger version of their iconic little 500, the 500L. Why, you may ask? Well, the bambino 500 is tiny – and only good for two adults and a bag of apples. The bigger 500L is substantially larger. It has room for five adults and a month’s worth of glossaries. Its boot is highly adaptable too, allowing space for a bicycle if the back seats are retracted. It’s boot is actually 1310 litres of cavernous storage space, to be precise.
There is a downside to the 500L: you now when things are small, they’re cute - like baby shoes or Penelope Cruz. Only to unfortunately lose their adorable characteristics when enlarged. The same can be said for the 500L. Although there’s a loss of form, the bigger proportions do come in handy.
Added to the 500L range is the Trekking model. Designed for those who like adventure in their lives. The Trekking sits 10% higher than the standard model, having a ground clearance of 145mm. Its garnished with worrier armour to ward off any knocks and bumps and comes with a nifty electronic aid - allowing some trekking, called Traction Plus. This system, coupled with it’s all-weather tyres that are fitted to stylish 17’’ rims, allows for more than just pavement hopping, making the Trekking good for less than ideal road conditions and some mud baths.
The 500L Trekking is the top of the range in the 500L line up. It comes with a playful 1.4 turbo charged engine that is quick off its feet. Its driven through a good 6-speed manual gearbox that is only slightly notchy but accompanied with a light clutch action – for easy of driving.
Its cabin is marvellous: it’s bright and light. With a fantastic view over the road and lots of head, knee and shoulder room. The two tone seats and piano black dash bring a charismatic charm to the interior, which is laden with a host of modern luxuries: a 5" touchscreen running the Fiat UConnect multimedia system. Alternatively media resources can be connected by USB port and AUX-IN connector. The system also includes an advanced Bluetooth interface to access extra functions such as phone call management and reading received SMS text messages.
The new 500L's standard equipment includes six airbags, front headlights with DRL (Daytime Running Lights) function and fog lights with the self-adaptive cornering function. The model also comes standard with ABS, BAS (Brake Assist System) and the sophisticated ESC (Electronic Stability Control) that intervenes in driving conditions close to the limit.
The 500L is available from 35 Fiat dealerships nationwide and comes standard with a 3 year / 100 000km warranty and maintenance plan included in the price: from R260 to 320 000 for the Trekking model.
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