Review: Fiat 500L MPW (2013 – 2018)
Available with five or seven seats. Lots of space. Diesel comfortable and quiet on the move. Quirky looks.
TwinAir engine not man enough. Third row of seats only suited to children. No fun to drive. Rear suspension too stiff when unladen.
Fiat 500L MPW (2013 – 2018): At A Glance
It was only a matter of time until Fiat cashed in on the success of the 500 with a range of larger models, in much the same way MINI has with its Countryman. The 500L is a larger people carrier model but the largest member of the 500 family is this - the 500L MPW - the only Fiat model with seven seats.
It's a sort of halfway house between an estate car and a family MPV. So it's more or less the same as the 500L, but with a longer overall length and more interior space. Five and seven seat versions are available, both of which come with a practical boot, plenty of interior space, plus some neat touches and Italian quirks - like the option of an in-built espresso machine.
The middle row is impressively spacious, with more than enough legroom for even the tallest adults. Sadly the same can’t be said for the rearmost seats, which are really designed for children. As with most seven seaters, these fold away when you don’t need them, leaving a usefully flat load floor.
The middle row is also mounted on runners, so you can adjust them to balance load space or legroom. Furthermore the boot floor can be set at three different heights plus the middle row can be tumbled forward completely making it one of the most versatile MPVs around. The MPW has a maximum of 400 litres more load volume than the shorter 500L.
Fiat offers four engines from the 900cc TwinAir petrol to the 1.6-litre MultiJet diesel. The latter is really the best choice for those covering big mileages thanks to its useful torque and reasonable fuel economy. The petrols are better for shorter runs and offer enough performance for around town.
Regardless of engine choice the 500L MPW is easy to get to grips with. It’s relaxed and easy to drive, offering a smooth and comfortable ride over most road surfaces. Unfortunately it doesn’t offer the same nimbleness as its smaller brother, but as a family car it’s perfectly competent.
It may not be as well built or as flexible as the larger Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, nor does it offer the same value for money as the likes of a Ford Tourneo Connect, but for those who like the quirky styling there’s enough to praise about the 500L MPW to give it serious consideration – but only if you really need the extra space over a regular 500L.
What does a Fiat 500L MPW (2013 – 2018) cost?
Fiat 500L MPW (2013 – 2018): What's It Like Inside?
The 500L MPW might share a lot of its exterior styling cues with the regular 500 hatchback, but the cabin is altogether more different. The layout doesn’t have any of the retro design touches, but it really doesn’t suffer for it. It still has a few quirks, though, like a handbrake lever that resembles an aircraft throttle controller.
The layout of the 500L MPW interior is simple, neat and easy to understand. The dashboard is clear and the centre stack has a clean, simple layout with big, well labelled controls for things like air conditioning. There’s a fairly intuitive touchscreen for controlling the audio, which is a nice touch.
The material quality is good, although there aren't any plush, soft-touch materials adorning the door tops or dashboard but at least the plastics that are used feel durable and don’t look cheap or tacky.
Where the 500L MPW really shines is in the back. The middle row of seats can be moved forward and backward on runners to allow the best compromise between leg room and load space, which means even the very tallest passengers will fit very comfortably.
With the seats as far forward as they’ll go there’s an impressive 638 litres of luggage space, plus a little more if you fold them down. The boot is fitted with a floor that can be set at three different levels which is a useful touch.
What really makes the 500L MPW stand out if the availablity of seven seats. This extra row folds up from the boot floor, but they’re really only suited to occasional use and smaller children. Adults will fit but they won’t be comfortable for much more than a couple of minutes.
Standard equipment levels are good. All models come with alloy wheels, electric windows, air conditioning and a touchscreen audio system with Bluetooth, plus there is cruise control and parking sensors. Choosing the 500L MPW over the equivalent 500L carries a premium of £990 and the seven-seat version costs a further £700.
Options include a heated front windscreen, heated front seats, various colour packs and even a Lavazza coffee machine. This quirky and entertaining extra plugs into a specially designed cup holder and can make single cups of espresso. It’s part of a pack that includes front seat lumbar support, but is expensive at £150.
Pop Star trim includes a painted dashboard, manual air conditioning, UConnect touchscreen with Bluetooth audio streaming, steering wheel audio controls, leather steering wheel and gear lever, reclining fold, slide and tumble 40/60 split rear seat, six airbags, stability control, hill holder, cruise control, rear parking sensors, 16 inch alloy wheels.
Lounge adds a Suede dashboard, automatic dual zone climate control, automatic lights and wipers, fog lights with cornering function, electrochromatic dipping rear view mirror, electric rear windows, dark tinted windows and an electric sunroof.
Child seats that fit a Fiat 500L MPW (2013 – 2018)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Fiat 500L MPW (2013 – 2018) like to drive?
Fiat offers a choice of five engines for the 500L MPW, kicking off with a 1.4-litre petrol. With 95PS and 127Nm of torque it’s not overly powerful, so for those who regularly drive with a full car it’s best avoided.
It may be smaller but a better option is the 0.9-litre TwinAir. Despite having a smaller capacity than the 1.4 it produces more torque at 145Nm and more power at 105PS, plus it has lower emissions (112g/km) and better official fuel economy (58.8mpg). It’s a surprisingly capable little engine that adds some additional character to the 500L MPW.
Two diesels are available – a 1.3-litre MultiJet with 85PS and 200Nm of torque, plus a 1.6-litre MutiJet with either 105PS or 120PS, both with a useful 320Nm of torque. The 1.6-litre diesel is the best engine in the whole range – it’s got enough torque to move a full car at reasonable pace, plus it’s frugal with official economy of 62.8mpg and emissions of 112g/km.
Regardless of engine the 500L MPW offers a relaxed and comfortable drive. The suspension has been set up with comfort in mind and it works well, absorbing most road imperfections quietly and comfortably, but without any adverse effect on handling. The 500L MPW has plenty of grip through corners and doesn’t roll around too much at speed.
It’s not particularly enjoyable to drive. The steering weighting is unnatural, with an almost elastic tendency to self centre, while the gear change isn’t particularly snappy. There’s quite a lot of wind, road and engine noise, too, although it’s never so loud as to become a distraction.
If you’re a town driver then you’ll appreciate the 500L MPW’s compact size. Other people carriers - particularly those with seven seats – are typically longer and wider, making them tricky to park in tight spaces or to thread down narrow streets, but there are no such problems with the Fiat.
|0.9||59 mpg||12.5 s||112 g/km|
|0.9 TwinAir||59 mpg||12.5–12.7 s||112 g/km|
|1.3 MultiJet 85||67 mpg||12.5–15.4 s||110 g/km|
|1.3 MultiJet 85 Dualogic||71 mpg||15.1–16.3 s||105 g/km|
|1.3 MultiJet 95||69 mpg||14.4 s||107 g/km|
|1.3 MultiJet 95 Dualogic||72 mpg||15.7 s||104 g/km|
|1.4||46 mpg||12.8 s||145 g/km|
|1.4 T-Jet||41 mpg||10.6 s||158 g/km|
|1.6 MultiJet 105||63 mpg||11.8–12.0 s||117 g/km|
|1.6 MultiJet 120||61–67 mpg||10.9–11.1 s||112–120 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Fiat 500L MPW (2013 – 2018)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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