Fiat eat your heart out

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ITALIAN car maker Fiat has come up with another winner to join the highly successful iconic 500 with the 500L which will become the first car in the world to have an espresso coffee machine available on board as an option writes Bryan Longworth.

The machine will be fully integrated into the dashboard in collaboration with Italian coffee specialists Lavazza and will use capsules to make authentic Italian espresso coffee - only the Italians could design such an option which will be a good talking point down the pub or golf club!

The 500L with L standing for Large is built in Serbia being available with petrol and diesel engines and will accommodate five people and their luggage with prices starting at £14,990 rising to £18,890.

Fiat say the good looking five door 500L which resembles a Mini Countryman is designed for people who want a car that combines the 500’s unique personality, style and image with added practicality, capability and size.

After driving the stylish 500L which has a premium feel about it I am sure that Fiat have got themselves another very successful car like the 500 because not only does it look good but it has a nice feel about it to drive and it has got a good quality interior.

The 500L is a roomy and comfortable car with a large rear load area of 400 litres with the rear seats in position but using a combination of folding the rear seats and the front passenger seat there is an amazing amount of load space available.

There are three trim levels, Pop Star, Easy and Lounge with four engines, two diesel and two petrol with manual and automatic transmissions.

I drove the model with the 1.6-litre diesel engine and six speed manual gearbox which cost over £18,000 and was very impressed with both the way the car handled and performed and also by the quality and design of the interior.

This particular model has a top speed of 112mph, a zero to 62mph time of 11.3 seconds, combined fuel consumption of 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions of 117g/km.

It had the huge glass sunroof which is the biggest in its segment and this can be covered with an electrically operated sunblind and I also liked the large wraparound windscreen with pillars that have been tapered and divided to improve visibility and increase the car’s strength in case of a collision.

During my brief time with the 500L I could not fault it and look forward to a longer look at this mini MPV because there is no doubt that Fiat which has a reputation for producing attractive small cars has done it again with the 500L.

The new Fiat with its coffee machine has produced a new chat up line for the car driver who used to invite his girl friend back to his place for a coffee and who will now be able to invite her back to the Fiat for a late night cuppa after a night out - how cool is that!

My Verdict: The 500 goes Large and coffee cool.

Fact file:

Model: Fiat 500L.

Engines: Two diesel two petrol.

Transmissions: Manual and automatic.

Trim levels: Three.

Options: Coffee machine.

Price: From £14,990 to £18,890.