By on February 20, 2013

 

Our own Alex L. Dykes postulated that the 500L is what happens when Fiat stays in America for awhile – and he’s right. The feature that stuck out immediately are the massive side windows between the front doors and the windshield, looking for all the world like that area of the original GM Dustbuster minivans.

Unlike at the Chicago show, the doors of this 500L were open, revealing an interior that will be familiar to current Fiat 500 owners … but on a +1 level. The gauges are certainly more comprehensive than those in the regular 500 and the centre stack incorporates a screen seemingly intended for nav and entertainment. Neither pricing nor engines were discussed – here’s hoping that reports of the 1.4L staying in the 500 are true and the 500L is powered by the rip-snortin’ Abarth engine.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

27 Comments on “Lumina APV Redux: Fiat 500L...”


  • avatar
    brettc

    Did that dustbuster get a ticket for being too ugly? The 500L should probably get one as well. I love the sticker on the back of the Fiat.

  • avatar

    I actually liked the design of these vans, especially the Pontiac Transsport. Too bad they had such poor build quality and such abyssmal crash test ratings.

    The vans they replaced them with were filled with meh. No wonder GM got out of the mini van business.

    • 0 avatar
      mikedt

      You didn’t mind that given that the way the door was shaped that standing in the “normal” position and opening up a front door often resulted in the top door edge hitting you in the head? It must have been so common of an accident that GM had to add stickers to the doors warning users about it. Of course they were on the inside of the door jamb so by the time you could read them it was too late.

      I could never understand how a door like that made it pass the mock-up stage.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    “what happens when Fiat stays in America for awhile”

    Diabesity has passed it domestic testing and is ready for global deployment.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Well, I’m not going to knock higher lateral visibility so you can see a kid darting out from between parked cars. The bold move would be bringing back curved windshields, but even the Lumina went with a flat glass windshield and side windows. Maybe if Fiat survives long enough, it’ll stop using high-revving eggbeater engines in American sized cars and put some torque under the hood too.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “Maybe if Fiat survives long enough, it’ll stop using high-revving eggbeater engines in American sized cars and put some torque under the hood too.”

      Doubtful, even the domestics won’t give you real torque in their smaller models.

  • avatar
    otter

    I confess to finding this appealing. I’ve not driven a 500, so I don’t know how well I’d like their dynamics, but this is right-sized for me: small, but big enough to put a bike in the back if I don’t want to use a roof rack, rear seat big enough to not punish whoever sits back there, good mileage, light by porky modern standards, probably good to drive, would have a big (little?) brother in the garage next to my old Spider.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    The not so mini Mini is not very attractive either, I saw one from behind and it looked like an overfed English Bulldog.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I wouldn’t count on the full Abarth engine; probably gets the regular turbo instead.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    THAT Chevrolet badge is the version which should go on the new SS.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      It’s elegant, but too small for today’s badge wars. Have you seen recent VW badges? We’re in the ‘mine is bigger than yours’ era. Just wait. Eventually, the entire grille will be a Chevy bowtie shape.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      Yeah, that silhoutte badge was the best badge Chevy has had in recent years. Someone should send a memo to GM letting them know that gold badges went out of style, oh, around 1995. But, I doubt it’ll be read.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        My favorite gold badged items are the 95-97 Town Cars, and the same vintage Pathfinders. The Pathfinder is particularly offensive with gold badges. That’s what the QX4 was for (which I really like to this day).

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Agreed. Do tacky people gold-badge their Lexuses in the after-market, or does the dealer do that for them? Lexuses seem to be the most likely car with this “mod”. Sometimes Acuras too, I think.

  • avatar
    RatherhaveaBuick

    Gotta love Dustbusters and their ugliness. I still see some chuggin along with that 3800…

  • avatar
    Junebug

    I went to the little auto show in town this weekend, the Fiat 500 had the best action: teen girl smiling at boy friend and he’s telling her she’s hotter than J-Lo, soccer mom forcing 2 kids into the back – they threatened to call the cops, old man staring, and staring, shakes head and walks on…

  • avatar
    Mykl

    Do my eyes deceive me or is that a square steering “wheel” with rounded off corners?

  • avatar

    “…what happens when Fiat stays in America for awhile…”

    The thing is, it looks to me like a European trait that GM just happened to use…several Peugeot and Citroën MPVs already have it…

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Renault Espace in particular the 1st gen had the same dustbuster look.

    • 0 avatar

      you brought that up. There’s something weird in terms of Renault x Chevy designs. Take a look at Renault’s last generation Mégane and Chevy’s US Cobalt. Then take a gander at Renault’s new Logan and Chevy’s Brazilian Cobalt. The similarities are too great to diguise. Though I couldn’t say who’s apeing whom. I wonder what’s going on there…

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        I knew a maintenance man who worked in two adjacent factories simultaneously, moving back and forth to make appearances in both places, and getting two paychecks for one shift. If a car designer could arrange to work from home…

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I just saw it up close at the local auto show and it looks better in person from almost all angles except the front. Still ugly from that view.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Re: Reader Review: 2013 BMW 128i M-Sport

    baconator - Yup, truly the last of a breed with the NA inline-6. Enjoy the car!
  • Re: Reader Review: 2013 BMW 128i M-Sport

    JimZ - if kids are something which happen “before you know it” you probably shouldn’t have slept through health class.
  • Re: Ramcharger Rebirth

    JimZ - “Where are the gas powered tractors hauling 100k lbs down the highway” Right here, jackwagon: http://www.freep.com/story/mon ey/cars/chrysler/2015/12/04...
  • Re: Ramcharger Rebirth

    krhodes1 - Slow and steady. Sucked a lot of gas too. But you’d get to the top of the hill eventually. I agree, we are unbelievably spoiled for vehicle performance in the US. I...
  • Re: Ramcharger Rebirth

    krhodes1 - Always an interesting argument, gas vs. diesel. I think a better way is comparing engines of comparable torque output. Say a 500lb-ft gas engine to a 500lb-ft diesel. The gas...
  • Re: Reader Review: 2013 BMW 128i M-Sport

    415s30 - Well the German SUVs are pretty bad and definitely stock. The damn tail lights are bright too, on a foggy SF morning heading into the city the massive lights...
  • Re: Reader Review: 2013 BMW 128i M-Sport

    415s30 - Uh whatever those huge Audi SUVs are sporting pretty much blind me, I am all for making that crap illegal. The lead up to the Golden Gate Bridge in the...
  • Re: Inside Stories From the War Between Automakers And Dealers Over Exports

    krhodes1 - Between personal exemption and deductions you (and I) pay nothing at all on a BIG chunk of income (assuming you own real...
  • Re: Inside Stories From the War Between Automakers And Dealers Over Exports

    jthorner - It is well established law that once a person buys a product they are free to resell it when and where they like....
  • Re: 2016 Ford Escape SE AWD Rental Review

    Japanese Buick - Count me among the AUX jack enthusiasts. It’s good to have available for when the Bluetooth glitches out and the phone and car blame each other...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Bark M., United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic

Get No-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners Automotive News in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked