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.

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

  • avatar

    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

      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

    “what happens when Fiat stays in America for awhile”

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

  • avatar

    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

      “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

    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

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

    • 0 avatar

      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

        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

        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

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

  • avatar

    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

    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

        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

    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.

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