Fiat 500L seven-seater

19 Apr, 2012 4:42pm Sam Hardy

We've grabbed pictures of the forthcoming seven-seat Fiat 500L at Fiat's design studio in Turin

The Fiat 500L MPV will grow into a whole family of new models – and Auto Express has the pictures to prove it. These are the first images of a new seven-seater version, which we were given access to at the company’s Turin design studio.

It follows on from the five-seater 500L, and also goes on sale early next year – but there are plans for a sporty Nissan Juke-rivalling SUV, too. 

The seven-seater has the same 500-esque styling as the standard car and the same wheelbase. But it gets a 20cm longer rear overhang to fit a third row of seats, as you can see in our pictures.

“The 500L will become a family and a sub-brand for Fiat,” design director Roberto Giolito told Auto Express. “All of the seats in the seven-seater will tip and fold flat. This car will appeal to a different market than the five-seater.”

The seven-seater confirms that Fiat is expanding the reach of the 500 range, just as MINI has done with models like the Countryman SUV. The five-seat 500L replaces the slow-selling Fiat Idea and rivals cars like the Ford B-MAX and C-MAX; the seven-seater replaces the Multipla and targets models like the Grand C-MAX.

“We looked at doing a 500 Estate like the old Giardiniera, but it ended up very complex,” Giolito told us. “It would also have been a very small niche, so we decided to develop the 500L alongside it.

“The next step is to do a lifestyle vehicle, something with more of a 4x4 look.”

Fiat has already produced concept sketches, showing a beefed-up, Juke-rivalling version of the 500L with a raised ride height, larger alloy wheels and roof rails.

Disqus - noscript

It looks like it's running on casters. Horrible!

What next, Fiat? Fiat XL with 9 seats? You lost the point, sorry.

Fiat, what are you doing?

The 500 is meant to be a supermini, leave it at that. This just doesnt look right. Mind you, it looks better than the Multipla!

Fiat XL with 9 seats sounds about right for the direction the company is going. How about a saloon, van and a pickup whle your at it!

That is absolutely horrid. Even all that fake blacked out window glass/pillars cannot hide the fact that this is just a bog blob with a 500 nose. Why do so many manufacturers just use black-effect to hide what are really just ugly cars underneath? Why not make the cars nice to start with?

I meant a "big blob" but actually "bog blob" still adequately describes this car!

Now we all know that the cash-cow that is the 500 has given Fiat a few quid to spend recently, but this looks like a squashed Panda.
Since Fiat are focusing on smaller cars now because they've got the Chrysler/Jeep range to attract drivers who must have big cars, I presume we can expect more of these.
No doubt it'll look better in the flesh, but personally I don't much care.

I think most posters have summed it up here. This to me looks like the product of a lack of investment and a lack of time. Fiat should take a step back and think 'do I really want to do this?'. I think it's a good idea to expand the '500 brand' but the products have to be good to avoid diluting the brand.

Oh yes, and the back end looks like a Ssangyong Rodius. In fact this is the new Ssangyong Rodius.

It looks god awful... I don't know what Fiat are trying to achieve here but they're trying to make a copy of the Mini brand and have lifted the styling from the B pillar backwards from the Countryman (Which is an ugly car!)

I think this model is in-keeping with the retro persona of the 500 range. Any Fiat fan would agree that it looks just like the original Multipla and that is now a highly sought-after, bona-fied classic. Mini should have reason to worry - the Crossman has a rival.

Well it is too early to tell but I think, like the ugly but loveable Multipla (before the rather anodyne facelift) this could well attract a cult following. I am looking forward to seeing it in the metal and on the road. So much more interesting than all those silver and grey Euroboxes that just pass you by... (yawn)!

Auto Express 1,349
For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links