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.

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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)!