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Thursday, October 1, 2020

The Ultimate Fiat 500XL Review

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This car, the Fiat 500L simply struck a chord with me. I love the way it looks, how it feels, how it handles. I’m simply in in love with this car. Hence I decided to write the Ultimate Fiat 500XL Review. Ready?

Fiat 500XL Review

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From what it was some 40 odd years ago to what it looks like today, the Fiat 500XL is totally back. It looks nothing like it’s first version which was nicknamed “the Backpack“, because it was so tiny that, yes it would fit two people, but it might as well have served as a full size backpack.

The Italians have always been good at design, and maybe not as good at the under the hood engineering. But with this Fiat 500L they have been able to combine the two; It looks gorgeous, and handles like… (you fill in the blanks).

First the Specs

In this Fiat 500XL review I would like to start with the specs, and of course I mean the engine specs. This car comes with 4 engine types (and multiple variations of accessories too; but lets keep it simple).

  • 0.9 TwinAir (875cc) 2-cylinder in-line transverse engine, six-speed manual: 105HP/77kW at 5500rpm; 145Nm torque at 2000rpm. (In ECO mode: 98HP/72HP at 5,750rpm; 120Nm torque at 1,750rpm)
  • 1.4-litre (1368cc) 4-cylinder in-line transverse engine, six-speed manual: 95HP/70kW at 6000rpm; 127Nm torque at 4500rpm.
  • 1.3 MultiJet (1248cc) 4-cylinder in-line transverse engine, five-speed manual: 85HP/62kW at 3500rpm; 200Nm torque at 1500rpm.
  • 1.6-litre MultiJet:  (1598cc) 4-cylinder in-line transverse engine, five-speed manual: 105HP/77kW at 3700rpm; 320Nm torque at 1750rpm.
  • 5-speed manual (1.3 Multijet), 6-speed manual 0.9 TwinAir and 1.6 Multijet, 6 speed Dualogic 1.3 Multijet Trekking only.

As you would expect from Fiat (and basically from pretty much every other Italian car maker) even the 0.9 liter TwinAir engine is able to produce an impressive 77kW. To reach this maximum power the engine does get a bit noisier than its bigger brothers (5500rpm is pretty high).

If you prefer less engine noise, you would be better off with the 1.6 litre engine. This gives you 77kW at (only) 3700rpm’s.

This 1.6 litre engine gives you an average mpg of 61.4 (on paper of course) and gets you to 60 mph in 11.3 seconds (also on paper). The maximum speed, if you’re really interested, is a comfortable 112 miles per hour.

How it Handles

Because of its size and the fact that it can seat 7 people pretty comfortably it has so called “frequency dependent” dampers that self-adjust damping according to the current load of the car.

When driving in the city it handles really well, and even the tiny 0.9 litre engine can hold its ground when driving the freeways. However if you’re really loading 7 people in this car (and yes, this is very well possible) you will probably enjoy the 1.6 litre engine more.

Simply because it will let itself be handled easier and smoother.


Other Things to Consider

As said before, this Fiat 500XL has totally no resemblance to its unique and tiny predecessor. So in terms of nostalgia there is no comparison. However, to my liking the Italian car maker succeeded wonderfully in creating a retro-looking car, using the name of a very nostalgic automobile.

As far as this Fiat 500XL review goes, I simply love this car. It is well equipped with the necessary stuff you need, plus the engine range is plenty enough to choose from. Next to this, it handles well and is the perfect family car for either a 5 people family, but well capable of moving 7 people at the same time.

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