Fiat 500L

FIAT's 500L is a 4-door, front-wheel-drive carryall for those who need a bit more space. The 500L shares no lines directly with its 500 sibling, but still provides an entertaining way to go from A to B.

The 500L is more than two feet longer than the 500, half a foot wider and taller, and offers an extra set of doors. Much of the extra eight is given to side glass, which affords the 500L a terrific greenhouse and corresponding visibility; unique front quarter windows testify to the fact. The car offers up to 123 cubic-feet of interior volume, with second-row seats that flip, fold and tumble and recline for an easily configurable interior space.

The 500L is offered in four distinct trim levels: Pop, Trekking and Lounge. Each is powered by the same 160-horsepower turbocharged four that moves the performance-oriented 500 Abarth. The unit provides ample power while also returning good fuel economy, with EPA ratings of 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. Carrying a tank that holds 13.2-gallon fuel tank, this equates to more than 430 miles of driving between fill-ups. The standard transmission on the 500L is a 6-speed automatic, though a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional.

The base Pop model rides on 16-inch steel wheels sprung by Koni shocks and MacPherson struts. Standard equipment includes halogen projector headlights, heated power mirrors, power locks and power windows with one-touch up/down front and rear, air conditioning, tilt/telescopic steering wheel with cruise control, integrated voice command and Bluetooth and an 5-inch Uconnect touchscreen stereo with Bluetooth streaming audio and USB port.

The 500L Trekking boasts a more rugged outward appearance, with unique front and rear fascias, as well as lower body protective cladding. The car rides on 17-inch alloy wheels and features fog lamps and premium cloth seating. Six additional exterior colors and roof color options allow the Trekking to be highly customized.

The top-of-the-line 500L Lounge includes chrome exterior accents, a leather-trimmed interior with heated front seats, automatic temperature and dual-zone climate control, and a rear seat armrest.

Stand-alone options on Trekking and Lounge trims include a dual-panel panoramic sunroof and Beats premium audio system with SiriusXM satellite radio, while Trekking models also offer heated seats as optional.

A number of packages, or collections, are available on the top three models as well, which bundle several popular options such as navigation, the backup assist and camera system, automatic climate control, roof color choices, heated seats, 115-volt auxiliary power outlets and more.

Each FIAT 500L comes equipped with seven airbags, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, a tire pressure monitor and electronic stability control.

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Editors' First Take

Back in the day, you used to take your car's frame to a coachbuilder, who would then put together a body for you. Despite the preponderance of unibody vehicles where the frame is integrated into the general structure, coachbuilders still exist, and they're still building interesting cars. This might be one of them.

Castagna Milano took a Fiat 500L -- the same model the Pope used during his US tour -- and reimagined it as a new type of taxi for the island of Capri, off the coast of Italy. Capri relies on older Fiat models at the moment, and what you see here attempts to capture some of that open-top mystique.

While the front is largely unchanged, save for a few aesthetic tweaks, the rear end is...different. The whole rear of the vehicle's been opened, extended and finished with teak wood. It's protected against the elements with a soft top fastened by zippers and Velcro. The roof's been updated with a brushed-steel look to reflect some of the sun's rays. Inside, the 500L received Alcantara trimmings and a thorough reupholstering.

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