A RUGGED Fiat 500? Has the world gone mad? Fiat doesn’t think so and believes the 500L Trekking more than justifies its existence. Andy Enright reports.
The chunky Fiat 500L is a larger and very different proposition to the hugely successful 500 city car it was spun from. Some felt though, that it could do with a bit more attitude. Such a thing is served up by the more rugged-looking Trekking version, a variant aiming to help this model begin to forge its own identity.
The key feature of the Trekking is its adoption of Traction +, Fiat’s clever traction control system that improves traction over harsh and slippery terrain and costs far less than conventional 4x4 systems.
The 500L Trekking aims to project a more dynamic image than the rather suburban 500L and as such, gets model-specific front and rear bumpers, side skirts and mouldings, air intakes, a skid-plate and standard fog lights. It’s offered in a choice of seven paint finishes, the signature colour being Hip Hop Yellow, which is unique to the Trekking model. Terrible name, great colour. The raised suspension offers a marginally more commanding driving position. And thumbs up also to 17” diamond alloy wheels with Mud and Snow tyres ensuring decent grip in bad conditions.
As with the standard 500L, there’s a respectable amount of space inside, especially if you find you’ve grown out of that.
The he mark-up of £700 for the Trekking 500L doesn’t seem at all unreasonable given the extra equipment.