What happens? The 500L Beats Edition. In the event you cross Fiat’s rugged MPV with a successful rap producer
When: February 2014
Where: Balocco, Italy
What: Fiat 500L Beats 1.6 MultiJet
Occasion: International first drive
Overall rating: 3.5/5
Forgetting our prime specification and impressive audio system for the moment, the launch of the new Fiat 500L Beats Edition also marks the arrival of a better, new diesel engine.
Model driven: Fiat 500L Beats Edition
Pricing: €30,000 estimated
Engine: 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel
Transmission: front-wheel drive, five-speed manual
Body style: five-door MPV
Rivals: MINI Countryman, Skoda Yeti
CO2 emissions: 120g/km (Band A4, €200 per annum)
Combined economy: 61.4mpg (4.6 litres/100km)
Top speed: 189km/h
-100km/h: 10.7 seconds
Power: 120hp at 3,750rpm
Torque: 320Nm at 1,750rpm
In the Metal: 3.5/5
Opinion of the Fiat’s 500L is split at the best of times in relation to appearance although with its new Beats Edition the Italian firm has developed a specification that looks almost cool enough to rival MINI. The truth is it is this unique set of colour choices that distinguishes it as being a 500L Beats model, as on the exterior there are no badges to determine this special edition.
Based on the range-topping 500L Trekking, the Beats Edition is embellished with new 17-inch black alloy wheels that have a flat paint finish. The bodywork will come in a choice of high-gloss black (which looks superb when spotlessly clean) or matte-effect silver. Both cars have roofs finished in the semi-matte black, a feature that contrasts particularly well with all the lighter coloured paint.
There exists of course still generous amounts of space both in the front as well as the rear, although an all-black interior does make the cabin feel smaller. Disappointingly, the only indication of the tie-up with the Beats audio company is a tiny logo around the speakers right in front doors. Due to the emphasis how the company places on both the quality of its products and branding, the lack of an upgraded stereo facia, for instance, is a shame. However, a logo on the five-inch touchscreen might have been good, though granted, Beats is simply an audio speaker company. The speakers do obviously sound well, although carrying out a direct comparison between those and the standard factory fit items will be interesting.
Driving it: 3.5/5
As mentioned previously, the Beats Edition is dependant on the 500L Trekking and therefore does perform well on the road. What exactly is more important with this particular car is that it will come with the new 120hp four-cylinder diesel engine. Fiat, in conjunction with Holywell, certainly one of its technical partners, has fitted the engine with a brand new variable geometry turbocharger that improves power delivery such as better acceleration. Further attention has been paid to the decrease in vibration and noise from the engine; the changes are small but noticeable.
In the city and on back roads the ride is on the firm side – this is a Trekking model after the and all of new 17-inch alloy wheels are a small factor in this, but the ride isn’t overly harsh. Visibility over the road ahead is helped by the split A-pillar, which greatly reduces potential blind spots when cornering and pulling from junctions. The front side seats still lack any real lateral support, which can be annoying in case your typical commute is on more twisting, rural roads. Rear seat height is good, which means that the kids can enjoy the view out no doubt making use of the fold down picnic tables on the back of the front seats.
What you get for your Money: 3/5
Fiat sources expect it to command reasonably limited over a standard 500L Trekking, which should mean a price of around €30,000 for one featuring that new 1.6-litre diesel, despite the fact that pricing has yet to be officially confirmed for the 500L Beats Edition. With 120g/km of CO2 it’s in Band A4, so taxing it would cost €200 per annum.
Hopefully the added performance will mean it won’t must be driven as hard, despite the fact that during our limited time with the car it was difficult to see just how significant the improvements in fuel economy are.
Although this latest edition will likely be manufactured in right-hand drive it offers not yet been confirmed whether or not it will be officially placed on general sale in Ireland. If this is untrue, should any customer desire to order one, it should be able to supply vehicles on an individual basis, that said, Fiat did confirm that, even.
The Fiat 500L Beats Edition may not be dramatically different inside, nevertheless the new exterior colour and wheel combinations do provide it with far more appeal aesthetically and today provides a cooler alternative to the MINI Countryman. It can certainly go down better with younger buyers and the fact that it presently has the choice of a much better engine will unquestionably do the 500L range no harm.