The Fiat 500L mini MPV won’t follow the 500X compact crossover to Australia, Fiat Chrysler Australia (FCA) has confirmed.
Initially planned to go on sale in our market by the beginning of 2015, the 500L is now on the outer, with FCA director of marketing Zac Loo revealing the local division has decided the 500X is a better fit for our market.
“500L was one of those ones that we looked at,” Loo said. “500L kind of fits into the 500 family as… they classify it as an MPV, and that’s where it kind of steps aside.
“You get in and it’s quite spacious, really good for the European condition, but we didn’t quite think it translates for Australia, whereas 500X isn’t going to have any issues.
“We think 500X is going to fill that space a lot better than 500L will.”
CarAdvice tested the Fiat 500L in Detroit in December 2013, back when the car was very much on the Australian agenda.
The Punto-based 500L is more than half a metre longer than the 500 micro car, as well as slightly wider and taller, and boasts a generous interior with seating for five and a boot larger than most small hatchbacks. Fiat is also understood to be preparing a seven-seat version of the car called the 500XL.
Engines available overseas include turbocharged 0.9- and 1.4-litre petrol engines and 1.3- and 1.6-litre diesels.
Asked if the door was completely shut on 500L, Loo said FCA would “never close the door on anything”, but confirmed the local division was “not actively pursuing it”.
The Fiat 500X is on track to go on sale in Australia in either November or December, with pricing tipped to start a little above the low-$20,000 point of most small SUVs currently available.
More: Fiat 500L Review