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The 2014 Fiat 500L brings more utility to the compact Italian lineup

The 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show was a big deal for Fiat in 2010 with the formal reintroduction to the brand in North America and the 2012 has been almost as big with the debuts of the electric 500e, the high performance 500 Abarth Convertible and now the roomy Fiat 500L – a five passenger crossover with cargo room to spare.

The 2014 Fiat 500L is powered by the same 1.4L MultiAir turbocharged engine that is currently employed in the Fiat 500 Abarth and the 2013 Dodge Dart. Packing 160 horsepower and 184lb-ft of torque (the same as the configuration found in the Dart), the 500L can be equipped with a standard six speed manual transmission or the dual clutch automatic that is also offered in the Dart. This powerful yet efficient drivetrain is coupled with a suspension, steering and chassis setup centered around a European design theory that should make this compact crossover a fun, comfortable vehicle for the driver and all of the passengers.

As you can see, the 2014 Fiat 500L is substantially larger than the standard Fiat 500, as the company engineers took the basic 500 – stretching it to be 26 inches longer, 6 six inches taller and 6 inches wider. This increase in size allowed the engineers to add a set of rear doors and enough interior space to comfortably seat 5 passengers while still saving room for cargo out back. However, they have done this in a way that has allowed them to preserve the basic exterior design that has made the new Fiat 500 so popular here in the US and around the world – although the 500L is unmistakably its own person.

The 2014 Fiat 500L will be available in standard trim or in the sported-up Trekking package that features larger, sportier wheels, a more aggressive front fascia (that includes design cues unquestionably borrowed from the 500 Abarth) and contrasting finishes that give it a design that will allow this high end package to stand out in the crowd. In the image on the right, the standard 500L is shown in white while the Trekking package is shown in bright yellow.

"The all-new Fiat 500L the reach of the FIAT brand in North America and will keep our customers within the brand as their lifestyle needs expand," said Tim Kuniskis, Head of FIAT Brand North America - Chrysler Group LLC. "Those who love the style and performance that only the Italians can create, can now enjoy space for five, functionality, practicality and value. The Fiat 500L is the whole package, and it now brings its unique flavor to the American market."

While many of you looking at the picture on the right side of the 2014 Fiat 500L are assuming that the L stands for long or large, the Italian automaker offers a list of L words that can describe the features of this new supersized Fiat 500. We could summarize it for you but it seems that it is best left exactly as the company stated it themselves:
-Leveraging – taking the FIAT brand's DNA, the all-new Fiat 500L expands the appeal of the iconic 500, while adding two more doors plus comfortable accommodations for five passengers

-Large – a Fiat 500 designed on the new "small-wide" architecture for 26 inches more length, plus 6 inches more in height and width, all to deliver an EPA Large Car size interior with best-in-class headroom and front legroom, added versatility and more than 42 percent more interior space

-Loft – a trendsetting interior environment featuring segment-exclusive glass A- to D-pillars that provide nearly 360 degree panoramic views, while iconic Cinquecento (500) cues exude contemporary Italian design outside

-Liters – innovative 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine provides the Fiat 500L with fuel efficiency combined with best-in-class power and torque

-Lifestyle – global debut of all-new Fiat 500L Trekking model highlights the perfect blend of rugged styling and versatility to offer customers a Cinquecento that complements their active lifestyle

-Light – human-friendly innovations like all-new Uconnect 5.0 and 6.5, eco:Drive and fuel-saving and emissions-reducing MultiAir valve technology provide a "lightness" to improve the quality of life

"From Gucci to Abarth, our Fiat 500 and now all-new Fiat 500L illustrate the different personalities and capabilities the FIAT brand can deliver from the same basic sheet metal," said Tim Kuniskis. "And with the rugged personality of the Trekking, we will attract a wider cross section of customers while keeping intact all the great benefits of the Fiat 500L."

The 2014 Fiat 500L is expected to hit North American dealerships sometime in mid-2013 with all of these roomy Italian CUVs built at the company’s plant in Kragujevac, Serbia. Once it arrives at Fiat “Studios” around the US, dealers will have a vehicle that appeals to an entirely new buyer demographic as the 500L features the interior and exterior design themes that have proven so popular with North American buyers but with substantially more space for people and cargo. While it is possible to fit a small family in the current Fiat 500, the new 500L will most certainly appeal more to those prospective buyers who want to be able to enjoy their new Fiat with a family of four – without anyone sitting on someone’s lap.