It's the same quirky 500L you either love or hate, but now it has an even more pronounced distinctive identity.

It was almost two years ago when the cutesy Fiat 500 city car received a refresh bringing 1,800 design changes inside and out, but it’s only now the more practical 500L is going through a similar update. Although it surely doesn’t look like it, Fiat says 40 percent of the MPV’s components are new, albeit some of them are likely hiding beneath the lightly revised skin.

The 2018 model year is bringing some styling revisions at the front where the slightly modified upper headlights have chrome-plated accents while the LED daytime running lights below have a “0” lighting signature as a nod to the two “zeros” in “500.” Also noticeable is the fancy lower grille with a studded chrome mesh to make the minivan look a tad more upmarket when viewed from the front, though the 500L is still not what you’d call a looker. Keen readers will also observe the radiator grille has been subjected to a nip and tuck as well and it now hosts a horizontal metallic piece of trim.

More chrome inserts have been applied at the back where the fog and reversing lights have been moved lower on the bumper not just for the sake of making visual changes, but also to improve effectiveness, according to Fiat. There are no less than 37 color combinations available, as well as three types of roofs (white or matte black, glossy black, body-colored) and ten pastel or metallic hues, including the new Bellagio Blue.

2018 Fiat 500L facelift
2018 Fiat 500L facelift

Available in Urban, Cross, and Wagon versions, the facelifted 500L also hosts an assortment of novelties inside, though we wouldn’t call the cabin as being “completely new” as Fiat describes it. There’s a different look for the steering wheel with chrome accents, updated instrument cluster with two round gauges flanking the 3.5-inch digital display, and a redesigned gear lever now positioned higher than before.

Onboard goodies include the familiar seven-inch Uconnect infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, along with a new Mode Selector for the rugged 500L Cross model that sits one inch (25 millimeters) higher than the others. This one also gets a fresh set of two-tone 17-inch wheels and new bumpers together with skid plates for extra protection.

Should the standard Fiat 500L not suit your style, there are an impressive 92 Mopar accessories available for an extended array of customizations. There are also many optional amenities offered, among which we’ll only mention the 520-watt Beats sound system.

2018 Fiat 500L facelift
2018 Fiat 500L facelift

In regards to the oily bits, the updated 500L can be powered by a 95-hp 1.4-liter gasoline unit and beefier 1.4-liter developing 120 hp. There’s also the familiar 0.9-liter TwinAir with 105 hp on tap and a bi-fuel version of the 1.4-liter TJet rated at 120 hp compatible with gasoline and LPG. Another bi-fuel engine is the aforementioned 0.9-liter TwinAir with 85 hp that can run on gasoline and methane. On the diesel side, the 1.3-liter MultiJet produces 95 hp whereas the larger 1.6-liter MultiJet is good for 120 hp.

All things considered, the changes are on a rather subtle level as the Fiat 500L continues to be a quirky yet practical car you either love or hate, now with some extra shiny bits and bobs. As you may recall, Motor1’s Editor in Chief, John Neff, loves it.

Source: Fiat


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