August 17 2015

The nice Italian, Fiat 500 L, and I.

By Gilles Dubien – Alliance AutoGroupe

The nice Italian, Fiat 500 L, and I.

Was it because of her beautiful eyes when she was staring at me or because I ended-up flirting with her, being charmed that I was by the lines of her body or by her harmonious curves? I, nevertheless, dreamed for a long while going having an adventure with her.  I wanted to go out with her to feel what she had under the hood to offer.   Please, don’t tell my wife that I have always wanted to live such an experience with an European, an Italian to be more specific.  Her beautiful “red passion” dress,  her melancholic eyes and her multi-toned of superior quality leather interior convinced me of my choice of the day.  I was conquered.

Lets be clear about it!  Don’t be misled about the person and his intents!  I'm talking about taking the steering and drive a Fiat 500 L car.  It was August 10th.   I decided to take action.  As it was raining much the day,  the external visual inspection of the vehicle was short, quick and efficient.  It is a wonderful car with a lot of class.  At least, this is what I thought.  I opened the door, threw my briefcase on the front passenger seat and took place behind the wheel.

I buckled up and inserted the key in the contact and launched the motor.  The car sensor determined that there was a passenger or at least, there was something on the right front seat of the vehicle, the Fiat 500 L produced a sound signal and displayed “seat belt not fastened”.  It prompted me to move my belongings into a safer place.  In fact, I have tabled them directly on the floor in front of the passenger seat to resolve the situation.  Many would say that the Fiat 500 L is a "small car".  My experience made me believe otherwise.  Is-it big?  It is not big.  Is-it small?  Clearly, it is not.  Is-it compact?  That best describes what I think it is.  The Fiat 500 L offers plenty of space for its passengers. You can easily fit five adults including the driver, each of whom will sit comfortably without violating its neighbor’s personal space.

While adjusting the rear-view and the side mirrors, I noticed that the rear seat had three support heads.  Although the size of the rear-view mirror is adequate for most people, I, for one, find it too small and would rather have a bigger one.  It is a matter of taste, I guess. 

I found it is easy to program the Fiat 500 L air conditioning system.  Furthermore, it is quite powerful and very efficient.  You set the temperature that pleases you as you would do with you thermostats at home and the system makes sure that you are comfortable to your alike all the time.  It's simple!  Having been forced to drive with the windows closed because of the rain, the air conditioner was of great help for me.

Have I told you that the steering is also adjustable, and more than the average ones that I've seen in my life.  You can lower it, make it higher, and bring it closer to you or further away from you according to your taste and driving comfort.  When you think about it, the configuration of the steering combined with that of the driver's seat offers almost endless possibilities for you to enjoy driving a Fiat 500 L.   In short, there's no reason to be uncomfortable driving a Fiat 500 L.   Because I like to quickly view information such as cruising speed, mileage, temperature of the motor and the level of liquids to name a few by slightly lowering my eyes through the steering wheel when I drive, I have in no time adapted it to my convenience and without any problem.  The steering wheel is fun and easy to operate.  Covered with high quality leather, it features radio control / mobile phone, as well as the cruising speed control buttons.

My beautiful Italian has a four cylinders, six-speeds, automatic transmission.  The driving position, the “D” position is like my highschool scorecard.  It contains a "D+" and a "D-".  In short, if I understand the explanations that I have received, the "D +" position allows the vehicle to do the gear changes itself without the driver intervention while in «D-» position, you need to do the changes yourself.  I have never operated a manual transmission and therefore did not make use of the “D-“ position.  I only the drivers who have the know how, could indulge themselves further by simulating the behaviour of a manual transmission.

The Fiat 500 L dashboard keeps you informed continuously about the speed level that you reached (D1, D2, D3, D4 etc.) while accelerating and while decelerating as well (D4, D3, D2, D1 etc.).   As I had been driving mainly around in the south west, I have no recollection of reaching D5 and D6 levels.  

With regard to the behaviour of the vehicle, I would have liked it to show more passion and power taking off.  Perhaps I am too demanding.  After all, the Fiat 500 L that I am referring to is a four-cylinders.  It is as if my beautiful Italian and I would dance a tango but she would  not demonstrate enough motivation and spirit to soar on the dance at the beginning of the musical.   Once launched however, you wouldn't want to stop.

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