Our Fleet Test Drive: Fiat 500L - 7th report
14 August 2014
Author: Guy Bird
The art of sound fleet management is to look closely at the figures, and examining those belonging to our Fiat 500L and its Citroen C3 Picasso rival reveals they're evenly matched
High art seldom gets a mention in BusinessCar, but the Italian renaissance at Fiat with its expanding 500 range surely deserves a mention, especially when a key rival is a Picasso - albeit a Citroen C3 one.
Both these 'masters of multi-purpose' have artistic heritage: the 500L is derived from the glamorous 500 city car; the C3 Picasso is drawn by the same guy who went on to pen the £1m-plus Aston Martin One-77 hypercar no less.
Beyond their subjective visual merits (I don't mind both, but neither are oil paintings), the models compared - the 500L Lounge and C3 Picasso Exclusive - have similar 1.6 diesels (105hp vs 115hp), list prices (£18,835 vs £17,865) and economy (62.8mpg vs 58.8mpg) but diverge enough on CO2 (117g/km vs 125g/km) to cost the Picasso two tax bands more on benefit-in-kind and one for year-two road tax, so it's £3 per month more in BIK for a 20% tax payer.
The C3 counters with more luggage space (385/1506 litres vs 343/1310 litres), standard satellite navigation, slimmer A-pillars for better vision, and higher-quality interior finishing, while the 500L fights back with a huge standard panoramic glass roof (£550 on the Picasso), sliding rear seats and a newer, more characterful overall design. It's close, but by a whisker I think the 500L's the one for me.