Fiat-500L-MPW

The Fiat 500L MPW mini MPV is now on sale in the UK with prices starting from £15,795 (and stretching up to £20,490).

The new 500L MPW – multi-purpose wagon – is offered as a regular five-seater or a seven-seat version (although space is sufficiently tight enough for Fiat to insist it’s a ‘5+2’ machine).

It’s pitched as a more practical alternative to something like a Hyundai ix20, and Fiat would like it to be considered alongside the Vauxhall Meriva: certainly, the pricing reflects this aspiration.

Although seemingly rather overpriced at first glance, the 500L MPW does stack up reasonably well as an alternative to regular family hatchbacks – as this is where Fiat intends to draw sales (admitting it’s an alternative to traditional C-segment estates), it will be down to the firm to explain this positioning to customers in coming months.

Maybe the silly MPW name should be rethought too. At least MINI Countryman means something…

Fiat will offer the 500L MPW in two trims, Pop Star and Lounge. All get air con, alloys, touchscreen infotainment, cruiser control and rear parking sensors.

Lounge adds climate control, auto lights and wipers, rear privacy glass, electric glass sunroof and rear electric windows.

There’s also four engines: the cheapest 1.4-litre 95hp which is best avoided, the 105hp TwinAir which is better in all but the £1500 premium it demands, plus 1.3-litre and 1.6-litre MultiJet diesels.

MR says: Until it is genuinely considered a Ford Focus rival, Fiat is going to struggle with the 500L MPW: the fact you can spend more than £20k on a top-spec diesel model will be simple anathema to the majority until this vehicle’s rationale is made clear. Over to you, Fiat.