The 500L's tallish body and high-mounted seats give the impression of riding in a crossover, which is clearly what the designers intended. Even with the rear seat in place, you get 23 cubic feet of cargo space, enough for weekend family trips or a few weeks' worth of groceries. The seat slides and reclines to help keep passengers comfortable. Fold it down and you're looking at 68 cubic feet, a laudable amount for what is essentially a compact wagon.
Every model is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 160 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard, and you can opt for a six-speed automated manual or conventional six-speed automatic. Expect about 25 to 28 mpg in combined driving depending on the transmission.
The 500L is offered in four trim levels:
- Pop: Comes with the manual transmission only and all the expected passenger car conveniences. The six-speaker sound system features Bluetooth phone and audio, a 5-inch touchscreen, and voice controls. The Pop rolls on 16-inch steel wheels.
- Easy: Gives you a choice of all three transmissions (manual, automated manual, automatic) and additional standard equipment such as premium cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a front console, alloy wheels, and an upgraded sound system. The available Popular Equipment group adds dual-zone automatic climate control, a power driver seat, a rear armrest, an auto-dimming mirror, and a household-style power outlet. You can also order a premium Beats sound system with satellite radio. Technology gets a boost from the optional Premiere package, which adds a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and a navigation system.
- Trekking: Builds on the Easy with upgraded interior and exterior trim, foglamps, and 17-inch wheels. The option packages remain available.
- Urbana Trekking: Gets matte black exterior trim with matching alloy wheels and your choice of a black, white, or red roof. The Beats Audio sound system comes standard, and all other equipment and options are shared with the standard Trekking model.
- Lounge: Gets the six-speed automatic transmission and Popular Equipment package as standard, plus leather upholstery and heated front seats. The Lounge reverts to 16-inch wheels; 17s are optional.
The Easy and Trekking can get the Lounge's heated seats as a standalone option. Available on all three are a sunroof and a black- or white-painted roof.
Even in top Lounge trim, the 500L carries a lower price than you would expect for a vehicle of its interior volume. But if you're looking for maximum dollar value, the Easy or Trekking will feel about right.
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