The modern incarnation of Fiat’s legendary 500 has been a monumental success for the Italian automaker. Looking to capitalise on this prolonged consumer interest, Fiat has released various versions of the supermini, including a cabriolet and highly tuned Abarth model. The latest variant is the 500L Trekking, a rugged and muscular five-door crossover MPV.
The standard Fiat 500 is arguably one of the most appealing small vehicles available to buy today. Although Fiat tried to carry on this sleek styling with the standard 500L, it didn’t retain the same cute and attractive characteristics.
However, Fiat has ditched endearing design in favour of masculine qualities with chunky bumpers, front fog flights, mesh-covered ducts and plastic skid-plates on the Trekking. There is also an extra 15mm of ground clearance in additional to some rugged tyres meant for use in mud and snow.
Otherwise it’s pretty much the same as the 500L, which is an acquired taste to say the least.
The engine line-up doesn’t provide anything new, with two petrols and two diesels available. The 0.9-litre turbocharged TwinAir produces more brake horsepower than the alternative petrol-powered 1.4-litre naturally aspirated engine. In terms of diesels, the 1.3-litre and 1.6-litre Multijet engines deliver 84bhp and 104bhp respectively.
But if you’re interested in off-road pursuits, the standard engines of the road-going 500Ls still won’t cut it. Although the Trekking will cope admirably with a slippery field or icy road with Fiat’s Traction Plus system, which distributes power to any wheel-losing grip, any other harsh terrain is a real challenge.
The sharpened suspension and steering also means the ride is slightly worse than the standard car, with the all-weather tyres not improving handling much either. But one clever and innovative feature that comes as standard is City Brake Control, which detects obstacles that lie ahead and brakes to avoid them.
The interior package is the same as the regular 500L, which provides a spacious cabin and plenty of cubbyholes. The already generous 412-litre boot capacity can be extended to 1,375 litres if you fold the seats down.
For an extra £700, the Trekking comes with a panoramic glass roof, five-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone climate control, hill holding, rear parking sensors and auto lights and wipers.
Even though the Trekking does not come with four-wheel drive, its clever electronic traction system provides commendable levels of grip. However, noisy engines that lack a little in power affect its true off-road ability. Nevertheless, the levels of practicality and additional space are impressive.
But if you’re in the market for an affordable crossover mini-MPV, the Skoda Yeti is cheaper and outperforms the Fiat 500L Trekking in several departments.
Victorinox Dive Master 500 Mid-Size
There are numerous durable watches for adventure seeking individuals to choose from, but it is difficult to look past the Victorinox Dive Master 500 Mid-Size. A stainless steel case, tough rubber band, and an anti-reflective scratch-resistant triple-coated sapphire crystal face can deal with all manner of situations.
Momentum Cobalt V Special Edition
For a less complicated and sleeker design, you might want to consider the Momentum Cobalt V Special Edition, which also features a sapphire crystal face and rubber strap.
The Tsovet SVT-PX87 is also worth a look for those contemplating clean styling for rugged intentions. Another simple design is paired with an impact resistant nylon/poly composite case and a contoured bezel that helps disperse energy when struck.