Mulholland Highway offers panoramic vistas combined with challenging twists and turns, but it doesn’t come close to matching the road from Sorrento to Italy’s Amalfi Coast for sheer beauty, entertainment, and drama. While I certainly would have preferred to sample the new 2014 FIAT 500L in its home country, the Santa Monica Mountains between Malibu and Calabasas served well for a drive in the company’s new people carrier.
The new FIAT 500L exists for several reasons. First, it truly does seat five passengers in comfort. Second, it offers a level of daily practicality that the standard 500 models simply cannot match. And third, the 500L is not another special edition version of the existing FIAT 500, which gives dealers something truly new to sell while they wait, and wait, and wait for the return of Alfa Romeo to the U.S. market.
I’ve been curious about this car since its debut, so while attending a ride-and-drive event for the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee, I snagged the keys to the Fiat and went for a short ride that included mountain and highway driving.