The Fiat 500L MPW’s name isn’t a misprint. It may be a small MPV, but Fiat prefers to call it a Multi Purpose Wagon (or MPW for short).

Compared with the Fiat 500L Trekking that has also been tested this year, the MPW is longer behind the rear axle, making room for more luggage or (as a cost option) an extra row of seats. Our practicality testers found space for a full load of luggage, and were also pleased that the underslung compact spare wheel could be accessed without needing to remove the luggage first.

There’s a decent amount of space for people as well as bags, and the cabin shows some stylish touches.

As a tow car, however, the 500L MPW just isn’t good enough. The low towing limit of 1100kg means it can’t legally tow a caravan weighing 85% of its kerbweight. Even pulling a van weighing just 1100kg it felt loose at motorway speeds, needing regular steering corrections. Data from the Al-Ko ATC sensors showed the caravan moving around when slowing from high speeds, too.

The 1.6-litre diesel engine promises 62.8mpg on the combined cycle, but it struggles when towing. The Fiat needed 26.2 seconds to go from 30-60mph.

2018
Category Winners
2018 Up to 1400kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI 150PS SE L DSG

2018 1400-1549kg

Skoda Superb

2.0 TDI 150PS SE L Executive

2018 1550-1699kg

Peugeot 5008

2.0 BlueHDi EAT8 S&S GT

2018 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2018 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE

2018 Best Family SUV

Volvo XC40

Volvo XC40 D4 AWD R-Design Pro

2018 Best Petrol Tow Car

Kia Stinger

2.0 T-GDi GT-Line

2018 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Volkswagen Polo

1.0 TSI 115PS SEL DSG

2018 Fuel Economy Award

Hyundai i30 Tourer

1.6 CRDi 110PS Premium

Previous Winners
2017
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*

2016
1400-1549kg

Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business

2015
1400-1549kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG

2014
1400-1549kg

Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

2013
Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance

2012
1725–1899kg

Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury

2011
1425-1574kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport

2010
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS

2009
1900kg+

Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic

2008
1575-1724kg

Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto

2007
1575-1724kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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