FIAT 500L Review
The 2014 FIAT 500L ranks 12 out of 15 Upscale Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the FIAT 500L, as well as reliability and safety data.
Test drivers say that the all-new Fiat 500L combines ample cargo space, hip styling and user-friendly tech features, all at a competitive price point.
The Fiat 500L comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and auto writers say that the 500L has plenty of power for getting around town. The base 500L comes with a six-speed manual transmission and a six-speed automated manual transmission is available. The EPA says the 500L averages 24/33 mpg city/highway with an automated manual transmission, which is on par with the class. The 500L doesn’t hug the road like the Mini Countryman, but it offers a more comfortable ride and decent handling, according to critics. Steering is accurate, but doesn’t offer a lot of road feel, reviewers say.
Most test drivers praise the 500L’s cabin for its distinctive European style, though a few think its dark, plastic surfaces appear stark. Seating five, critics say the Fiat 500L offers a roomy cabin with ample head- and legroom for all passengers and a generous amount of cargo space. Reviewers say that wrap-around windows make the cabin feel pleasant, roomy and offer terrific visibility. Standard features include Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary inputs, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and a Uconnect infotainment system with a 5-inch touch screen. Optional features include a power sunroof, satellite radio, a Beats audio system, dual-zone automatic climate control and power-adjustable lumbar support for the front seats. Critics give the touch screen high marks for its ease of use and say the large dash controls are easily accessible.
- "We'll let you make your own judgments about the 500L's styling, but in our view, it's the interior that will sell the 500L to customers looking for a fuel-efficient utility vehicle with a unique provenance." -- Edmunds
- "If you're looking for a small, sporty people mover, and you put more of an emphasis on style than backroad corner carving, the 500L is worth checking out. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll get a 500L Abarth at some point. If it's half as insane as the 500 Abarth, and if it has more power, better steering and a tighter manual, it would be something Jalops everywhere should consider taking their kids to school in." -- Jalopnik
- "If you're in the market for a competent subcompact with interior space and don't need it to feel as fun as the Mini (or you don't want to spend the extra cash), it's hard to say why the Fiat 500L's deficiencies would turn you off." -- Popular Mechanics
- "New for 2014, the Fiat 500L has its drawbacks but this new, larger Fiat's drivability, utility and value give shoppers a respectable new option among the slew of popular four-door hatchbacks out there." -- Cars.com
Other Cars to Consider
Drivers who prioritize sharp handling over interior space should look at the Nissan Juke, which reviewers laud as a peppy compact SUV that’s fun to drive. The Juke also offers optional all-wheel drive, which is not available on the Fiat 500L.
The Volkswagen Golf is smaller than the Fiat 500L, but diesel versions of the Golf get excellent fuel economy. Critics say the Golf also has a sporty suspension, responsive steering, quality interior materials and a roomy back seat.
Details: 2014 Fiat 500L
The Fiat 500L seats five and is available in four trims: Pop, Easy, Trekking and Lounge. All models have a turbocharged, 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed dual clutch transmission is available. The 2014 Fiat 500L is an all-new model.