FIAT 500L Review
The 2015 FIAT 500L ranks 10 out of 10 Wagons. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the FIAT 500L, as well as reliability and safety data.
The 2015 Fiat 500L has a straightforward infotainment system and an airy cabin, but it's not as fun to drive as some rivals, according to critics.
Some reviewers write that the Fiat 500L's turbocharged four-cylinder engine provides adequate power, but others think it needs more power on the highway. Auto writers think the standard manual transmission operates smoothly, but they say the available automated manual shifts too slowly. They write that the new conventional automatic transmission, which is available in higher trims, is more responsive than the automated manual. The Fiat 500L gets an EPA-estimated 24/33 mpg city/highway with the automated manual transmission, which is typical for the class. Some automotive journalists note that the Fiat 500L has numb steering and many write that it isn't as nimble as some rivals, but most say it has a smooth ride. The 500L's brakes seem too grabby to some critics, but others think they are appropriately responsive.
Though reviewers write that some of the 2015 Fiat 500L's interior materials could be higher quality, they appreciate the open feel and excellent visibility provided by the 500L's tall windows, large optional sunroof and unique roof pillars that incorporate a pane of glass. According to automotive journalists, the 500L's front seats provide a high seating position but aren't very supportive. They say the rear seat and cargo area are spacious. Critics praise the 500L's dashboard controls for their ease of use, especially the Uconnect touch-screen infotainment system. Standard features include Bluetooth, a USB port and Fiat's Uconnect infotainment system with a 5-inch touch screen. Available features include leather upholstery, heated front seats, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, a Beats audio system and an upgraded Uconnect infotainment system with navigation and a 6.5-inch touch screen.
- "The 500L isn't as much fun to drive as the Mini Cooper Countryman or quite the bargain that is the Kia Soul, but for Fiat fans desiring more room, it could be just the ticket." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "For people who are lured to the adorable Fiat 500 two-door hatchback but find its tiny size to be a deal breaker, the four-door 2015 Fiat 500L would seem to be a compelling alternative. But we've found it has too many drawbacks. Other small wagons will be better choices." -- 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." -- Jalopnik (2014)
- "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 (2014)
Other Cars to Consider
Reviewers note that the Subaru Outback handles with composure and has a well-built interior with high-end materials. The Outback gets slightly better fuel economy than the 500L, and it has more cargo and passenger volume, more horsepower and comes standard with all-wheel drive.
Many auto writers say the Mini Countryman is more agile and fun to drive than the Fiat 500L. Critics add that the Countryman's cabin has first-rate materials and spacious front and rear seats, and it is available with all-wheel drive.
Details: 2015 Fiat 500L
The 2015 Fiat 500L seats five and is available in Pop, Easy, Trekking and Lounge trims. 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 automated manual or new six-speed automatic are available, depending on the trim. The 500L debuted for the 2014 model year and sees few major changes for 2015, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2014 and 2015 model years.