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  • 2014 FIAT 500L

#7

in Upscale Small Cars

MSRP: $19,195 - $24,395
Invoice: $19,050 - $23,503
MPG: 25 City / 33 Hwy
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FIAT 500L Interior

Test drivers love the 500L’s generous cabin space and the natural light that pours in through its large glass windows. Noise-canceling glass makes the interior surprisingly quiet, they say. Some reviewers say the 500L’s exaggerated features, including a squared-off steering wheel, provide a distinctive European flair, while others think the cabin’s mostly hard surfaces look plain. Reviewers agree that versatile cargo space and the user-friendly Uconnect infotainment system combine to offer a pleasant experience for passengers and driver alike.

  • "The first thing that hits you is just how much space there is in the 500L and how much light pours in through all of the glass." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Better still are the outward visibility and overall refinement of Fiat's wagon. The 500L's unique glass A- and D-pillars and low beltline deliver outstanding vision in all directions. Meanwhile, the windshield's acoustic lamination, along with various noise, vibration and harshness reduction measures on U.S.-spec 500Ls, results in a brilliantly quiet cabin, even when the engine's working hard." -- Edmunds
  • "Interior design is stylishly Italian in character although most of the surfaces are hard plastic." -- Newsday
  • "Even in our car's rather sober gray and black interior (Fiat is to be commended for offering a wide variety of interior colors), the 500L feels positively light and cheerful, with quality materials and sensible control arrangements all around, something that can't be said for key rivals like the Mini Countryman." -- Autoblog

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Seating

The Fiat 500L accommodates five and comes standard with a telescoping steering wheel and cloth bucket seats. Upgrades include leather, as well as heated front seats and power-adjustable lumbar support for the front seats. Reviewers praise the Fiat 500L for its excellent visibility thanks to an elevated driver’s seat and oversized windows. Head- and legroom are ample, even for rear passengers, they say. While some find the seats unsupportive, others say they’re adequately comfy. One critic points out that the steering wheel blocks the driver’s view of the speedometer. 

  • "Headroom in all seats is sky-high. Outward visibility is good thanks to design elements such as a front pillar split by glass and wraparound rear windows." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 500L feels big inside. There is enough headroom for at least a point guard in the NBA, if not a small forward. Three average-size humans can easily sit in the back row." -- AutoWeek
  • "The awkwardly high driving position we've complained about in the hatch seems appropriate in this application, though the flat and unsupportive seats are still an issue." -- Motor Trend
  • "We were unable to find a seating position where the steering wheel didn't block the gauge cluster." -- USA Today

Interior Features

The Fiat 500L comes standard with a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, a USB port, an auxiliary input, FIAT’s Uconnect infotainment system with a 5-inch touch-screen display and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Optional features include a power sunroof, satellite radio, an upgraded Uconnect infotainment system with navigation and a 6.5-inch touch-screen display, a premium Beats audio system and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Reviewers say the 500L’s controls, including the touch screen and navigation, are easily accessible, responsive and simple to master. One test driver notes that audio controls are mounted behind the steering wheel and are difficult to see. Some reviewers advise against the optional Beats sound system, noting its lackluster sound quality. Most reviewers like the 500L’s oversized knobs and easy-to-read controls on the dash.

See the full 2014 Fiat 500L features and specs »                                                   

  • "As much as I gripe about infotainment systems in cars, this is probably one of the better ones I've sampled. The menus are fairly intuitive, they don't lag, and the inclusion of actual, physical buttons below the screen make it easy to navigate. UConnect is pretty solid overall." -- Jalopnik
  • "Skip the Beats; several editors slammed murky bass and dimensionless sound." -- Cars.com
  • "It's easy to sync it with a phone for music and calls, and navigation proved straightforward. There's even a feature that tells you when you're going over the speed limit, which came in handy during our tests. We weren't thrilled with its sub-par altimeter, however, which meant it occasionally couldn't tell the difference between a tunnel, a bridge, and a surface road." -- USA Today
  • "The last L stands for light and refers to human-friendly innovations such as the all-new Uconnect system, which can be accessed through the standard 5-inch or optional 6.5-inch touch screen, which was intuitive and responsive to gentle prodding." -- Motor Trend 

Cargo

The Fiat 500L offers 22.4 cubic feet of cargo space, which is a leading amount for the class, and 68 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Most reviewers like that the rear seats fold in multiple directions, allowing for various cargo and passenger configurations, though one critic says folding can be cumbersome and not worth the effort.

  • "The 500L boasts best-in-class overall interior space, as well as best-in-class cargo space, rivaling small minivans and mid-size SUVs in the category." -- Boston Globe
  • "The 500L's rear seats recline, slide, flip and tumble forward for cargo/passenger versatility." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “It was great to be able to fold the back seats down, but they also folded fully forward—added fuss, but with little cargo benefit." -- USA Today
  • "My driving partner also commented that her son's hockey bags would be no problem for the rear section, something she couldn't say about the 500." -- AutoWeek
Review Last Updated: 5/12/14

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