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2014 FIAT 500L Overview

The third modern FIAT to hit American streets could be a real charmer if the MINI Countryman's all-wheel drive and pricey tag go too far for you. The aptly named 500L debuts for 2014 and is over 2 feet longer with 2 more doors and nearly twice the interior room of FIAT's original 500, but it still needs premium fuel, style still cramps on certain spaces, and it's only available in a hatchback (for now, perhaps).

In all it's a bit like the also front-wheel-drive Honda Fit, but taken up a notch on almost every other account. Expansively customizable in tasteful style with a smooth yet impressively sporting ride, the 500L also has an expensive diet to match its expensive look and feel.

That said, its disconnected steering feel and standard 16-inch steel wheels (albeit in a myriad of available styles) threaten the 500L's stateside potential. See-through pillars and a flat demeanor through curves—amazing as those are—can only do so much to correct a lack of predictable response when you turn the wheel, and this will certainly be the defining line between the FIAT 500L and the Honda Fit. The Fit's innovative seating arrangements give it the edge in the back seat as well, but it and the MINI Countryman, too, are just as capable people-haulers as the 500L. FIAT certainly expressed the 2-adults-and-a-teen capacity best in its commercial, though.

So the FIAT 500L doesn't quite have the functional versatility of a Fit, but the Fit doesn't have the aesthetic versatility of a 500L, and the Countryman is mostly a more expensive mix of both with yet more options. However, if you're interested in spending less on gas than premium grade at a rate no better than 34 mpg highway as promised for the 500L, the new Chevrolet Spark performs similarly at no worse than 30 mpg city on the regular stuff, with decent steering response, too—but the 500L offers a lot more choices and roughly twice the Spark's trunk space.

Folding down the rear seats in a 500L opens up a very modest 45 cubic feet, but even with those seats up and in use, 23 cavernous cubes remain for cargo. Loaded up with features like a 5-inch touchscreen and Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity with an SMS text reader standard, the 500L offers a fantastic mix of comfort, space, technology and power for even very long trips, so long as you have a driving enthusiast at the wheel.

This turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder loves to be driven hard, like an Audi engine, directing 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual for a very engaging experience, as opposed to completely effortless. Those who don't necessarily love to drive for the sake of driving probably shouldn't take any 500L cross-country, but the top-shelf Lounge is made for that "automatic" transmission and going the distance.

Without any option for all-wheel drive, this mini crossover ute isn't exactly made for rugged conditions. Although the upper-middle Trekking trim comes with 17-inch wheels and just enough of a re-skin for an edgier look, that's not to be confused with any kind of prowess on an unpaved path. Otherwise the base Pop and lower-middle Easy trims are set up similarly to the original 500's base Pop and a less-extravagant 500 Lounge, with the same exceptionally vast array of customizations and upgrades available almost anywhere in the lineup.


Your prototypical "Tom Girl" Patricia got her start digging into Ford engines before she aged into double digits. Gifted with a mechanical mind, her favorite pass-time in the summer is picking up a fixer-up'r at the local public auction and massaging its every ailment until it's primed for a new lover. From dirt bikes to land yachts, every partner offers something truly special in her love affair with the road - just don't tell her husband.

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FIAT 500L Questions

FIAT 500L Boot Wont Latch Shut

My boot latch wont catch so the boot door is always open. I am not mechanically minded so any advice would be apprecited but please make it idiot proof. Thanks

Double Clutch Transmission

hello my double clutch transmission does not take the first gear and the third and fifth gear. What can be the problem?

Why Dont Dealers Take Down Cars That Have Old Well Over A Week Ago ???

Haims motors of hollywood florida ha s a car sold over two weeks

Transmission Tempeature Thermomeer

Greetings, What can I do regarding my transmission temperature light coming on without relying on the dealer to fix my car? With the COVID-19 many dealers and car repairs are booked up for weeks.

How To Reset Oil Change Light

On a Fiat 500L the oil change light needs to be reset. How do I do that?