2019 FIAT 500L Review


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2019 FIAT 500L Overview

The FIAT 500L first reached our shores in 2014, taking the iconic and timeless styling of the two-door 500 model and stretching it across a larger template. It hasn’t had any major changes since its introduction.

FIAT designed the 500L to straddle the line between an SUV and a hatchback. With its tall roofline, tidy dimensions, and expansive cabin, it competes with everything from the MINI Countryman and Kia Soul to the Hyundai Elantra GT and Honda Civic Hatchback. Visibility is one of the 500L’s strong suits, thanks to nearly 360 degrees of glass. It seats up to 5 people and holds between 22.4 and 68 cubic feet of cargo.

The sole engine for the 500L is FIAT’s 1.4-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder MultiAir engine, producing a reasonable 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. It’s coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission, with a manual shifting mode that drives the front wheels. All-wheel drive (AWD) isn’t on the menu; you’ll need to turn to the FIAT 500X crossover for that capability. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the 500L at 22 miles per gallon city, 30 highway, and 25 combined on premium fuel.

All three trims, Pop, Trekking, and Lounge, return for 2019. With the base Pop trim, FIAT gives you 16-inch aluminum wheels, power heated mirrors, chrome door handles, projector-beam halogen headlights, a capless fuel filter, keyless entry, 60/40-split reclining and sliding rear seats, and a 7.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Chrome Appearance Group adds 17-inch chrome wheels and additional exterior brightwork, while the Convenience Group tacks on dual-zone automatic climate control, a power 2-way driver lumbar adjust, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Finally, the Premium Package includes the Convenience Group, as well as satellite radio, navigation, and Beats Premium Audio. Meanwhile, the Trekking and Lounge models present rugged and luxury themes with all the Premium Package content and leather upholstery included. For 2019, FIAT now allows you to wrap your model in Bronzo Metallizato or Rosso.

A reversing camera and a full set of airbags come standard on every 500L. The only option is a set of reversing sensors. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2018 model a poor rating for small-front overlap, but good scores in every other category.

The FIAT 500L is a plus-sized hatchback, ideal for those who want to maximize interior space without graduating to a crossover. With a heavy dose of cheerful Italian design, it’s also difficult to mistake for anything else.


Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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