2014 Fiat 500L Review

2014 Fiat 500L Review the all-new 2014 Fiat 500l this is Fiats second entry into the American market since coming back with their much smaller Fiat 500 I’ll apologize in advance I’m finding a sinus infection so if I sound a little nasally orch off a little bit in this video when we apologize for that right up front but let’s walk around let’s
take a look so what is the 500l well

let’s get one thing out of the way right
away this is not a stretched Fiat 500 in fact this is much more closely related to the Fiat Multipla or the Grande Punto two vehicles that are very strangely named to the American ear and are sold only in Europe that means it’s 27 inches longer than a Fiat 500 it’s about 6 inches wider and about 6 inches taller as well this thing is quite large compared to that Fiat 500 it’s not a terribly large vehicle for the American market as you can see I’m about 6 feet tall and you can see me in relation to this vehicle we do have a very large
rear door which is one of the hallmark

styling features of the Fiat 500 there
are a number of odd things going on here to the American eye as well we have the a pillar right here and the B pillar I suppose you’d call it that right here because there’s this fairly large interesting first window so 10 pieces of glass in this car it’s an awful lot of glass going on here glass wraps all the way around the back another window back here and then of course we get the rear window here as well our model has the optional panoramic sunroof which means the roof of this Fiat 500l is all glass as well overall the styling kind of eights the Fiat 500 just a little bit but the proportions seem off to my eye beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder so let me get one thing out of the way
right up front not that keen on the

styling on the Fiat 500l and it’s just
the L version because I think that the small regular sized Fiat 500 is incredibly attractive but for me something just goes a little bit wrong when Fiat translates it to this much larger vehicle and I think the problem for me is that the proportions seem a little bit off versus that cute small Fiat 500 we still have the same headlamp arrangement going on here with the main beam and high beams up here the fog lamps down below we still have the Fiat badge nice and prominent on the front with these large chrome sort of winged things going on here the pop the easy and the lounge models of the Fiat 500l get this front arrangement well the trekking model gets a slightly different front bumper to be a little bit more stylish

I’d love to hear what you think about

the Fiat 500l styling so go ahead and comment in the comment section down below I have met a few people this week who really really liked the way that Fiat 500l looked but on the whole a lot of people scratch their head when they looked at it a lot of that head scratching comes from these small windows right here on the vehicle it’s an interesting style choice but it’s one that looks a little bit peculiar to the American IDE because I haven’t seen this in a very long time it reminds me an awful lot of 1950s cars where they had sort of a bubble windshield and the windshield wrapped all the way around from this portion of the car all the way around with one continuous piece of glass around the front I almost think that would have been a better style choice for Fiat to have had a wraparound windshield like that although it does result in some strange optical

distortions we’ll take a look at this

more on the inside the small front window is mostly an interesting style choice for Fiat because it doesn’t really impact front visibility that much this pillar is fairly narrow as you can see right here it mostly makes the interior the 500 airier than it would be otherwise and it allows this dashboard and front windscreen to be slightly larger and positioned further forward in the vehicle than it would otherwise because you have that small window there so you don’t have to have the dashboard and the sides wrap all the way around to that front door the back of the 500l is somewhat plain and we lose that steeply raked rear hatch that you find in the regular Fiat 500 interesting style choice they put the backup camera right here in the middle of this zero in the Fiat 500 logo and you’ll find the hatch
release for that large rear hatch right

there just above the license plate now

the hatch does open to reveal a very large cargo area which is quite nice this hatch is fairly upright which means that storing cargo in the Fiat 500l is quite efficient as well we have a single chrome exhaust tip down here there’s only one engine option in the Fiat 500 so let’s go take a look at that under the hood of the Fiat 500l you’ll find a version of the same 1.4 liter multi air turbo that you’ll find under the hood of the regular Fiat 500 Abarth trim as well as that new Dodge Dart in this vehicle it produces 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque the Fiat 500l is front-wheel drive only based on the floor stamping in this vehicle we don’t expect an all-wheel drive model at anytime power is sent to these front wheels only via a standard 6-speed manual transmission which is relatively similar to the one that you’ll find in the Fiat 500 Abarth as well as a
six-speed dual-clutch automatic

now that dual clutch transmission is really just to manual transmissions jammed together in the same casing and the computer controls the shift and the clutch thanks to that manual based transmission fuel economy is fairly high in the Fiat 500l scoring 25 in the city 33 on the highway and a 27 mile per gallon combined rating by the EPA all models of the Fiat 500l come with a tilt telescoping steering wheel which is a handy feature in a vehicle like this and that’s because this front seat has a decent range of motion regardless of which Fiat 500 model you get now the seat is always manual regardless of which trim level of 500l that you do opt
for but you do have a decent range of

motion you can really move the seat
quite high up for a manually adjustable seat the passenger seat on the Fiat 500 is optionally adjustable for height as well so it is an option not on the base pop model but on the upper level trims of the Fiat 500 you do get that option but you have a decently high ceiling even though this model has the optional sunroof which makes it a lot easier for taller drivers to get in this car and feel comfortable they’ll also feel comfortable with these large and very wide seat bottom cushions and seat back cushions the bolstering is not terribly severe so it’s a lot easier for larger passengers and larger drivers to get comfortable in an interesting twist we have an electrically adjustable lumbar support in this seat not available in that base Fiat 500l again but it is standard in the upper trim levels let’s take a look around the interior now again we’re in the lounge model and our model has these partial leather seats so this portion of the seat is vinyl and then the seating portions of the seat are leather so we get this perforated leather here on the driver and front passenger seat they move over to the doors you’ll find an upgrade over the very base model of Fiat 500 and that is these soft vinyl insert in the door we get that same soft vinyl treatment over here on the dashboard as well have a
split glovebox arrangement with a small

glovebox here and a second small one
below it air vents that open and close in the dashboard our model has the 6.5 inch color touchscreen based models I’ve inch color touch screen down here we’ll have menu controls we’ll go over those in a little bit fog lamps door lock button over here on the dashboard dual zone climate control is an option in the Fiat 500l and then down here we have the inputs for that you connect audio system continuing down we have two fairly large cup holders which is a nice improvement for the American market you can easily fit large sodas in there from Drive thrus we have our shifter for the six-speed automatic transmission it has a manual mode there down here you’ll find your stability control off button a very strangely positioned and very strangely shaped parking brake so if I move the camera here and I can get my hand in that position it’s very odd to use actually it’s not in the most ergonomic handle I’ve ever seen this is very stylized very stylish for the Fiat 500 we get a single fairly small center armrest as well fairly small cubby on the inside you can barely fit a wallet and a few other items in there everything is definitely very European

sized in this car from that center
armrest to this interesting placed air vent right here in the dashboard that’s above the radio as you can see this helps direct air to the rear passengers since there no air vents in the rear of the car moving over to the steering wheel we have our cruise control buttons on this side of the steering wheel and our phone buttons and voice command buttons on this side of the steering wheel in Chrysler fashion these are borrowed from the Chrysler line if we have buttons on the back of the steering wheel for volume up and down and source selection as well as track up and down on this other side of the steering wheel the instrument cluster is straight out of Fiat C we have a four dial arrangement here speedometer tachometer fuel gauge and temperature gauge this multi-information display in the middle is very typical in the Fiat lineup in Europe and it’s just been transplanted for the American model our Fiat 500l has the optional panoramic sunroof one thing to keep in mind is this panoramic sunroof does not have a completely opaque cover to it so most vehicles with

a sunroof this is a piece of fabric that
does not let any light through the Fiat 500l as well as the Fiat 500 sunroof covers allow an awful lot of light in it makes the cabin feel airy but personally it gives me a bit of a headache and it makes the cabin a little bit too hot for me in hot Sun so it is something to keep in mind if you live in a hotter climate getting the Fiat 500 is fairly easy thanks to those large door openings once you’re inside you’ll find seat bottom cushions that are a lot further from the floor than you’ll find in something like a Kia Soul or a MINI Countryman that does cut down on Headroom however because I’m sitting a little bit higher off the ground in the overall vehicle is about the same height my head is touching the ceiling again we are in the model with the optional sunroof so if you don’t opt for that Center if you do get a bit more rear headroom I’m only 6 feet tall and I couldn’t sit upright in this back seat I do have a decent amount of legroom however this front seat suggested for me and I have about four or five inches of legroom left there the middle seat in the Fiat 500l is just about as
comfortable as these outboard seats as

well the seat cushion is a little bit
firmer so it’s a little bit less comfortable there but I don’t have much of a hump here so still have a decent amount of legroom left Headroom is actually a little bit better in this middle seat just because of how this sunroof is positioned if I scoot over all the way to this side this front seat was adjusted for a six foot five passenger in the car because you can see I still have several inches of legroom left behind that seat these rear seats do recline in a two stage recline mechanism so this is the most upright position and this seat that I’m in right here is the most reclined position there’s no intermediary position in these Fiat 500l seats one thing you won’t find a whole lot of our cup holders in the Fiat 500l Outback we only have this one cup holder in this fairly small center armrest we were able to put the largest size takeout cup you can get in a drive-through in America in this cup holder it fit fairly well but it’ll only fit one now there are these bottle holders in the doors as well one on each side of the Fiat 500l but the manual
tells you not to put a traditional-style

take-out drink the one with the snap-on
plastic lid in these door pockets they’re strictly for bottles with sealed lids only making cargo-carrying easier these rear seats do move forward and backward almost five inches they also tilt forward as well as tumble forward to increase that rear storage area now you still have portions of the seat in the way and these seats don’t come completely out but it is an awful lot handier to have them in that position then in this position because that cargo area is quite low so let’s go back there take a look at that now we were able to fit a surprising amount of cargo in the Fiat 500l this is the largest roller bag you can carry on a domestic flight so you can see you can fit several of them fairly easily in this cargo area if it almost three of them side-by-side in this position in this cargo area but there is a little bit of a trick to this cargo area and that is that it has this divider that you can either remove or reposition at the bottom of this load floor you can fit smaller items under it like that and then you can put this divider back in right there nestled on the bottom of the load floor and then you can put these larger roller bags in this upright position so you can fit more of them in the back fairly easily some additional cargo cargo can go on top of them as well and there is also a standard cargo tonneau cover over the
top to keep your belongings out of view

so we have the optional beats audio

system we have a subwoofer back here that takes up a little bit of cargo room overall the truck comfort score in the Fiat 500l is a solid eight out of 10 points for cars this size decent amount of trunk space back here and the cargo hatch has a very nice handle making a lot easier to close that cargo area when you want to let’s take a closer look at the infotainment system now you’re not interested in that then go ahead and follow those instructions at the bottom of your screen to skip forward to the drive section of the review our particular model has the optional 6.5 inch you connect system because of Fiat and Chryslers tie up all fiat models in the US will now be receiving the same you connect system as the Dodge Ram Chrysler and Jeep vehicles this is the smaller version of the same system that’s been winning a number of awards in the Chrysler 300 and the great Jeep Grand Cherokee now base pop models get a 5-inch version of the system that does not have navigation and other models in America for 2014 will come standard with this 6.5 inch screen we’re told that the 2015 model year Fiat may change that and they may cause it to be a $1700 option but we’re also being told that for 2014 that all models will get the same system it’s very similar to the 8 inch you connect to system that we’ve recently reviewed in the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler 300 except that instead of having these buttons for radio media nav etcetera part of the screen interface we have direct access buttons on the bottom
which means we don’t really lose

much screen real estate when you compare

it to those other systems down here we have the direct access buttons to radio up across the top we have our presets multiple pages of preset buttons as you can see across there you switch between am/fm and Sirius XM with those buttons there on the screen we also have direct access to nning which I really like because a number of systems that are in this space you you have to tune using the knob you can’t just type in the number you want and this really is much more efficient to enter your information that way we also have access to traffic and weather by Sirius XM over here on the media tab you’ll find your typical Chrysler iPod interface the system provides one USB port and SD card slot and an auxilary input one thing you will not find on the Fiat 500l not available at any price is a CD player there’s just no place for a CD to go in the stash because digital media has really taken over much like the other you connect product the iPod interface is very nicely featured it also is fairly quick in response full access to your complete I device USB stick etc full access to playlists songs albums etc new for this year they’re also full voice commands in the system a la Microsoft Sync with the Ford product line and Lincoln product line so you can just hit the button and tell it to play the artist or the track that you’re looking for over here on the nav interface we have the same Garmin
interface that the larger system uses so

we click on this button you’ll see that

now we have the Garmin map because this system puts the direct access buttons on the bottom I find the system to be just a little bit better integrated than the 1/10 system in terms of the way the nav looks on the screen system is fairly snappy especially when you compare it to something like Mazdas new system we do have full voice commands of the nav interface on the system although they are not designed the same way as most other nav products so most nav products in a space you’d hit the command button and you’d say navigation destination or something along those lines to take you to a new destination here you’d say navigation and then where to or navigation view map so it’s exactly what you see on this screen here as far as entering a navigation address the address entry in the system is very speedy you can see here we’ll enter an address it’s not quite as fast as some of the other products in this segment but overall this ranks somewhere in the middle definitely faster than my Ford touch if we go over here to the phone interface you’ll find again the same phone interface that you’ve seen in other systems optional text messaging if your phone supports it it’s not supported by iOS devices at this time one thing to note is the system does provide enough power to power certain Hydra devices like modern tablets Android tablets iPods iPads etc that
required just a little bit more USB

power than those original devices would

the more tab basically displays a home screen so you can see what your media is doing on the top the outside temperature is what your navigation is doing by clicking on one of these quadrants it’ll take you to that particular section inside you connect so you can interact with it if you want your settings there over here on this little gear icon you really can’t change any vehicle settings in the Fiat 500l via this display if you want to change vehicle settings that’s down here in this menu button and you have to use that display in the center of the instrument cluster to change things like the dimmer speed buzzer a few other vehicle settings like that are changed via this menu button here there are a few certain systems that are changed in this screen like how the door locks behave on the car the clock certain safety and driving assistance systems in this car we only have the Park View backup camera and it’s delay but overall it is still a little bit odd just like the regular Fiat 500 in that there is this second menu to interact with the UConnect 5 system in that base pop model operates very similarly except of course for the smaller screen slightly different knob placement and the lack of the nav option compared to the 8-inch screen this system is a little bit more sluggish I’m not exactly clear why Chrysler tells us there isn’t a whole lot different in terms of hardware other than the screen size but we did notice that changing screens in the system is a little bit more sluggish than our last experience with Chrysler so you connect the system overall ranks higher than my Ford touch in terms of responsiveness just about the same in terms of voice
command slightly lower in terms of that

navigation interface because the maps
aren’t quite is nice we don’t have access to smartphone integration in the system yet we do expect that at some point in time just not in the 2014 model year also 2015 the system will no longer be standard across the the product line piata is just calling this a gift for the launch of the 2014 Fiat 500l I hope that they changed their mind on that because this really does bring the Fiat 500l up quite a bit in this market segment the Nissan Cube and the Kia Soul do not include nice touchscreen radios by default and minis I Drive connected system is a very useful system but I don’t like its interface quite as much as this I do like I drive in general but BMWs version that they put in the mini product line is sort of a hobbled clipped down version of the regular BMW idrive system so overall the scores top marks for me the Fiats dual clutch transmission may take a little bit of getting used to if you’re used to driving a regular automatic transmission that’s because this transmission shifts a great deal with a 1.4 liter turbocharged engine under the hood this car is very eager to upshift to improve fuel economy but it’s also quite eager to downshift when you need a little bit more power sometimes it down shifts a little bit too eagerly if I’m honest because the torque curve on this turbocharged engine really isn’t all that bad it’s fairly broad through about 2,000 rpm to right around 5,000 rpm or so and so some of the down shifts that this car performs really aren’t necessary but at least it’s not sluggish in that respect so you never feel like the car isn’t doing what you want it to do it’s never really feeling like it’s taking its dear time accelerating either in terms of actual

performance numbers we scored zero to 60

in eight point three four seconds which is fairly respectable for a car of this size definitely better than I had expected when you think about a car with a small 1.4 liter turbo under the hood I’d call these performance numbers relatively similar to something like that Buick Encore which in a way sort of competes with the Fiat 500l not quite the same vehicle but again there really isn’t anything quite like this Fiat 500l out there there are two other situations where dual clutch transmissions and that’s pretty much anybody’s not just Fiats feel a little bit unusual the first is in lowest driving if you’re driving slowly along a gravel road because you don’t want to get your car dusty or maybe you’re just going down a driveway slowly something like that then the car is slipping the clutch in order to do that so if you’re going up an incline slowly then that can result in some very jerky stop-and-go motions or you can just end up with a little bit of increased clutch where you can get a little whiff of clutch smell in the Fiat 500 because it uses dry clutches it’s not something that you get in Volkswagens DSG switch primarily use wet clutches but overall that’s not
really a major problem the second thing

that you get with dual clutch

transmissions is you get a little bit of rolling forward or rolling backward if you’re on very slight slopes if you’re on a more aggressive slope and this car does have he’ll hold assist and so it will maintain brake pressure to keep you from rolling forwards or rolling backwards in those situations but otherwise it is a manual transmission says no torque no torque converter there so if you’re on a slight up incline and you just release your foot from the brake you’re going to roll backwards just a little bit like you would at a manual transmission again it’s something that you’ll get used to and it’s something that happens in all these dual clutch transmissions it’s not just a Fiat thing fiat tuned the springs and dampers in the 500l on the firm side of the spectrum and they gave the 500l fairly stiff anti-roll bars as well that really means that out on these roads we get very little body roll even though you can tell that grip isn’t as high as it would be in something like a MINI Countryman or you know one of the many wagons something along those lines it is fairly high and very confident feeling the suspension doesn’t get upset very easily over rough payment like the Kia Soul does Kia Soul has just a little bit of a problem there on uneven pavement definitely handles better than something like a Nissan Cube as well overall I would rank this about the same as a Buick Encore which is high praise

because I really liked that Buick Encore

the last time we had it the Encore has a nicer interior but I think that the the Fiat has a slightly better feel out on the road it’s definitely a little bit more power going on in this Fiat engine and thanks to that dual clutch transmission it really is able to apply that power better than the Buick Encore as well the engine and chassis go so well together that I wish Fiat had included shift paddles on the steering wheel part of that is just the positioning of this shifter in the center console because this center armrest is in the position that it’s in you have to lift it out of the way in order to really use that shifter for shifting the car manually and it’s one of these forward backward rather than side-to-side shifters which I just don’t find quite as easy to use I really would prefer shift paddles because this transmission is very quick shifting and it’s very responsive it has a nice linear feel to it the gear ratios seem very well suited
to this 1.4 liter turbocharged engine as

well we’ve averaged a very respectable
28 miles per gallon over a week and 580 miles of aggressive driving in this Fiat 500l and that thanks to this dual clutch transmission as well as that 1.4 liter multi air turbo under the hood when it comes to fuel economy one thing to keep in mind with the 500l is that increasing your speed really has a huge impact on your fuel economy just going from 70 to 75 miles per hour in this 500 L dropped our fuel economy from about 33 miles per gallon or so average out on the highway that’s a flat level highway with the cruise control set to around 25 or 26 miles per gallon and that’s thanks to this dual clutch transmissions gearing sixth gear is not terribly high and at

72 miles an hour this engine is spinning
about 2500 rpm which is fairly quick dropping a seventh gear into this transmission as has been long rumored haven’t really seen one yet but Fiat supposedly may offer one at some point would probably help that and I would welcome that change my viewer request we’re now including a sound level measurement in our video reviews the
500l scored 70 decibels at 50 miles an

hour in 6th gear with cruise control set on an asphalt road surface is a little bit louder than the Buick Encore the Buick spends an awful lot of time getting sound insulation right in their products but the Encore is also a lot quieter when it comes to engine noise the Fiat 500l has a decent amount of engine noise coming from under the hood when you’re hard accelerating out on the highway it’s not so much of a problem however pricing for the 2014 Fiat 500l ranges from nineteen thousand one hundred dollars to twenty-seven thousand five hundred dollars which makes it about three thousand dollars cheaper than a MINI Countryman it’s really difficult to say what exactly the 500l competes with however because there’s nothing out there that’s really quite like it the countryman has the four-wheel drive options so it’s more of a mini SUV than the Fiat 500 Ellis there’s no all who drive option on this 500 as I said before it doesn’t really compete with something like a Kia Soul or a Nissan Cube either although the Nissan Cube is fairly similarly priced and that Kia Soul is just a little bit cheaper the model we tested was the fully loaded $27,500 500 L and as such it represents a decent value we got 28 miles per gallon over our 500 miles in the 500 L which is fairly good for a vehicle of this size the rear seats are fairly large and overall the vehicle itself is a fairly large vehicle you can jam an awful lot of cargo in the 500 L definitely more than you’d think by looking at it on the outside front seats are fairly comfortable and with Chrysler’s UConnect system in the dashboard it makes a decent gadget proposition as well the only thing you have to keep in mind is that the Fiat 500l is just a little bit euro funky that’s not necessarily a bad thing it’s just unusual for the American market you’ll find features and button positions and just the way things operate in the 500l is just that little bit outside the American norm so other American cars out there Japanese cars Korean cars that are sold in the American market they just operate just a little bit differently than the Fiat 500l so if you’re after something that looks different on the outside behaves a little bit differently on the inside then the 500l is probably a good buy not quite sure if I could get past the looks but other than the looks for me the 500l

Leave a Reply 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *