Although I was only going to have it a few days, I paid to have the windows tinted so people couldn’t see me inside the car. I parked it in front of a neighbor’s house I don’t like. I found myself yearning for a Smart Car. It’s so slow, snails use it as a treadmill. The cops think their radar gun is broken.
OK, enough making fun of the 2014 Fiat 500L. It has some positive attributes, but wow-do I find it ugly to look at.
This new Fiat model is 2-feet longer than the original Fiat that hit the United States in 2011. It also has 2 more doors. Fiat calls it a UUV, an Urban Utility Vehicle, but I call it a station wagon.
Under the hood, it has a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4 cylinder engine that puts out 160-horses. This larger Fiat weighs over 3200 pounds, so the horsepower is barely adequate. The transmission is a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic.
On the plus side, the car is incredibly roomy inside. People 6’4” can easily fit in this car, and the backseat is large with a lot of leg room. You can actually put three normal sized adults in the back seat. Cargo area is exceptional too, especially with the back seat folded down. The driver and front passenger seats are wide and comfortable.
The 500L has big doors and with the upright roof line, it is easy to slide into the car. Once you’re seated, you have an excellent field of vision that comes from the Fiat’s large glass area. The dash of the 500L is contemporary and well laid out. The instrument cluster looks great and is easy to read. The dials deliver information clearly, and the full-sized infotainment interface is easy to operate with no learning curve.
The 500L comes in four trim levels; Pop, Easy, Trekking and Lounge. My tester is the Lounge model, the top of the line. This vehicle is actually very nicely equipped. It comes standard with power windows and locks, tilt wheel, cruise control, Bluetooth, integrated voice command, and steering wheel controls.
Options wise, this Fiat has dual-zone air conditioning, power lumbar support, rear seat armrest with cup holders, premium stereo with 6 speakers, power sunroof, and heated front seats. This one has navigation, backup camera, and rear parking assist.
Driving dynamics are mixed. The 500L feels top heavy, especially in curves. The automatic transmission is quirky and unresponsive at times. It shifts quickly to maximize fuel economy, which adds to the sluggishness, especially in town.
I will say that if you can get past the looks, the Fiat 500L is an exceptional value, it truly is. My tester is a light brownish tan called Mocha Latte. The entire roof is black, and the 16” wheels look way to small. The interior is black and gray, which is a bit of a head scratcher with the exterior color. I had hoped the looks would grow on me, but it is just not going to happen.
What I liked most: The value of the car.
What I would change: Everything about the exterior.
MSRP: Base price on the Lounge model is $20,195, as equipped $25,545.
Fuel Economy: 24 City/33 Highway. It is coming up a little short in town.
2014 Fiat 500 in a few words: Ray Charles would LOVE this car.
Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper, and powertrain coverage.
Dealers: If you want to purchase a new Fiat, you are on your own.
Manufacturer’s website: http://www.fiat.com/com/500L