2014 Fiat 500L

Pop FWD 4-Dr Hatchback I4 man trans

2014 fiat 500l Reviews and News

2014 Fiat 500L Front View
While sitting (cowering, really) outside the bathrooms at Baltimore-Washington International Airport during a tornado warning, I pondered my day driving the 2014 Fiat 500L.
Fiat chose the Maryland city to introduce its second U.S. model line because it is the initial port of entry for the 2014 500L once it arrives from the factory in Kragujevac, Serbia. Unlike U.S.-spec 500 hatchbacks and convertibles, which are assembled in Mexico, 500L models for both European and American consumption are built side-by-side and share almost nothing with the smaller Cinquecento, save the number 500 in their monikers and the 1.4-liter engine.

Not Just a Big 500

The design of the 500L was equally as inspired by the Cinquecento lineage as it was by the 600 Multipla and the early-2000's Multipla MPV. The Multipla debuted with strange, two-tier styling, a bulbous greenhouse, and lights mounted at the base of the A-pillars, although it eventually underwent a facelift that toned down the styling. The 2014 500L looks like it could be the follow up to the 1998-2010 Multipla. It has a similar short nose, long and raked windshield, and a large glass area. Like both of the Multiplas, there is an excellent use of interior space, despite a small exterior footprint. The 500L also manages to maintain the cute-yet-gawky aesthetic of its predecessors -- the Cinquecento design has hit its teenage years in the 500L, with braces (the front air inlet/grille), mass that looks a overgrown for its wheels (16-inchers are standard, with 17s the only larger option), and a few aspects that now seem out of proportion (the taillights look too small for the large rear end). It's not a bad look, but it's not button-cute like the 500.
Inside, the 500L bares no resemblance to the itty-bitty 500. 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. To help create an airy cabin, Fiat's engineers widened the A- and D-pillars and added glass panels to help enhance visibility. Add a full-length glass sunroof (a $950 option on all but the base Pop model), and the cabin feels almost convertible-like, minus the wind-in-your-hair experience. Combine that with a seating position that's higher than most cars but lower than an SUV, and the 500L has great views in all directions.
The cabin's design, however, is on the staid side. There is a standard five-inch touchscreen (6.5 inches on upscale models) and three large rotary knobs for climate control. Everything is laid out well, easy to use, and fonts are large and clear. Fiat offers a number of different trims matched to the exterior color, and the seats are covered in premium-, durable-feeling fabric. The seats are also relatively comfortable, if on the flat side, and the door armrests are hard and undersized. Fabrizio Vacca, one of Fiat's senior interior designers from Centro Stile in Turin who worked on the 500L's interior, told me that the tiny armrests are due to European crash regulations, and that Fiat's design team is working on enlarging them for a later U.S.-spec model.

Behind the Wheel

Powering the 2014 Fiat 500L is the same 1.4-liter turbocharged I-4 found in the 500 Abarth and the Dodge Dart, rated here for 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Three six-speed transmissions will be offered for the 500L: a manual is standard and a dual-clutch is a $1350 standalone option; a traditional six-speed automatic will be available for American customers at the start of 2014. The dual-clutch transmission, called Euro Twin Clutch, is a different unit than the dual dry-clutch transmission found in the Dart -- unfortunately however, it isn't much smoother or more responsive. We expect the traditional automatic, once it becomes available, to be the transmission of choice for most American buyers. The Euro Twin Clutch is rated at 24/33 mpg city/highway, while the manual is good for one more mpg in the city.
For us, the transmission of choice is the six-speed manual. Although the throws are long and the clutch is overly light, it's much more rewarding to drive than the DCT. Being able to row your own gears allows you to better utilize the 1.4's torque curve (peak torque is available from 2500 to 4000 rpm). The three-pedal setup adds a dose of fun to what is otherwise a fairly average driving experience and helps to add to the Italianitá of the Fiat mystique.
The 500L's ride is taut without being harsh or overly stiff, although this is no canyon carver by any means. Thanks to the combination of a 65.7-inch height, a 69.8-inch width, and smallish 16-inch wheels, there plenty of body roll in hard cornering and a lot of head toss over broken road surfaces. The same Koni frequency selective dampers from the front suspension of the 500 Abarth are utilized on all four corners here and help to smooth out the ride, despite the 102.8-inch wheelbase. The 500L uses a damper-strut front suspension and a torsion axle at the rear. Specially tuned bushings are specific to the North American market, as are larger 12.0-inch front and 10.4-inch rear brake discs, a tire pressure monitoring system, and all-season tires. The electric power steering is well weighted and doesn't feel over-boosted or artificial, although it's somewhat uncommunicative.

Aggressive Italian

Fiat has priced the 2014 500L only a few thousand dollars over the smaller 500. The base 500L Pop starts at $19,900 with destination, and comes with 16-inch wheels, heated side-view mirrors, air conditioning, keyless entry, power locks and windows, Bluetooth, and more. The Pop is available only with the six-speed manual. The mid-grade 500L Easy adds aluminum wheels, tinted rear glass, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and a premium six-speaker audio system, and starts at $20,895 for the manual or $22,245 for the DCT. Topping the range is the 500L Lounge that comes only with the DCT and includes niceties such as foglamps, chrome trim, power-adjustable heated leather front seats with power driver's side lumbar, automatic dual-zone climate control, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Pricing for the 500L Lounge starts at $24,995.
Designed specifically for the U.S. market (but also available in Europe) is the 500L Trekking. Slotting between the Easy and the Lounge, the Trekking has revised front and rear fascias with an SUV-inspired look including dark-grey plastic cladding, 17-inch aluminum wheels, a two-tone Nero/Marrone (black/brown) interior, and satin exterior trim. The Trekking can be had with either transmission: $22,995 for the manual and $24,345 for the dual-clutch.
Fiat is further sweetening the deal further for the car's first year of production. It will throw in the Premier Package -- rear parking sensors, a backup camera, and the 6.5-inch touchscreen with navigation -- free of charge on 500L Easy, Trekking, and Lounge models; the automaker says the package is worth about $1700 in content.
Back in Baltimore, the tornado warning eventually was called off. But should the arrival of the 500L raise an alarm for Mini with its Countryman? Well, the Fiat is a lot less expensive -- by nearly $3000. But it's offered with front-wheel drive only, while the Mini can be had with all-wheel drive. The Mini is also more rewarding to drive thanks to better handling and more direct steering. Where the Fiat 500L excels is being very usable in every day life without losing one iota of the brand's unique flair.
2014 Fiat 500L
2014 Fiat 500L

New For 2014

The 2014 Fiat 500L is all-new and is the first generation of the model. Fans of the brand, however, will recognize that the 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine comes straight from the Fiat 500 Abarth hot hatch.

Vehicle Summary

The 2014 Fiat 500L is the second model line in Fiat's U.S. portfolio. Although the Italian brand offers numerous different models overseas, it started here with just the diminutive 500 hatchback and convertible. Despite sharing the 500 moniker and similar design cues, the 500 and the 500L share almost no engineering and mechanicals. That said, the concept of a larger Cinquecento variant more adept at ferrying people and stuff isn't new. Even before the introduction of the original 500 in 1957, Fiat's lineup included the 600 Multipla minibus. That original Multipla had the same essence as the new Fiat 500L: a Cinquecento with more space for those who need it.

The design of the 2014 Fiat 500L was equally as inspired by the Cinquecento lineage as it was by the 600 Multipla and the late-1990s Multipla. The more recent Multipla debuted with strange, two-tier styling, a bulbous greenhouse, and lights mounted at the base of the A-pillars, although it eventually underwent a face-lift that toned down the styling. The Fiat 500L looks like it could be the follow-up to the 1998-2010 Multipla. It has a similar short nose, long and raked windshield, and large glass area. Like previous Multiplas, there's an excellent use of interior space despite a small exterior footprint.

Overview

With the 2014 Fiat 500L, the brand is looking to capitalize on its chic and cheeky 500 microcar and appeal to folks who were shut out from the Italian hatchback due to its small size. The 500L rides on Fiat's new "Small U.S. Wide" platform, which is an enlarged version of the underpinnings from the Europe-only Grande Punto compact hatch. Powering the Fiat 500L is a 1.4-liter turbocharged I-4 sourced from the sporty 500 Abarth; in the 500L, the turbo four-cylinder is rated for 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. Transmission options both offer six speeds -- a manual gearbox is standard, while a dual-clutch automatic (called the Euro Twin Clutch) is a $1350 standalone option. Fiat has promised that a traditional six-speed automatic is in the works for the beginning of 2014. We prefer the manual transmission, as the dual-clutch shifts clunkily and is slow to respond to inputs; the manual has long throws and the clutch is overly light, but it feels distinctly European and helps make the most of the 1.4-liter's power. Buyers looking for a fun, funky compact people mover who don't mind giving up some dynamic capability for an all-around more usable package may find the Fiat 500L to be the best in its class.

While the powertrain won't wow most drivers, the cabin will. The design is a bit staid -- especially when compared to the expressive exterior design -- but Fiat's engineers have added glass panels to help enhance visibility around the pillars. Add a full-length glass sunroof (a $950 option on all but the base Pop model), and the cabin feels almost convertible-like, minus the wind-in-your-hair experience. Combine that with a seating position that's higher than most cars but lower than an SUV, and the Fiat 500L has great views in all directions. The cabin is light, airy, and open, which is a welcome foil to the competition's dark and encapsulating interiors. With 21.3 cubic feet of cargo space, the Fiat 500L also has more room behind the rear seats than its competition from Kia, Mini, Nissan, and Scion.

You'll like:

  • Bright and airy interior
  • Peppy engine
  • Competitive price

You won't like:

  • Lumpy exterior styling
  • Clunky and unrefined dual-clutch automatic
  • Lots of body roll in corners

Key Competitors

  • Kia Soul
  • Mini Cooper Countryman
  • Nissan Cube
  • Scion xB
2014 Fiat 500 L Godzilla Ad Screenshot
Fiat markets their vehicles toward buyers with European tastes, and it appears gigantic prehistoric dinosaurs are no exception. In a new television ad spot promoting the new Godzilla summer blockbuster, Fiat 500 and 500L vehicles become targets for Godzilla as he plows through city streets.
2014 Ram Sun Chaser SEMA Concept Rear View With Mark Trostle And Pietro Gorlier
With the 2013 SEMA show just around the corner, we’re not surprised to see Chrysler’s Mopar accessories division pull the cover off a handful of the 20 one-off vehicles it plans on displaying at the Las Vegas-based trade show, including a new 2014 Jeep Cherokee.
Fiat 500l Profile City
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) named the 2014 Fiat 500L and 2014 Jeep Cherokee as 2013 Top Safety Picks yesterday.
Fiat 500L Backseat Italians Drinking Espresso
Fiat has shown its Italian pride in previous advertisements, and its latest video has some fun with the brand's Italiano roots. Titled "Backseat Italians," the clip shows what it would be like if every 2014 Fiat 500L came with an Italian family for the rear seats.

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New 2014 Fiat 500L Pricing

Fair Market Price what is this?
$18,866
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price
$19,195
Estimated Monthly Payment to Own
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Estimated Monthly Payment to Lease
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Certified Pre-Owned 2014 Fiat 500L Pricing

Certified Pre Owned Price
$14,775

Used 2014 Fiat 500L Values / Pricing

Suggested Retail Price
$19,195

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2014 Fiat 500L
2014 Fiat 500L
Pop FWD 4-Dr Hatchback I4
25 MPG City | 33 MPG Hwy
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2014 Fiat 500L
2014 Fiat 500L
Pop FWD 4-Dr Hatchback I4
$19,195
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2014 Fiat 500L Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
1.4L I4Engine
Fuel economy City:
25 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
33 MPG
Horsepower:
160 hp @ 5500rpm
Torque:
184 ft lb of torque @ 2500rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer Rear (optional)
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
Vehicle
Unlimited miles / 24 months
Powertrain
Unlimited miles / 24 months
Corrosion
Unlimited miles / 96 months
Roadside
Unlimited miles / 24 months
Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
Summary
Chrysler Group LLC (Chrysler) is recalling certain model year 2014 Fiat 500L vehicles manufactured April 5, 2013, through January 22, 2014. In certain temperatures, moving the transmission shift lever may have a delayed effect or no effect on selecting a transmission gear.
Consequences
If there is no effect, the vehicle might not shift out of the Park position. If there is a delayed effect, the vehicle may move in an unintended or unexpected direction, increasing the risk of a crash.
Remedy
Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the shifter module or update the shifter software, as necessary, free of charge. The recall began on March 31, 2014. Owners may contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number associated with this recall is P06.
Potential Units Affected
18,092
Notes
Chrysler Group LLC


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
AIR BAGS:KNEE BOLSTER
Summary
Chrysler Group LLC (Chrysler) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 Fiat 500L vehicles manufactured March 3, 2012, to July 25, 2014. Irregularities in the folding process during assembly of the driver's knee airbag may result in its improper deployment. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208, "Occupant Crash Protection."
Consequences
If the knee airbag air bag does not deploy properly during a crash, there is an increased risk of driver injury.
Remedy
Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will replace the driver's knee air bag, free of charge. The recall began on September 26, 2014. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is P42.
Potential Units Affected
25,483
Notes
Chrysler Group LLC


NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
Good
IIHS Overall Side Crash
Good
IIHS Rear Crash
Good
IIHS Roof Strength
Good
IIHS Front Small Overlap
Poor

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2014 Fiat 500L

Depreciation
35.6%
Loss in Value + Expenses
= 5 Year Cost to Own
Depreciation
$11,980
35.6%
Insurance
$6,655
19.8%
Fuel Cost
$9,388
27.9%
Financing
$2,189
6.5%
Maintenance
$2,293
6.8%
Repair Costs
$750
2.2%
State Fees
$373
1.1%
Five Year Cost of Ownership: $33,628 What's This?
Value Rating: Poor