According to “U S News Best Cars”, the 2014 Fiat 500L is ranked #3 of 14 upscale small cars. Their criteria included test drives, safety data, examination of reviews and reliability. This is a good-to-know considering the brand took a 28-year hiatus from American shores!
A larger model, the Fiat 500L debuted in 2014. This svelte 4-door hatchback seats up to five people. When the rear middle seat isn’t occupied, it folds down to reveal a convenient arm rest and cup holders.
The 500L, with its turbocharged 1.4-liter engine, demonstrates sufficient power for tootling about town. Although it is built with a 6-speed manual transmission, a 6-speed automated manual transmission is obtainable. Not to worry, whichever transmission you choose, this little gem is feisty on the giddy-up-go.
You can choose from 15 vitalizing colors including: giallo (yellow), verde olive (olive green), mocha latte (beige), rosso (red), argento (silver) and more. Finishes include nonmetallic, metallic or premium tri-coat. Plus, you gotta love the signature Fiat mustache/whiskers on its nose!
The frugal Fiat 500 nailed the #1 spot on the UK list of “petrol-driven models with lowest carbon dioxide emissions”, as published in the “Guide to Fuel Savings”.
Now that the Italian icon is back on American roads, the 2014 model secured an EPA rating of 24mpg in the city, 33mpg on highway and reduced CO2 emissions of 10%.
Options, you get options! Fiat 500 offers a whopping 150 accessories to choose from! How about buttery-soft leather seats? Better yet, why not heated leather front seats? Don’t let the sun shine on your custom paint job; get a car cover to protect your Fiat. No doubt you’ll need a set of custom floor mats with the 500 logo. And, who doesn’t need a chrome shift knob? Happy accessorizing!
A few standard accessories include: automated manual transmission, Bluetooth connectivity, seven airbags, dual-zone climate control and tilt/telescopic steering column. Want more options? Consider Sirius satellite radio and sunroof.
The dashboard in the Fiat 500 exhibits eye appeal. The gauges are colorful and instinctive. Before taking a test drive, take a minute to locate the door lock button on the dashboard. Hint: Look by the hazard lights.
The back seats fit little people quite nicely, but due to limited leg room adults may not be comfortable on an extended road trip. For optimal use, back seats recline and/or drop the rear seat backs and use the space for transporting stuff. Then there’s about 9.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the seats in the hatchback.
Front seats are roomier with the caveat that tall people may not have adequate head room, especially if the car is accessorized with a sunroof. Also, you can expect to hear road noise, albeit tolerable.
For a quieter ride, you might check out the Fiat 500c, which basically is a soft top convertible, with a sweet twist. Only the center retracts and the metal pillars and sides are left intact.
What would you give for a front seat that folds down so that you can transport long, bulky things like your skis or surfboard? Fiat already thought about that!
For such a tiny footprint, your Fiat drives with surprising ease. And, you can’t find a better shopping companion! You’ll swish into a small space, do your business and be on your way while drivers of luxury cars are still circling the parking lot.
While it has a turbocharged engine it may not be as vivacious as the design implies. Some find it falls short in lower rpm ranges. The Fiat 500 Turbo boosts up power 35%, which you may prefer.
You’d be justified to have concerns about safety when driving this small, lightweight car. Most everything on the road, excepting motorcycles peer down their “nose” at the little guy. Just be mindful, the 500 maneuvers and responds excellently. Also, the folks at Fiat have gone above and beyond to install cutting-edge safety measures.
Standard safety features include airbags: front, side and curtain air. An extra added attraction is a knee-level driver airbag, which offers another layer of protection for the knees. There is also a ‘hill-hold’ provision, stability/traction control and anti-lock brakes.
The Fiat 500 performed decently during crash-testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They rated it 4-stars for rollover resistance and frontal crash; 4-stars overall and 5-stars for side impact.
In a different light, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the Fiat “poor” in the overlap frontal testing of small cars. Then, pleasingly scored it ‘tops’ in other areas of crash-testing.
Conclusion: You might be a Fiat 500 person if: your energy resonates with the low, low price of this pretty people mover; you need a vehicle that gets serious gas mileage; you’ve got to express your Italian side; you’re aware good things come in small packages; you are frugal; you are Eco-conscious.