2014 Fiat 500L
With the 500 mini car already an American sales success, Fiat looks to firm up their stake here by following the time honored automotive practice of going bigger. So, while this 2014 Fiat 500L indeed shares the Cinquecento name, it is a very different design.
The 500L is more like a 5-door mini crossover that’s over two feet longer, plus wider and taller than the 500 Coupe, with some 122 cubic feet of interior space, over 40% more, and a real three-person back seat.
Power is more familiar. With its 1.4 liter MultiAir Turbo 4, the 500L cruises along with 160 horsepower; that’s spot on with the 500 Abarth, but differences arise from there: as a 6 speed manual or 6 speed dual clutch automatic are your transmission options. Koni frequency selective dampers are standard at all four corners, bringing a poised but plush ride. Power feels great, and most important for its pedigree, it feels sport-y, if hardly a sports car.
Interior build quality is a step up over the 500 Coupe. Seats are comfortable and head room is impressive. Fiat’s panoramic greenhouse design and double pane sunroof let in tons of natural light for an almost Cabrio feel.
Outside, the look screams Fiat 500 and the brand has done well establishing a truly unique design language. It still conveys a cutesy demeanor; more a playful runabout than a serious multi-purpose vehicle. And trim level names like Pop, Easy and Lounge don’t exactly help its cause. But a fourth, the Trekking model, gains some serious attitude with front fascia and fender cladding, unique 17 inch wheels, and a more rugged stance.
On sale now, the 2014 Fiat 500L starts around $20,000.
Engine: 1.4 liter MultiAir Turbo 4
Price: Starts around $20,000