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2014 Fiat 500L Review and Road Test with Infotainment Deep Dive

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2014 Fiat 500L Review and Road Test with Infotainment Deep Dive I have to admit, I'm a fan of the Fiat 500. Yes, I know it's just a Fiat Panda with bubbly sheetmetal. Yes I know it's a little peculiar. Yes I know it's trying to ride on MINI success. It doesn't matter, the wee Fiat makes me grin every time I drive one. Whether it's the slow-as-dirt standard 500, the ludicrously loud Abarth, the almost-convertible 500c or the totally impractical 500e, the Cinquecento knows how to brighten my day. I was therefore excited when Fiat announced the 500′s success would spawn a four door stable-mate for 2014. Is the 500L 40% more smiles for 20% more cash? When I first saw the 500L at the Chicago Auto Show, I tried to keep an open mind about the exterior styling. The perfectly orchestrated lighting, booth babes and a free cappuccino mug certainly helped distract from the car's lines. Once I had the super-sized 500 parked in the grocery store parking lot under the harsh California sun, my opinion was set. Something is wrong with the 500L. 2014 Fiat 500L Exterior, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes On the face of things, a larger 500 sounds like a great idea, I love the way the new 500 looks. The problem is: the 500L is not a stretched 500. Instead, the L is an entirely different car riding on a completely unrelated architecture co-designed by Fiat and Opel. The result is a 500 that got stung by a bee, not a 500 Xeroxed with the enlarge setting at 140%. I don't think the 500L is hideous, it's just awkward. Like a slightly overweight person in skinny jeans and a tube top. If you want a 500L that looks slightly more rugged, the Trekking model gets a tweaked bumper cover featuring more black plastic. Apparently black plastic tells others you're an outdoor sports person. The side profile is dominated by slab sides and an unusual A and B pillar location. If you can't tell from the picture above, check out the one below. The A pillar and B pillar are up by the dashboard allowing the windshield to be pushed out towards the front of the car, improving interior room but creating a style that is far from common in America. If I might proffer an opinion: I think going for a 1950′s wrap-around-bubble windshield would have been more unique and more harmonious. Out back the 500′s raked hatchback style is out, replaced by a more practical vertical hatch. I realize that style is subjective so, so I'll end this section by soliciting your opinion in the comment section. Ready? Set. Flame! Statistics powered by ChannelMeter http://channelmeter.com
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Text Comments (90)
Zhubanish Kaimov (2 months ago)
Jessee Riehl (5 months ago)
I think it looks really unique and cute , it’s the only thing close to an SUV I would ever consider .
Erica TM (9 months ago)
thank you for the great review
Eclecticlove (9 months ago)
I’m looking at buying the 14 Fiat 500L Easy. I’ll rewatch the video again
david inger (1 year ago)
i bought one of these same two tone colour we call it the swan! lo seriously though a great car ! got the 1.6 diesel 55 mpg on a run! 36 around town The styling is all about taste we love it.
ChuckVT (1 year ago)
You do the most thorough and fair reviews, Alex! I have a 2017 Fiat 500L Trekking and I love it! So many reviewers seem to love to hate Fiats. I had a 500 Abarth and it was a hoot and very dependable. Now I have this larger vehicle and I love its quirkiness and European charm. Honestly, I don't want to drive the same thing everyone else does. A Honda Fit? Nice car..boring looks. I have also owned 2 new Kia Souls and they were nice and dependable also, but just not anywhere near as much fun to drive. Not even close! This is peppy and handles very well. I have the European twin clutch tranny, and you are one of the few reviewers who actually understand that these transmissions are not the torque converter autos that Americans are used to. They behave very differently but if you know how to drive them, you are rewarded with better fuel economy and better performance. I have the large moon roof and Beats audio and they are awesome additions. Thanks to people who love to talk Fiats down, there are lots of 500Ls on dealer's lots and they are giving rebates and deals on them that are amazing. No way can you get something with as much room or fun to drive as a 500L for the money. Lots of fun and every person I take out in my 500L are totally blown away by how nice it rides and all the sweet amenities for the price. I partially blame Fiat, because they really do not advertise these much, so folks just do not know about them!
t4705mb6 (1 year ago)
Junk. In J.D. Power’s Vehicle Dependability Study, more than 200 problems or complaints were reported per 100 Fiat vehicles, the highest number compared with other car makers reviewed.
Nieve (1 year ago)
I've tend to keep my cars for a while. I've had an Acura, a Volkswagen, a Honda, a Mercury (Mazda built in Mexico), a Chevrolet Malibu Maxx and a Chevrolet Cruze. My 2014 500L Trekking (DDCT) has been essentially trouble free in nearly 35,000 miles. It has become my daily driver after we got another Fiat, a 500X Trekking. The fuel economy is fantastic for a non-hybrid with so much interior space. Since it became my commuter car I've averaged (yes, averaged) nearly 35 mpg. On summer gas I can manage 42 mpg if there isn't too much stop and go traffic. Naturally I'm easy on the accelerator pedal to do that, but this car I feel gets a bad rap. Nearly 4 years into the ownership experience and I'm still smitten by it (I actually like it a little more than our 500X- I guess it's the great visibility, and I'd have to say that I prefer the 1.4 liter turbo to the 2.4 liter NA engine). The 2018 models I think will be that much nicer, what with Apple Car Play and Android Auto and the refreshed styling. It's just an excellent car that I think a lot more people would enjoy owning if they'd give it a chance.
Giulio Imparato (2 years ago)
man those bulky US spec bumpers really live up to their reputation... the Euro spec is rounder especially on the back, it's a lot more visually pleasing.
Norman Leeroi Geronimo (2 years ago)
Personally, just don't care what other people think about 500L; If you like it, just go for it. I'm really close to trading in my 500 for a 500 L...
brad dovel (1 year ago)
traded my 500 pop for a X treking plus. Loved the tiny car it was great in bad weather. People in these big SUVs and 4x4 would miss snow days my tiny Fiat made it every time
Jim Lewis (2 years ago)
I liked your review...have owned one for 4 months now and just love it. I fell in love with the openness of its interior and the view out the windows. Some of the surprises were the driving lights turning on when making turns so as to give you better view of the road as it curves and the up/down auto feature for all four window. I was concerned with some of the negative reliability reports so I was able to negotiate the price of a extended warranty into the final purchase price. For me the styling (inside and out) is a big plus, but I have spent a lot of time overseas and you see more varied styles there than in the US where cars looks the same more or less. In 2015 and later models they replaced the dual clutch transmission with a 6 speed Asian (Japanese) sourced one and it works great with the 1.4 turbo.
Ashley O (2 years ago)
I'm looking to buy this tmrw, now watching all these videos and reading comments I'm worried I made the wrong choice
Sabino Desan (3 years ago)
CubanBeast (3 years ago)
So is this a automatic transmission or manual, you were talking a bit about the manual transmission so I'm just wondering
cartoo123 (3 years ago)
Any chance you'll review the 500x?
I find it a little unsettling that the 500L is only rated at 25/33/27 mpg with that 1.4L Turbo.  The same engine in the Dodge Dart (a vehicle that weighs only 18 lbs less than the 500L with the manual, and ~12 lbs less with the automatic) gets 28/41/32 mpg with the same engine and still 6 gears.  The final drive ratio must be obscenely tall on this (possibly to accommodate the aero load of that body shape?)
Eugene Plaksienko (2 years ago)
At least fiat 500l fun to drive in compare to dart :D
Cappin Teddy (3 years ago)
+Parashar Krishnamachari You can just look at the Dart and see that it is much more aerodynamic.
Alex on Autos (3 years ago)
+Parashar Krishnamachari  It is mainly the shape and the tire selection.
lcar4000 (4 years ago)
I like the looks of it,  but then again,  I like odd looking cars and have owned a few.  I've seen these marked down to a little more than $14,000.   My concern is with the horrible reviews on Consumer Reports regarding reliability
croceman (4 years ago)
Great review and thanks for mentioning the translucent sunroof.  That makes it a no - go for Las Vegas.  Hoping you can get your hands on a Jeep Renegade to review shortly whenever it's released as it's based upon this 500L with more power and a 9 speed transmission.
Cris Maracana (4 years ago)
Excellent review Alex, however, I have to say I do like the lines and the look of the vehicle although I would eliminate the split pillar windows and increase the wheel base by adding wider tires to the car to give it a more muscular look and possibly provide better handling.
catman2130093 (4 years ago)
young folks are so funny-what to call it,not an suv,not a crossover,not a sedan,not a minivan..here's a quaint word-"station wagon"
turbohokie1 (4 years ago)
best auto reviewer on Youtube.
Timothy McFadden (4 years ago)
Holy Moly Alex.  You are the best automobile review and test Reporter I have ever seen.  I just watched your review of the Fiat 500L and I can not believe what an awesome job you did educating a potential buyer of this product. Your professional acumen is superb and having visit a Fiat dealer on July 5th and received a someone less than thorough introduction of the 500L and it's features and specifications I wish I had watched your presentation BEFORE I went to the dealer.  Again, I have never been so impressed with an automobile review and test report than the one you did on the 500L.  I am now a subscriber to your channel and thank you so much for your excellent work. 
Cerieous (4 years ago)
Agree with all or most of the positive comments concerning this video...and yes..shift paddles might be a great addition... Excellent review..
emjayay (4 years ago)
I saw one parked on the street and I thought it looked pretty cool, but I don't have typical American taste. And I like how every single detail of the 500 and the 500L inside and out is consistent and different and looks like it was designed by the same guys who did old Vespas.
1guyin10 (4 years ago)
Since its chassis mates are getting the 9 speed auto, I wonder how long it will be before the 500L gets it as well?
1guyin10 (4 years ago)
Since they quietly slipped the Hyundai 6 speed auto into certain trim levels for 2015 that may mean 500L won't get the 9 speed until the new family of engines launch.
Alex on Autos (4 years ago)
No word yet, which is unusual. This means either there will be a change and it is late, or there is no change.
KHARLO LANDRETH (4 years ago)
this is the best video ever made about Fiat L. GOOD JOB
ewtubewatcher (4 years ago)
very nice review
iDalisMediaTV (4 years ago)
love it.
Rob Heathers (4 years ago)
This was probably the best video I've watched about this car. We prospective buyers don't have much to go on. I appreciate that you did rag on the rough points, but you didn't you didn't rag on the vehicle itself. Oh, and random stuff: A.) I didn't notice anything wrong with your voice. B.) You need to buy multiple pairs of those same jeans--you're bulge was accented/highlighted excellently!! Nice!
michael kagan (4 years ago)
wow enjoyed your though review of the 500L helped me a great bit with which should I buy this car. will subscribe to your channel.
Hannah Smith (5 years ago)
I love it! I think its perfect! Your crazy dude!!  
keechmabreeks (5 years ago)
$3 grand cheaper than a mini countryman,bullshit try $8 grand.a fully loaded countryman is $35 grand.this Fiat is $27.
Scott Campbell (5 years ago)
I like the small windshield window
Bill K (5 years ago)
Thanks for the review. I enjoy the 500L car. Living in the Northeast, it would be a welcome addition to include AWD. I appreciate the uniqueness. It beats the KIA Soul I had but does not beat the durable AWD I have in my Suzuki SX4. The controls are a matter of familiarity.
zl. (5 years ago)
great car
James Bird (5 years ago)
I bought a 500L Lounge the day they hit the showroom in Cleveland, Ohio. I love it and wouldn't trade it for a Kia Soul.  The 500L is refined and European and the Soul is teenager American.
James Bird (2 years ago)
buildmorefarms100 I no longer have mine due to being hit on an accident. I went to get a new one and ended up with an Abarth 500. However I have 2 friends that bought 500Ls and now have had them for several years. Both still really like them. All I know is they handle a side impact centered on the rear passenger door really well. The vehicle was totaled, but we were just fine.
buildmorefarms100 (2 years ago)
James how has it been so far? Any issues?
bigusiak (5 years ago)
I own one and so happy about everything!
brad dovel (1 year ago)
mine is a X trecking plus. great car
brad dovel (1 year ago)
only had it 2 months. mine is a 500 X (sorry couldn't get past the looks of the L, i think its ugly too)had a 500 pop before and loved the car. The bigger fiat is really a Jeep renegade in another shell
bigusiak (2 years ago)
buildmorefarms100 so far no problem:-) wish they do as electric one or 500L Living which are 6 seater from Europe.
buildmorefarms100 (2 years ago)
HAs it been reliable?
Charles Schutz (5 years ago)
This car is being panned heavily by professional reviewers. Consumer Reports rated very low. They basically hated it compared to the new Kia Soul. 
Stony Curtis (5 years ago)
emjayay (5 years ago)
The windshield style was last (and only) seen in the US in the very cool GM 1990-96 minivans. They were considered too rad for Americans, although to me the Pontiac version still looks great today. Lots of European miniminivans have used that style of windshiled over the years though.
todd kindred (5 years ago)
Very good reviewer. 
James Barnett (5 years ago)
This is just day one, I'll check back in a few days and let you know more.
James Barnett (5 years ago)
I guess if you have no ego you could get over it's looks. I'm a typical American male that will clench to my 4+4 or luxury sedan till the end. My Grand Marquis gets about 300 miles to the tank and with the 500l giving about 400 to the tank, I don't see the advantage unless you are penny pinching. I like the entertainment system, or info center. Yes, I agree if it had steering shift paddles it would be much easier and safer, I also like the panview rearview mirror for the blind spots.
James Barnett (5 years ago)
I'm currently using the 500l rental while my Grand Marquis is having a new windshield put in it with a roof repair due to a faulty installation of the last window. Nevertheless I want to say the brakes on this car are hard, you just touch them and you are stopping now. I find the engine noise excessive, the ride is firm, however, in a few years I can hear parts rattling due to wear. I confused with the speed and tachometer, they are backwards and the tilt steering really did nothing for me im 6'
Debbie Petherick (5 years ago)
Super car , I own one , Lounge white , loads of space , great on fuel , lovely to drive :-):-)
Indo'Nalya Sinclair (5 years ago)
Definitely want this car I have loved fiats for some time now and this just makes me want it bad
I need a shot (5 years ago)
Look up a review of the "Fiat 500XL", It is truly large, 7 seater (3 rows). Just sold in Europe.
I need a shot (5 years ago)
Thanks for this great, detailed review of the vehicle. I'm about to close a deal on this car and your video was very helpful.
man0z (5 years ago)
Haha best reply ever. Also when the video started I thought to myself this shouldn't be called the 500L but the 500XXXXL cos it looks bloody massive, could be down to the FOV of the camera though?
David Salazar (5 years ago)
Jesus Christ u know ur shit
Woodcote (5 years ago)
Very nice review of the 500L. How is the 0-60 time? I'd love to see the Abarth engine in the Buick Encore ;-)
roberto andronico (5 years ago)
HEY!!!! isn't fivehundred! it's CINQUECENTO!!!!!!
roberto andronico (5 years ago)
sgel (5 years ago)
Just purchased a Trekking and absolutely love this car. The L is one of those designs that can look awkward in pictures/vids but in person the design just works. Build quality is very good and MPG has been averaging 31.5 on secondary roads.
findingnismoz (5 years ago)
Love your reviews, its in depth and informative without being boring. The Fiat styling is not bad, if anything its at least not another boring looking small CUV type car
Alex on Autos (5 years ago)
Yes, all passenger vehicles sold in the USA are required to run safely on regular. Fiat even says it is allowed in the 500L.
Albert Lee (5 years ago)
It says premium gas recommend ...... just wounder could I use regular instead?
sanjogar (5 years ago)
Thank you. It was only a suggestion. Your reviews are very professional. "aah-bart" would be much better and no so American.
Alex on Autos (5 years ago)
When we asked Fiat for an official pronunciation we got three answers from three different folks in their American office. It is therefor my assumption that in America you have some options.
Teeradej Yungyuen (5 years ago)
I love your voice.
Alex on Autos (5 years ago)
We are working hard on this one.
Alex on Autos (5 years ago)
I found it to be a bit too bass heavy for my tastes.
George (5 years ago)
hi, a diesel car review soon, vw, audi, cruze? thank you.
sanjogar (5 years ago)
Good review. You should improve your pronunciation of "Abarth" which is wrong. I'd like to get a 500L but this one is exclusive for USA.
superchan7 (5 years ago)
My favourite semi-premium roomy hatch. It's roomier and cheaper than a Countryman and feels more substantial than the Soul. It has an attractive interior unlike the blah xB. Fiat needs this model in the US market, and over time I'm sure people will gradually realise its utility and begin popularising the model.
Bob Keilitz (5 years ago)
Another great review Alex. I hope you're feeling better. I love this vehicle!
ydmf2 (5 years ago)
Wow, great video, very thorough! How was the sound quality of the Beats Audio stereo?
PremierAutoMan86 (5 years ago)
This is a modern day Multipla from the late 50's early 60's...
mthwsnd01 (5 years ago)
Always like your video! Thanks for posting!
Brian Green (5 years ago)
Great review, I hope you feel better soon Alex!
Alex on Autos (5 years ago)
I'll see what we can do, that's a good suggestion.
Alex on Autos (5 years ago)
That is an interesting thought. Fiat is certainly trying to go more upscale than the xB, but it's as good a cross shop as the Mini in some ways.
will2217 (5 years ago)
Doesn't the Scion xB compete with this model? They seem to have the same proportions and have a few eccentric features (off set speedometer) though the xB is much cheaper in cost and material used.
I meant *incredibly annoying . It's so annoying I forgot how to write !
I beg you stop saying fairly, quite and just in every damn sentence, it's incredible annoying !
Todd Soden (5 years ago)
ontheotherhand... (5 years ago)
Another really, really good review! I'm hoping that you're able to do a review of the 2014 Mazda 3 soon. Thanks!
Peipei Zhao (5 years ago)
ugly ,like the new jeep suv, just fiat ugly taste!

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