2016 FIAT 500L Reviews and Ratings

Hatchback 5D L Lounge I4 Turbo

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J.D. Power Verified Consumer Reviews (6)
Overall Rating
  4.1 / 5
Reliability
  4 / 5
Interior
  4 / 5
Exterior
  4.3 / 5
Driving Dynamics
  4 / 5

By John 10/13/2017 6:49:58 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
  4 / 5
Had this car in a 2014 of same model. I was disappointed in the transmission and was ready to jump the Fiat ship . Then I tested this 2016 and I really like it and it has been dependable .and a fun car to drive.
Reliability
  4 / 5
Interior
  3.5 / 5
Exterior
  4.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
  4.5 / 5

By Penny 10/3/2017 5:09:51 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
My Fiat 500L is a joy to drive. It feels solid, hugs corners well, has nice pick-up, and has a unique design. The most amazing thing is how spacious it is inside. It's deceiving from the outside, but it has a high ceiling and plenty of leg and seat room for all passengers. It also fits in almost any parking space. The design and ride makes me smile.
Reliability
   4.5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4.5 / 5

By YI 10/1/2017 9:13:11 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
I love to listen to people who have seen my Fiat 500 L and to tell me how cute my fiat is. Every time when I see my Fiat I always smile.
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   4.5 / 5
Exterior
   4.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4 / 5

By Dandy 9/22/2017 8:31:54 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
This adorable Fiat 500L looks like a pregnant MiniCooper and is super reliable. It's spacious, quiet, handles well, has a great cargo boot, awesome soundsystem, and has the turning radius of a BOSS. I love my preggers Fiat.
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   3 / 5
Exterior
   4 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   3 / 5

By Henry S. 9/17/2017 3:24:30 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   3 / 5
"I was looking into a Fun and Reliable Car. I test Drove Both the Mini Countryman and the Fiat 500L. The decision was very hard because the extra room inside the Fiat was important but I thought to be the right one. My disappointment is the Transmission not shifting on time but as far as the handling, it out beats the Mini on curves. The Gas Mileage is Great and it does turn heads when your are driving around town. Overall I still think its a fun car to drive but will not by another one unless FIAT 500L improve there transmission issues."
Reliability
   3.5 / 5
Interior
   4 / 5
Exterior
   4 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4.5 / 5

By Kathy Ann 9/16/2017 8:07:50 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4 / 5
"This Fiat 500 L turns heads- mostly because no one in town has one. People always compliment me on it. They say ""it's so cool"" or ""it's so cute"". It is black with a white roof and white side mirrors. The seats are surprisingly comfy! It has Beats by Dre speakers. They are great for a stock system. A grand view around the vehicle- minimal blind spots. It has a lot of legroom in the back for my 7 yo twin boys. An extra mirror so I can see them in the back. Fold down seats for sports equipment. Since I am a single mom now, this seemed like the right car for us. Spacious, safe, warranty, ""hopefully"" dependable, fun to drive, looks cool, got a good deal as it was a leftover from 2016. Good luck!!"
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   4 / 5
Exterior
   4 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   3.5 / 5


Expert Reviews ( 1 )

2016 FIAT 500L
New Car Test Drive

Introduction

The Fiat 500L is a tall compact car, with the Kia Soul, Honda Fit, and Mini Countryman as its competitors. Beyond the name, it shares very little with the regular Fiat 500 or the 500X crossover. Definitely not spirit. The 500L is 27.7 inches longer and 6 inches wider than the 500 we know and love. They should call it the Fiat 500 Fat. With model names like Pop, Easy, Trekking and Lounge, why not. Fat tells the story of the car just as well.

The high roof gives the 500L very good head and shoulder room for four adults. It’s called a five-seater, but the center rear isn’t realistic for grownups.

It runs about how it looks. Even though its standard engine is the regular 500’s hottest, a turbocharged 1.4-liter making 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, the 500L is slower than the regular 500 with its base engine that only makes 101 horsepower. That’s because of the heft that the 500L carries. The front-wheel-drive 500L uses one of three transmissions: 6-speed dual-clutch, 6-speed manual, or a new 6-speed automatic.

Gas mileage could be better, for such a small engine. EPA gives it 24 miles per gallon City, 33 mpg Highway, 27 mpg Combined with the dual-clutch transmission, and 25/33/28 mpg City/Highway/Combined with the 6-speed manual. The new 6-speed automatic, which we like the most, gets the worst mileage, at 22/30/25 mpg. Meanwhile, the Honda Fit gets 36 mpg. And we can’t think of anything the 500L can do that the Fit can’t, except speak Italian.

The Fiat 500L was introduced as a 2014 model. There are no significant changes for model year 2016.

The feds at NHTSA haven’t crash-tested the 500L. With seven standard airbags and active headrests, the Insurance people at IIHS rate it a Top Safety Pick but not Top Safety Pick+. If a rearview camera were standard, instead of optional, would it have gotten the top rating from IIHS?

Model Lineup

The 2016 Fiat 500L Pop ($19,495) includes 15-inch steel wheels, and a six-speaker sound system with UConnect infotainment, a 5.0-inch touch screen with radio voice command, Bluetooth, and media hub with ports.

The Easy ($20,795) adds 16-inch alloy wheels and tinted rear glass, a center console, leather steering wheel and shift knob, and a 520-watt sound system. Trekking models ($21,880) have rugged stuff like 17-inch wheels, foglamps, fender flares, and black-and-brown leather with special bucket seats. Lounge models ($24,795) add the luxury and comfort, in seats and climate control.

There are other trim levels, called Collections, that bundle options.

Walkaround

The 500L looks awkward while missing a few targets. It’s got the nose of a bulldog, ungainly tiered headlamps, a horizontal three-piece grille, and zigzagging roofline like the Mini. We think the squat and playful stance works, but the details bedevil it.

Interior

The cabin is less playful, thank you. A lot of big knobs and a small 5.0-inch screen. Limited storage space, with two small gloveboxes split by a shallow tray, and door pockets; that’s about it. The base Pop doesn’t even have a center console, although upward models add it.

The 500L seats aren’t very comfortable, with hard bottom cushions rounded at the front, like European seat, to make the pedals easier to reach. Americans like longer front seats for more support under the thigh.

The second row is better, where there’s adequate legroom and elevated seats. The bottom cushion is just as firm, but the seatbacks recline; on some models they also slide and tumble for carrying cargo. Nothing like the Honda Fit’s Magic Seat, but they’re trying. There is a panel in the cargo floor with rails for storage on two levels.

Overall visibility is great, and sunlight breaks into the cabin through the available double-pane small sunroof. Also available is upgraded infotainment with 6.5-inch screen, an SD card slot, text-message read back, and navigation that’s not worth it. The nav screen is small and the maps difficult to read. Some smartphones are better than some in-car navigation systems, and that’s the case here.

Driving Impressions

The 500L uses a front strut suspension with twist-beams in rear, getting the most out of the conventional design by using Koni shock absorbers specially tuned the keep harsh bumps out of the cabin. It does the job better than the Mini Countryman, and almost as good as the Kia Soul.

It’s quite stable at highway speeds, and the steering is fluid, although the steering wheel is tilted somewhat like a bus, that’s a Fiat thing. We found it hard to see the gauges from the steering-wheel position that wasn’t so flat.

The dual-clutch transmission isn’t impressive, with slow and purposeful shifts (like its cousin the Dodge Dart); not only that, there is no manual control, let alone a sport mode. The 6-speed manual gearbox is better, but the clutch pedal is cramped, at least for a size 12 shoe like we wear. Hill Start Assist is standard, but with fumbling feet you can run out of time. We liked the 6-speed automatic transmission best, for its shift quality.

Summary

Don’t buy it just because you like the Fiat 500 but need more space. Fiat built it for those people, but missed.

Sam Moses filed this report.


J.D. Power Rating
Overall Quality Not Available
Overall Quality - Mechanical
Not Available
Powertrain Quality - Mechanical
Not Available
Body & Interior Quality - Mechanical
Not Available
Features & Accessories Quality - Mechanical
Not Available
Overall Quality - Design
Not Available
Powertrain Quality - Design
Not Available
Body & Interior Quality - Design
Not Available
Features & Accessories Quality - Design
Not Available

Overall Dependability Not Available
Powertrain Dependability
Not Available
Body & Interior Dependability
Not Available
Feature & Accessory Dependability
Not Available

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J.D. Power Rating Legend
Among the Best
5 / 5
Better than Most
4 / 5
About Average
3 / 5
The Rest
2 / 5

* The J.D. Power Ratings are calculated based on the range between the car manufacturer or car model with the highest score and the car manufacturer or car model with the lowest score. J.D. Power generates a rating of a five, four, three, or two. If there is insufficient data to calculate a rating, “Not Available” is used in its place.

J.D. Power Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power awards, visit the Car Ratings page to learn more about awards and ratings.

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