2014 Fiat 500L Pop new car reviews

Is it a wagon? Is it a hatchback? A miniature crossover?
This car is for those who really want a 500, but need the extra space.

The Fiat 500L is an attempt to scale up the 500, much like Mini did with the Countryman. However, the 500L's styling seems kind of lost in limbo. Is it a wagon? Is it a hatchback? A miniature crossover? It doesn't really matter if it fits what you want: a small Italian-styled car you can cram your small family into. Bottom line, this car is for those who really want a 500, but need the extra space.

Other staff views

Rick Goolsby Rick Goolsby
Events Manager

So after just having spent a fews days driving the 2014 Fiat 500C Abarth the week prior, I then had the opportunity to drive the Fiat 500L Pop. It was familiar, but at the same time different.

The Fiat 500L has a quality look and feel to it. I liked the exterior styling that gave the car a look that it was bigger than it really was. To me it had the look of an SUV or Minivan, but was really a car. All the trim seemed to fit well and gave the car a bold appearance.

Having spent some time in the Abarth, I could not believe how much more room there was in the 500L compared to the Abarth. i know that the 500L is a four door, but there was some serious room in the vehicle for transporting 4 to 5 adults comfortably. One of the dislikes I had was with the A-pillars blocking the view of the road when turning. The feature I liked the best though was the sunroof. With the press of a button, the shade rolled all the way back to where you ended up with a complete glass roof. This feature alone made the car feel much bigger inside and literally opened up the space. I also felt that the quality of the interior materials was above average and everything was laid out well.

Driving the Fiat 500L was not as much fun as the Abarth. Handling was typical for a car of this type. The engine hand plenty of horsepower and torque, but nothing as inspiring as the Abarth.

I feel that the Fiat 500L is a good solid car for the money. If Fiat could take the drivetrain, suspension and exhaust from the Abarth and put it in the 500L Pop, i would be seriously heading to the nearest Fiat dealer for a test drive and potential purchase.

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

For the record, I love smaller cars. I really like the MINI and happy to see Fiat return to the States. Of course, with an intro like that, you can probably tell that I'm trying to soften the blow. The 500L and I didn't get along: numb steering, ungainly looks and an indecisive automatic transmission.

I get that Fiat is trying to expand its reach. Back in the day, they had the 500 Multipla. The 500L? To me it's trying a bit too hard, especially in a market crowded with similarly sized offerings from Japan and Korea. Aside from styling, why this an not a Kia Soul or the forthcoming Mazda CX-3?

Join Free Join our community to easily find more articles.
Comments
View comments on the GRM forums
singleslammer
singleslammer SuperDork
12/4/14 10:17 a.m.

And by that, you mean people who look at someone who is morbidly obese and says that they look good. The 500L looks like a 500 that took on a E36 M3 load of water weight

Cotton
Cotton UltraDork
12/4/14 10:22 a.m.

Does the regular 500 have a good reliability record? A relative is getting out of her one owner new beetle, with 56k original miles, because of reliability issues, so we're looking for a replacement. However, it has GOT to be more reliable than the beetle and would like something with a little personality.

Driven5
Driven5 HalfDork
12/4/14 10:28 a.m.
EdHigginbotham wrote: Bottom line, this car is for those who really want a 500, but are legally blind.

FTFY.

Powar
Powar SuperDork
12/4/14 10:30 a.m.
Cotton wrote: Does the regular 500 have a good reliability record? A relative is getting out of her one owner new beetle, with 56k original miles, because of reliability issues, so we're looking for a replacement. However, it has GOT to be more reliable than the beetle and would like something with a little personality.

From what I've read and experienced firsthand, yes. Our '12 500 Pop is nearing 30k miles and has had zero problems.

Cotton
Cotton UltraDork
12/4/14 10:35 a.m.
Powar wrote:
Cotton wrote: Does the regular 500 have a good reliability record? A relative is getting out of her one owner new beetle, with 56k original miles, because of reliability issues, so we're looking for a replacement. However, it has GOT to be more reliable than the beetle and would like something with a little personality.

From what I've read and experienced firsthand, yes. Our '12 500 Pop is nearing 30k miles and has had zero problems.

Good to hear because it's on our short list. I doubt she'll do 30k miles in 5-6 years.

aircooled
aircooled UltimaDork
12/4/14 10:39 a.m.

To me, it seems like a car for people who want a small car but don't want a small car...

rob_lewis
rob_lewis SuperDork
12/4/14 12:22 p.m.

Wife had a 500c and traded it in for a 500L and I bought a 500T. For her, it's still a quick, fun, easy to park, easy to throw around car with two extra doors for running around. When our son was a kid, he could (barely) fit in the back of the 500c, but now that he's 13, the 500L is much more practical. She got the six speed (as opposed to the weird dual clutch auto thing) and enjoys flogging it on a regular basis. Plus, it's actually quicker than mine (which she reminds/shows me on a regular basis).

Sure it's not the prettiest thing, and I didn't like her choice of colors (maroon), but actually enjoy driving it and am amazed at how much room it really has. The doors are really thin to the point that I have to lean to the left a bit to put my arm on the armrest.

-Rob

EvanR
EvanR Dork
12/4/14 12:59 p.m.

I still don't trust cars that are made in Mexico. And I probably never will.

Powar
Powar SuperDork
12/4/14 2:02 p.m.
EvanR wrote: I still don't trust cars that are made in Mexico. And I probably never will.

People said the same thing about cars made in Japan. And South Korea.

logdog
logdog Dork
12/4/14 4:19 p.m.
Powar wrote:
EvanR wrote: I still don't trust cars that are made in Mexico. And I probably never will.

People said the same thing about cars made in Japan. And South Korea.

500L is made is Serbia.

Im approaching 60k on my 500L. I still like it. Although I have to take it in to the body shop next week after some minor deer damage.

ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
12/5/14 4:21 a.m.

Fiat 500 blog started by a friend of mine in the Fiat club. He's a true believer--or was, until his 500 needed an engine. Read and weep: Fiat Ownership in the New World

Jerry
Jerry SuperDork
12/5/14 6:04 a.m.

12.5k on my Abarth already. Zero issues.

Wally
Wally MegaDork
12/5/14 6:48 a.m.

In reply to logdog:

Is Serbia better than Mexico?

So far Joy the Fiat has 43,000 miles. It's only problem has been a burned out headlight and the wife still smiles whenever she drives it.

logdog
logdog Dork
12/5/14 7:09 a.m.
Wally wrote: In reply to logdog: Is Serbia better than Mexico?

Who knows? But its Euro, yo.

wae
wae HalfDork
12/5/14 7:18 a.m.

I had a 500L as a rental and I thought it was just really weird. The best thing I could say about it is that it seemed very Italian. The view out the cockpit was just weird, with the little windows forward of the doors and the dash being set back so far. It was a little bit buzzy on the highway and didn't really seem comfortable at speed. There was plenty of room in the car, but I still wouldn't be able to get three booster seats across the back. Overall, it seemed to me like the answer to a question that no one should ever ask.

trucke
trucke HalfDork
12/5/14 10:29 a.m.
Wally wrote: In reply to logdog: Is Serbia better than Mexico?

Fiat buys Yugo plant

Grand Opening

Wally
Wally MegaDork
12/5/14 12:54 p.m.

Sometimes the jokes write themselves.

logdog
logdog Dork
12/5/14 3:36 p.m.

Yugos are the kind of cars this board loves. Wait until they quit selling the 500L due to low sales and in 15 years somebody on here will be a collector. The common opinion will be that it was a great car that "appliance buyers in the mid 2010s didnt understand".

Our Preferred Partners
AZGabAC73WQn0Mh7590ZasEWnxnt2MPmTKfZ7EF1PEIPKdKRaB3dF2Ty8TWaMK5P