Katie Suddard
Katie Suddard Advertising Coordinator
11/9/20 3:57 p.m.

Let me start by saying I know they're stupid looking, but idk I kinda like it? I'm looking for my next car to be under 10K, have SUV features but not look like an SUV, and tbh a fun color is nice. Why shouldn't I get one of these funny looking cars?

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
11/9/20 4:33 p.m.

Such a forgotten model. Sure 500c for cute and 500x/Renegade for function but the 500L basically got lost. 

Many were pumped through the rental fleets mostly because they couldn't really get anyone to buy them new. This means the ones you see on dealers lot may have been bought by the dealer cheap. Lowball the hell out of them....no one else is trying to buy it.  Also buy low because it will be worth low when you try to sell it in the future. 

einy (Forum Supporter)
einy (Forum Supporter) Dork
11/9/20 4:39 p.m.

Are there many (any?) servicing dealers left in the US?  All the ones that I knew of around Cincinnati, OH area have closed up best I can tell.  I would guess that getting model specific spare parts (such as any interior or body parts) would take patience given their low sales figures in the US ... supposedly fewer than 60k in 4 years on the market from 2015-18.

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/9/20 4:41 p.m.

Before the kids, my wife was considering one to replace her Highlander.  Kinda remind me of a Mazda 5 in size, just perhaps not quite as utilitarian.

Apparently the early automatics weren't great, but the later ones were better.  Obviously the manuals were much better.

They are just larger versions of the 500, so many of the same problems apply, but could be amplified by their added weight.

 

logdog (Forum Supporter)
logdog (Forum Supporter) UberDork
11/9/20 4:49 p.m.

I leased one for 2 years when they launched.  Put about 60k on mine with no major issues.  I liked it a lot.  Decent gas mileage, roomy interior, peppy, quirky looking (which I loved but people made fun of a lot). The windshields were stupid expensive (I seem to remember it being 1200+).  The 1.4T really likes premium gas in both performance and MPG.   I picked up my Mother-in-law from the airport in it and when she got home she bought one too.  She has had it 7 or 8 years now with over 100k.  Her only complaint is that it wont start without a block heater after overnights of minus 20. 

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
11/9/20 4:55 p.m.
logdog (Forum Supporter) said:

I leased one for 2 years when they launched.  Put about 60k on mine with no major issues.  I liked it a lot.  Decent gas mileage, roomy interior, peppy, quirky looking (which I loved but people made fun of a lot). The windshields were stupid expensive (I seem to remember it being 1200+).  The 1.4T really likes premium gas in both performance and MPG.   I picked up my Mother-in-law from the airport in it and when she got home she bought one too.  She has had it 7 or 8 years now with over 100k.  Her only complaint is that it wont start without a block heater after overnights of minus 20. 

interesting your ownership experience went so well

i remember consumer reports and other outlets absolutely hated the damn things

logdog (Forum Supporter)
logdog (Forum Supporter) UberDork
11/9/20 8:29 p.m.

In reply to spacecadet (Forum Supporter) :

You know how some of the magazines are, if it isn't a Lexus CUV it is garbagelaugh

Of course we also have had a 03 Civic for 17 years and everyone on the internet seems to hate that generation but it's been a great car for us. 

My only concern with a 500L long term would be some of the things like body parts.  Most of the mechanicals should be easy enough to get because the powertrain is shared with other models, but if you need something like a headlight due to a parking lot mishap it will be more expensive than a Camry. 

ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
11/10/20 6:27 a.m.

It's a Fiat. Parts supply today is as intermittent as it was in the 1970s. Italians like tradition.

There is a reason the 500 models have piss-poor resale value.

I was a Fiat fanboi for years in the 70s/80s but even I won't buy one of the new-ish ones.

Katie Suddard
Katie Suddard Advertising Coordinator
11/10/20 9:43 a.m.

In reply to logdog (Forum Supporter) :

Thanks! It's good to hear from someone who's had one and has a relative with another. I've never had a car that didn't suck down the premium, so sadly I'm used to the cost. And here in FL, if we get a -20 overnight I don't think the car starting is my biggest concern, lol.

Jerry
Jerry UberDork
11/10/20 10:15 a.m.

After having my Abarth for 6ish years, SWMBO bought a 500X.  It has about 101k miles on it so far, with minimal problems.  Not sure how similar they are.

G_Body_Man (Forum Supporter)
G_Body_Man (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/10/20 1:22 p.m.

Run from the 500L as fast as you can. From transmissions (dry clutch DCT that will burn itself up in traffic) to electronics, they're absolute horror stories.

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
11/10/20 3:30 p.m.

I actually was behind one a week or 2 ago one night driving home from work. Think it was the first time I had ever seen one on the road here in Edmonton. Definitely a unicorn here.

NoBrakesRacing
NoBrakesRacing Reader
11/10/20 5:45 p.m.

I rented one in Spain for a long weekend trip. It may have been a rental beater but I consider it the worst car I've ever rented. 

That title was previously held by a first generation Nissan Versa, rented in Miami.

I normally drive a 2011 Kia Sorento.

Take this with a grain of internet salt but wanted to get that off my chest.

laugh

rob_lewis
rob_lewis UltraDork
11/11/20 9:08 a.m.

WIfe bought one new when they arrived with the manual transmission.  Car was much quicker than it looked like it would be and was fun to drive.  Little tippy at high speeds, but not bad.  The back seats were huge and I could carry two large adults in the back in comfort.  Interior was a light grey and felt like the fabric on top of a wetsuit.  It got dirty very quickly and was a bear to keep clean.  So, if you're looking at one, I'd stay away from that color/fabric combo.

Car gave us no issues until about 40k miles when the turbo boost light came on.  It would buck like a bronco under acceleration.  Took the dealer 6 months and two turbo replacements to get it fixed (all under warranty).  Car probably spent 2.5 months at the dealer, started looking into Lemon Lawing it.  Soured us on the brand, but I'm 99% sure it had more to do with the dealer than the car.  Every time I took it in, they had a new tech because the old one had quit.  Every time I picked it up, I'd ask if they took it for a test drive and they assured me they had, but it was obvious they had not because it bucked pulling out of the dealership and I'd just run it around the block and back in.  Couldn't get a tech to ride with me, so I ended up with the counter guy each time. 

Supposedly, our local dealer was the largest in the U.S., so I'd be concerned about getting another if it does need to go to the dealer.

FWIW, our local dealer has multiple 500L's in stock for under $18k and had even more last year around $16k  I was tempted to look at another at those prices considering how inexpensive they were.

-Rob

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
11/11/20 9:19 a.m.

Carefully trying not to be snarky, but probably failing...

I'm the last person in the world to recommend a Kia/Hyundai, but surely they make something cute/weird/different that would also be reliable?  Or Nissan maybe?

There's a lot of data on Fiat reliability and parts availability out there.  Some of it has to be true.

Sure, there are people that will defy the odds with a Fiat, but can you be sure you'll be one of them?

 

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
11/11/20 11:56 a.m.

If you get it cheep enough I guess it would work

 

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
11/12/20 11:20 a.m.

Honda Fit or Kia Soul sounds like a slam dunk here.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
11/12/20 11:27 a.m.

In reply to dxman92 :

Curb weight 3,254 lbs?  Cheebus.  That's about what my E46 weighed.  Actually, it's about 30 pounds heavier.

 

mad_machine (Forum Supporter)
mad_machine (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/12/20 5:10 p.m.

it has the Abarth engine, with 160hp and 184 pounds of torque, trying to move 3254 pounds.. it actually gets to 60 in eight seconds flat.

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