The 2014 Fiat 500L is the latest model in this niche segment, a front-wheel drive vehicle that seats five. Read on for seven facts about Fiat’s urban utility vehicle.
1. Not directly related to the 500. Fiat returned to the US market in model year 2012 with the 500. That tiny car is, however, not directly related to the 500L. The Fiat 500L is based on a larger “small wide” platform that underpins other Fiat Chrysler cars including the Dodge Dart. The 500L’s dimensions are considerably larger than its near namesake.
2. Designer styling comes standard. The Fiat 500L is the work of Roberto Giolito and his design team. Giolito blended the emotional and the functional to create a new model that complements the current 500 while offering a unique perspective. Its designers strived to reduce exterior bodywork and maximum interior space while providing a layout that is logical and simple.
3. Four trim levels are available. Priced from $19,195 for the base Pop edition, the 2014 Fiat 500L offers good value. Three other trim levels are available: Easy ($20,395), Trekking ($21,395), and Lounge ($24,395). When equipped with many of the features that today’s buyers want including an automatic transmission, audio and navigation packages, and safety upgrades, a 500L can be had for under $25,000.
4. A turbocharged engine provides ample power. Fiat could have left well enough alone and equipped the 500L with a normally-aspirated four cylinder engine. Instead, the automaker added a turbocharger to provide 160 horsepower and 184 foot pounds of torque. That’s a lot of power for a small vehicle, what enables the 500L to move off quickly from a stop and to pass other vehicles without lagging.
5. You have a choice of transmissions. How do you like to shift? Well, with the Fiat 500L you have two choices: a standard 6-speed manual transmission or an available dual-clutch transmission. The manual transmission is ideal for shoppers that prize traditional control over their vehicles, with a short throw shifter moving this vehicle through its forward gears with ease. The dual clutch transmission operates like a manual transmission, but it is an automatic, what provides instant and smooth shifts through all forward gears. Thus, engine torque and traction are maintained evenly when driving the 500L.
6. Lots of passenger and storage room is present. Small vehicles usually mean compromised room inside. Not so with the Fiat 500L. Its designers figured out a way to make good use of every square inch of the interior, by providing generous seating for five. The driver will find very good head, leg and shoulder room, and sufficient thigh support. Bucket seats up front, a split fold, slide and tumble seat in the rear, and there is lots of storage pockets throughout to hold beverages, electronic devices, groceries and much more. With the rear seats folded, you get 68 cubic feet of storage capacity.
7. High tech features are available. Fiat and Chrysler are a team, therefore the UConnect infotainment system found in Chrysler, Ram, Jeep and Dodge vehicles are also used by Fiat. With its vivid 6.5-inch touchscreen, UConnect offers standard AM/FM access, an auxiliary/USB/SD media hub, voice command, GPS, and navigation. A rear view camera and SiriusXM satellite radio are also available. A 115-volt rear outlet can keep your games and laptop powered when you’re on the go.
Fiat 500L shoppers should know that these vehicles are protected by a 3-year, 36-month basic maintenance care plan. All models offer a four-year, 48,000-mile bumper to bumper warranty and are protected by a 12-year anticorrosion warranty.
Photos courtesy of Auto Trends Magazine.
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