What's New for 2014:
- New 5-passenger Fiat model
- Offers family-size passenger and cargo room
- Standard turbocharged engine
- Available SUV-style design details
The 2014 Fiat 500L is a 5-passenger multi-purpose vehicle that is substantially larger than a standard Fiat 500. Fiat says it has 42% more interior room than a regular 500, and can carry a full load of passengers at the same time that it carries 23.1 cu. ft. of cargo. The 500L competes against models such as the Ford C-Max, Kia Soul, Mazda 5, Nissan Cube, and Scion xB.
Models and Features
Fiat sells the 2014 500L in four trim levels: Pop, Easy, Trekking, and Lounge. The Pop is the least expensive of the group, starting at just under $20,000, but it includes everything most drivers need; however, an automatic transmission is unavailable for this trim level.
Standard equipment highlights include air conditioning, one-touch power windows, power door locks, heated power side mirrors, cruise control, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, trip computer, and floor mats. Bluetooth hands-free connectivity with music streaming capability, a text messaging system, and voice-recognition technology also comes standard, along with an auxiliary audio input jack and a USB port. Every 500L has a capless fuel-filler system, multi-shelf cargo divider, and a parabolic observation mirror that allows the driver to see each seating location, while the front seats offer height adjustment and the rear seats feature fore/aft adjustment to add leg room or cargo room as is necessary.
The 500L Easy trim level is likely to be more popular, as it includes 16-inch aluminum wheels, dark-tinted rear privacy glass, nicer interior materials, center armrest, and better speakers. Plus, choosing the 500L Easy is necessary to get any optional upgrades, such as the Dual Dry-Clutch Transmission (DDCT), which operates like an automatic but is really an automated manual gearbox.
The Trekking trim level is equipped like the Easy, but gets SUV-style exterior design cues, larger aluminum wheels, fog lights, premium cloth upholstery, and heated front seats.
At the top of the lineup, the 500L Lounge costs just under $25,000 as this new model is launched. It has the DDCT gearbox, leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, power lumbar support for the front seats, rear-seat center armrest with cupholder, auto-dimming rearview mirror, illuminated visor vanity mirrors, 115-volt power outlet, and chrome exterior mirrors.
Options and Packages
For the first year, Fiat is including a free Premier package on all 500L models except for the base Pop version. Valued at $1,700, this package adds a 6.5-inch touch-screen display with a navigation system, reversing camera, rear park-assist sensors, and an SD card slot.
A Popular Equipment package is available for the Easy and Trekking trim levels, adding dual-zone automatic climate control, a 115-volt power outlet, auto-dimming rearview mirror, rear-seat center armrest with cupholder, and power lumbar support adjustment for the driver.
A DDCT transmission is optional for Easy and Trekking versions, and is standard for the 500L Lounge. All three of these versions of the 500L can also be optioned with a premium Beats audio system and a power dual-pane sunroof.
Under the Hood
Fiat installs a turbocharged, 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine in every 500L. This is the same power plant employed in the performance-oriented 500 Abarth models, and it generates 160 horsepower at 5,500 rpm. Of more importance, the 500L's torque measures 184 lb.-ft., and peaks between 2,500 rpm and 4,000 rpm, giving the 3,254-pound car decent mid-range acceleration.
A 6-speed manual transmission feeds power to the front wheels. Standard for the Lounge version, and optional for the Easy and Trekking trim levels, is the aforementioned Dual Dry-Clutch Transmission (DDCT).
When equipped with its standard 6-speed manual transmission, the Fiat 500L is rated to get 25 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg in combined driving. Choose a model with the DDCT transmission, and the ratings dip slightly to 24 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 27 mpg in combined driving.
Safety Ratings and Technology
As this overview is written, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has performed crash tests on the 2014 Fiat 500L.
Every 500L is equipped with the expected safety features as standard equipment. Additionally, the 500L has a knee air bag for the driver and blind-spot side mirrors. A reversing camera and rear park-assist sensors are optional.