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This Italian confection feels undercooked and has several significant flaws. It earned a dismal road-test score, thanks in part to a stiff ride, flat seats, and an odd driving position. No surprise, owner satisfaction is low--meaning a strong percentage of owners wish they hadn't bought this hatchback. The 500L also has one of the worst reliability records among all new cars in our recent survey. If that still isn't enough to dissuade you, it scored a Poor in the IIHS small-overlap frontal test. To its credit, this quasi-wagon responds eagerly in corners and handles securely at its limit, and has a roomy cabin. But it would take more than those virtues for this to earn a place on a smart shopper's list.

Road Test

What happens when the ultra-cute Fiat 500 is stretched more than 2 feet in length? OK, it takes on some adolescent-like gawkiness, which dilutes some of the cute factor. But more importantly, it becomes a much more practical car, with two more doors,...

Highs

  • Handy-sized package, with good rear seat and cargo room
  • Good combination of fuel economy and space

Lows

  • Reliability ranks at the bottom of our charts
  • Below average owner satisfaction

Best Version to Get

We think the mid-level Easy trim offers the best combination of value and equipment. For $1,000 more the Trekking trim adds larger 17-inch wheels and lower body cladding for a rugged look, but it's simply cosmetic and doesn't offer any extra utility. If you want leather seats, they're only a...

Specifications

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty
  • Basic: 4 year/50,000 miles
  • Powertrain: 4 year/50,000 miles
  • Rust through: 5 year/100,000 miles
  • Roadside aid: 4 year/50,000 miles
Body Styles
4-door hatchback
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 1.4-liter 4 turbo (160 hp)

Ratings

Safety
Performance
Comfort / Convenience
View Full Test Results