Fiat 500L Overview
Built on a different platform from the cute little 500, the two-foot longer 500L looks good on paper but is let down by a jerky "dual clutch" automatic, a stiff ride, flat seats, and odd driving position. Around town, the 500L feels sluggish and hesitant. Choosing the new conventional automatic eliminates that problem. This quasi-SUV responds eagerly in turns and handles securely at its limits. But the driving position is odd, with a buslike steering-wheel rake and windshield pillars that hamper the view. We like the 500L's easy access, commodious interior, and spacious backseat. A tiny 5-inch screen is used for the simple UConnect system. The 500L scored a Poor in the IIHS small-overlap crash test. First-year reliability has been well below average.
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