Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2014 FIAT 500L OVERVIEW
For those folks who love the looks and charm of the Fiat 500 but need more room, the automaker has added the larger 500L. Though still small by most standards, the five-passenger 500L has great interior space, with a versatile rear seat that's comfortable for adults. And with a starting price under $20,000, the Fiat 500L also brings value with its European charm.
What's New for 2014
The 500L is all-new this year.
Choosing Your Fiat 500L
Under the hood of all 500L models is a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual or six-speed twin clutch that operates like an automatic but offers higher fuel efficiency. A traditional six-speed automatic transmission will be available at a later date. Fuel economy is rated at 25 mpg city and 33 mpg highway with manual transmission; city mileage drops to 24 mpg with the twin-clutch.
Buyers choose from four trim levels:
All 2014 models (except Pop trim) receive the Premiere Package at no charge, which includes a 6.5-inch touchscreen, navigation, rearview camera, and rear-park assist.
Options include an excellent Beats Audio system, leather seating, a dual-pane sunroof and power front seats. Trekking models can be outfitted with heavier-duty cloth seats, and all 500L models except the base version can have a black or white roof to give it that "floating" design.
The fully-loaded Lounge gets our vote as an excellent value if your budget allows—otherwise, we recommend the Easy or Trekking models.