I really like my new 500L but it does not like me. After 6 days, 350ml, it broke down in stop and go traffic on I-25 outside Denver. The twin clutch automatic heated up, smoked and therefore the system shut down. Had roadside assistance tow it back to the Fiat dealer. After setting for three days the car started okay and was drivable. The dealer could not find any problems, the engineer in Italy could not find any problem with the readout data. Their comment was that with the stop and go traffic the 500L twin clutch automatic acted "normally". So what am I to do?? Not drive the car in USA stop and go traffic?! Fiat USA is still working with me so hopefully there will be a positive outcome.
I loved my 2012 500c but found myself needing something a little larger. I traded in the cabrio for the new 500L and am very pleased with it so far. I've only driven 500 miles on the new one, so time will tell if it is as reliable as the little 500 was. I'm very happy with the Dual Dry Clutch Automatic. It is fuel efficient and has the pick up I need for merging into heavy traffic on the highway. Taller people fit well in the car, even with the sunroof. The car has an excellent ride quality and everything works as it should. It is comfortable, has great visibility, plus it's fun to drive.
I downsized to a 500L Easy with a sunroof and automatic from a VW Tiguan. At first I thought "what have I done?" but after a couple of months, and now that I'm accustomed to the quirky transmission, I totally love this car. It's very peppy and incredibly easy to maneuver. I have a 25 mile freeway commute and the 500L handles it with aplomb, and the excellent visibility is a big plus when changing lanes. Another big plus is how unique it is. I'm very happy.
Easy to park due to small size yet very roomy inside, peppy engine when paired with the manual transmission, good cargo space, fold down rear seats are not flat unless you use the cover from the storage area in the raised slot to better align the floor of the storage area with the folded seats, stadium style rear seats so that you can easily converse with rear passengers and they can see the road and front seat rider, handles well in corners, can be choppy on poor road surfaces, generally get 28-30 MPG on mixed city/highway driving, both I and my wife own 500L trekkings which together have a combined mileage of 59,000 miles, so far no breakdowns at all and only one recall for airbags, we also opted for the lifetime warranties on both cars, it does have some features that may have led early buyers to think it has gremlins, when making turns the fog light on that side turns on which is great in the dark on sharp turns as it lights up the shoulder of the road for you, when we first bought the car we thought that was a electrical problem but it turns put the dealer had only just learned that it was a feature (which can be disabled from the touch screen controls), the dealer had actually been replacing units in an effort to fix what was not a problem, the GPS needs updated maps which we were told was due to the maps themselves that were being supplied for the system this is not really a major problem for the vast majority of the time the maps have been dead on, the biggest problem has been the owners manual itself, the index was compiled for a different manual entirely as the referenced page numbers don't actually take you to the information that you are trying to look up, also the information in the manual is very weak in useful content, the brakes can be grabby and take experience with the vehicle to learn how to modulate them (they still catch me off guard once in a while) but when needed they seem to stop the car quickly and in a relatively short distance, the air conditioning works well but does affect the gas mileage, the car did get good IIHS crash ratings which was a factor in our decision to purchase them, all in all a competent and reliable vehicle thus far, my other car is a 2007 mazdaspeed 3 so I know about and use quick cars that can handle and brake well; @@@@@@@@ 4/29/2017,,update- we are over 90,000 miles between the two cars, no issues, premium gas will get a little more pep, might be useful here in Florida with heavy air conditioner use but I don't bother, however this does not equate to an increase in gas mileage, don't be afraid to drop down multiple gears on the stick shift to get moving quickly as the top 3 gears are all overdrive ratios, initial pullout needs some revs, wonder if a lighter fly wheel would allow a quicker spin up on the first 1500 RPM's, that is getting a little more technical, Hey, FIAT engineers are you listening. Gas mileage remains around 28, a majority of in town stop and go will drop that to 23-24 MPG. Car does need several thousand miles of break in to get best acceleration(noticeable difference), hmm sounds like a lot of older American iron block cars.
CAR--2014 FIAT TREKKING MANUAL trans; BEATS Audio; fully LOADED (no sunroof, heated seats or visor-built-in garage door opener) PAID: $14,595 + tax/fees. (Last 2014 left on lot June2015, $9k discount.) NOTE: CAPS are used for easy reference of points in article. REPLACED--2003 VW PASSAT wagon 1.8lT ABOUT US?This is our SO CA 'family' car. We?ve owned mostly German cars (BMW & MB), my European husband was reluctant to buy it. This car cost half of the Subaru Outback wagon we intended on purchasing. We both have lived in Europe, so the look, size, & power of the car are not strange to us. We installed a THULE roof rack, a FIAT garage installed trailer-hitch for our Thule hitch-mounted bike rack. We are 5'8" & 6'3". SHORT REVIEW?We are impressed & got a great deal. I can?t stress enough: FIND A GOOD FIAT STUDIO/DEALER/GARAGE, as this will directly affect your satisfaction. INITIAL REVIEW-- The GOOD--Great bang for the buck. Fun to drive. A comfortable ride with DECENT SUSPENSION. PASSENGER SPACE comparable to our Passat with better headroom (friends 6?5? sat in the back, & another 6?6? in the front comfortably). Both front & rear seats are adjustable to customize needs and comfort. Intuitive layout & usage of COCKPIT & CONTROLS. We are enjoying the technology: SAT NAV, tech ports, 110v plug, dash trip computer, etc. Good use of SPACE (for a car this size). THE WEIRD-- Strange PARKING BRAKE. Stalled 1-2xs daily for first few weeks getting out of FIRST GEAR (different than other cars we've owned). Optical illusion of SIZE & SHAPE--Car is much roomier inside than appears. 6 MO REVIEW-- OVERALL?Still enjoying the ride & options. Car is now broken-in (& so are we), so we aren?t stalling out of first gear beyond normal occurrences. We?ve gotten used to the PARKING BRAKE. The GAS MILEAGE is decent (22-23/city & +26/hwy, with nearly 30mpg on long hwy trips. Seems to be improving.) The Trekking?s FABRIC SEATS (leather not available on this model) are more self-regulating than I would have assumed. After our hot SO CA summer and now our ?cold? weather, all is well. (I don?t miss having heated seats.) A 500L?s sunroof?s screen is perforated, so it will not fully shut out the sun even when closed, and roof racks are not compatible, so I am doubly glad we don?t have one. CRITICAL?NO DEAL-BREAKERS. But?The DOORS lack a ?stop? mechanism, they don?t ?fly? open, but don?t open in a controlled manner when exiting your vehicle. The BLUETOOTH: good as an mp3 player, bad for talking on the phone. The MIC picks up too much sound from the dash vent & such. We had the ?DEAD BATTERY issue? (as noted by other owners) because of a SOFTWARE UPDATE that didn?t take (our FIAT studio?s garage checked-off as ?done?), which was remedied by another FIAT garage. This other garage is a combo FIAT/JEEP, so they had the knowledge & know-how to install our TRAILER HITCH. So,?FIND A GOOD FIAT STUDIO/DEALER. Many negative reviews stem from issues with a dealership rather than the brand. Hopefully FIAT can remedy this somehow, as they put out a decent product. We have heard about some transmission problems, but we since we have manual, we are hoping to avoid that.