Disagree with the experts. This car is underrated!
written on 04-07-2016
Lounge 4dr Wagon (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
This is the 11th new car I have purchased and this is one of the most enjoyable. My 2015 500L is a pleasure to drive. This vehicle has received more than a few negative professional reviews but I strongly disagree. Yes the center armrest is narrow but it is functional. I do not mind the emergency brake handle location. The car provides a great view of the road and the seating position is excellent. The ride is tuned to a good level in my opinion. I live in Chicago and this car has proven to be easy to park in tight city street spaces while providing excellent interior volume. Great cargo space for those larger purchases. Highway performance is also good, I have averaged 33 mpg. My children love this car and prefer to ride in it vs our Ford Taurus. I was in the market for a Chrysler 200 but when I could not find one equipped to my liking I took a chance on test driving the 500L and never looked back. Yes I was concerned with the professional ratings and reviews but my experience has been all positive. I have not experienced the brake fade some reviewers did. My car came with the Beats audio system and I frequently have too adjust the base level down as it is tuned too a level way too high.
After one year of ownership, I fully stand by my first review. No glitches, no electronic problems, excellent mileage! rides as news, responsive and a true pleasure to look at and to Use it on a daily basis. Ice and snow have returned to my area - the car braves it all. same grade as year ago - A+ !! -------------------- What a jewel! After 13 long and great years with my Toyota Matrix, time for change. Bought - a month ago - a top-end 2015 Fiat 500L Trekking Auto (with sunroof) and all the extras (park camera, fog lights, beats sound, etc.) and I cannot be Happier!! Easily, this is the most underrated vehicle in our land. Is it a stand-out? Yes. Is it of the boring same-ness of your usual highway gray/black/white avalanche of moving "boxes" on wheels, No! Leaving the outstanding aesthetics of this truly Italian design (at its best, think Pininfarina), how about getting 26.1 mpg in the first 1298 miles! I was not expecting this kind of fuel economy. My sticker said, 25mpg combined?so this is a bonus! Heavily driven so far in the best of both driving-validating worlds to compare - the epitome of an urban jungle - New York City's unforgiving traffic - and the pristine, meandering beauty of upstate New York, I must say, this car is a Winner. Popemobile, size-wise - no; Plenty of space Inside!! Unlike the VW sport wagon or Ford transit wagon, no cramped cockpit with your knees squeezed. Brisk maneuverability, great for parking and good storage space (at expense of smallish back seats). Quick, responsive engine - the turbo kicks in like a jet - whisks you when you need it most; merging in traffic, changing lanes, etc. Incomparable views! Visibility is outstanding. Heavy rains upstate for the past 3 days (and nights) and Not one drop inside of car?even if basically the entire roof being glass (half of it operable/can open). Seats are ergonomic/comfortable and firm (sorry coach potatoes), lumber support, excellent. Everything is adjustable so it's not just good for a 6'2" guy?;..too bad we don't have the European long body version of it. This car also will talk to you - voice recognition works seamlessly and pairing my smartphone took 2 minutes. Infotainment system is impeccable. The space inside, along with the plethora of great sound - jazz, blues, classical, info, whatever is your wish - makes me feel like in a concert hall. To all those who hesitate, Don't! I would like to stress, it's not just the design that is great but Function-saturated feast on wheels. What's amazing is that what appears small is actually big! And once inside, you stand in a very comparable height level (i've got the 17" wheels) with all the SUV's mastodons around you. So for those of smaller stature, you'll feel at great driving height, Without paying a fortune for a "true" SUV...The price value was unbelievable. I got a great deal and I quickly seized it as I bought the car for under 20k..!! My grade: A+.
This little Italian charmer has been quite a refreshing joy to drive over the last few weeks. The performance of the multi-air turbo is phenomenal and unexpected. For its size, the 500L is nimble and handles more like a sports car than the Fiat self-described "Urban Utility Vehicle." I highly recommend the Trekking version of this vehicle. It is a better designed model than the others offered and more rugged in appearance.
Having owned a fiat 128 Sedan, Fiat 128 3P, Fiat Bravo, and Fiat Spyder 2000 and loved them all I thought I would give Fiat another try since my wife has had a trouble free 500 Sport since 2012 with no problems. I traded in my luxury ride Buick Century for a 500L and I am in love with it. It has plenty enough power to get you on the interstate and cruise at the traditional 5 mph above the speed limit, as well as, get you in and out of tight spots. I especially love the option of running the gears yourself with the optional 6 speed automatic. It has lots of room both front and back and handles like a European Car should handle. It cuts and turns quickly and holds the road beautifully. All of that while maintaining a comfortable ride. I noticed that it stands just a few inches short of my 2003 Chevy Venture van. The appearance means a lot to me also, as it is highly unique and does not have the cookie cutter design that most cars have. In general, it looks great, is functional, roomy, powerful enough and fun to drive.
I LOVE my 2015 Fiat 500L Trekking 6-speed automati
written on 11-10-2015
Trekking 4dr Wagon (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I had a 2012 500 Sport and it was time for something bigger, I love the look of the 500X and had to take one for a test drive. I picked a Black 500X Trekking AWD, I liked the comfortable ride and was impressed with the 9 speed transmission. While talking about the numbers with my sales person, I could not take my eyes of this 2015 Rosso Perla colored 500L Trekking that was on the show room floor. After a few days I still could not get that car out of my mind, so I went back and test drove that 500L and I loved the cavernous feel on the inside, but it isn't enormous outside (love the cargo area and fold down back seats); it sips gas, has really good visibility, comfortable front seats and a smooth drive. The AISIN Heavy Duty 6 speed automatic shifts great and responds well when I need to down shift for passing or merging onto the highway. So for me I had to have the 500L Trekking, a week after I got it we took it on our family vacation. And it was very comfortable on that long 4 hour road trip to Todd PA. It got around 34 mpg (all highway driving) and on my normal day to day driving I average around 30 combined. I do love this car. I've had no problems whatsoever with it (it's still very new, only 1850 miles, so I'll keep my fingers crossed). It's weird, cute, bug-eyed looking and these are all positives to me. I have absolutely no regrets having moved into a car that performs the same functions of getting me around, but gives me so much more enjoyment than the average same-old same-old car everyone else has. Family, friends and coworkers always ask me "Why another Fiat?" aMy response is always the same, go test drive one for yourself and you will see why I love them. Not every poor review about the Fiat brand is true; you can't believe everything you read. After a year of ownership, the Fiat 500l Trekking is one of the best vehicles I have owned. Unlike other reviews I have not had any problems with the 500l. The only time it has seen the service center is for its routine maintenance. So let me say it again, not every poor review about the Fiat brand is true; you can't believe everything you read.
Giallo, Trekking Collection 5 ($6,000 -- includes 17-inch painted aluminum wheels; Sirius/XM satellite radio with one year of included Sirius/XM service; air-conditioning with automatic dual temperature control; Beats premium audio system; GPS navigation; heated front seats; leather-trimmed bucket seats; Rrear seat armrest with cupholder; ParkSense rear park assist system; ParkView rear back-up camera; four-way power driver lumbar adjust; power sunroof; premium wrapped instrument panel bezel; rearview mirror with auto dimming; sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors; Uconnect 8.4A AM/FM/SiriusXM/Bluetooth), Six-Speed Aisin F21-250 HD Automatic Transmission ($1,350)
Turbocharged, port-injected inline-4, gasoline
SOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
160 @ 5,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
184 @ 2,500
Six-speed automatic with console shifter
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
There's little technique needed to get the most from the 500L in a straight line. Best run was achieved with the traction/stability control off and mild brake/throttle overlap off the line. I used manual shiifting but it didn't prove to be advantageous. Wheelspin is modest leaving the line, but it can, at least, spin the tires. Otherwise, acceleration is uneventful and the Fiat is loud, rather slow and chews through the quarter-mile with less grace than many cars in its segment. This is a mildly underpowered car, but the benefits offered by its automatic transmission are better than the optional dual-clutch.
Braking distances increased steadily with every stop, but pedal feel remained consistent. I never got the sense that the increases would dramatically increase or that there was anything unsafe about this behavior. This isn't a performance car, and the braking performance is typical of cars in the class. Stopping distances are OK.
The Fiat's behavior through the slalom is only OK before its stability control steps in. Steering feel is minimal, body roll is unpleasant and hard driving is generally discouraged by the 500L's overall feel. More importantly, this car's stability control calibration is downright dangerous. In fast transitions it will unpredictably apply the brakes to one or both front wheels, causing the car to understeer heavily in a straight line, which is the exact opposite of what it should do. In essence, if the driver is making a rapid evasive maneuver, the stability system might very well direct the car straight ahead into whatever the driver is trying to avoid. It's downright dangerous. This happens even with the system's reins loosened by turning it "off." This doesn't happen on the skid pad, where cornering is more steady-state. Nonetheless, the Fiat's general disdain for being driven aggressively continues. Understeer and body roll continue to dominate its attitude here, though the underteer is never transformed into a refusal to turn. It's just reluctant. And its tires will let you know, though not through the steering wheel.