Used 2017 FIAT 500L Wagon Consumer Reviews
So, I had the '15 L (called her Elle, too...nicknamed the '17 Elle Marshma'Elle'ow)in for service and spotted a white '17L on the lot with a banner in the windshield(this was almost two years ago). Asked the salesperson to work the numbers on trading out their very last '17L with our '15L (both were Lounge models) and I had our new car that afternoon! The white '17L with pano moonroof was equipped the same as our '15 that had 34k miles on it...but with the addition of the moonroof on the '17). Seems FIAT re-mapped the throttle response a bit and made the '17 just a little quicker off the line; but, otherwise, the vehicles were darned near identical(BEATS sound and nav in both, btw). I knew I was trading too soon to get the value out of the '15; but I'm happy with the purchase roughly 21 months later. The L has quite a large cargo capacity for such a small footprint. My 29er mountain bike fits in the back and my wife's "light" home staging goodies will fit when no one thinks it's possible! The higher seating position and fantastic visibility are great pluses to me! Some people think the seating is too high and there is TOO MUCH glass all around(really??? You don't want to be able to see??? ) We are surrounded by a sea of large pick-ups and SUVs here in Texas and I don't mind one bit not looking out to see the door handles on those vehicles. In fact, it's one of the main reasons we bought the first 500L(people don't complain about the ride height of their "utility" vehicles, do they?). We've driven 3000 miles in two weeks on 75mph super highways and then mountain roads and find the ride quality just fine. The upright seating is a plus(of course, you can recline and adjust the seats to fit your fancy). The off-the-line performance is not that of a race car for sure; but it's got every bit the zip of many small wagon/hatch type vehicles. On-ramp speeds are fine as the car moves along smartly in 3rd-4th gears, making merging or leaving traffic on Texas highways safe and comfortable. I've cruised in the 80-85mph range for hours at a time, all the while getting over 30mpg on 87 octane with the AC howling in the 95-105 degree temps.(All that glass does invite an increased 'greenhouse' effect, so extra tinting is recommended if you live in a sunny/hot climate like central Texas) As with the '15L, we've had a couple of warranty issues with the '17; but nothing debilitating and nothing the dealer(studio) couldn't handle right zippy. I had many more problems with my near $40k Acura RDX than I've had with either FIAT. The FOUR-year, 50k mile warranty is a plus, just in case little gremlins do show up as Elle gets a bit of age on her. That's a significant boost in warranty coverage compared to some other eco-hatch/wagons. Parking the Elle is not as easy as parking the 'regular' 500 series as the L is almost two feet longer. HOWEVER, the turning radius is really tight and when you are pulling into a 90-degree parking situation, the L will surprise you with more nimbleness than you might expect...about 1/3-turn more! You turn to what would be the limit on many vehicles and the L lets you turn just a little more!!!) Backing the L is easy, too. Of course, the back-up camera helps; but there is nary a blind spot as you look "through" the right-side rear quarter of the vehicle(nearly all glass!). All in all, this is a very nice vehicle for what it is...economical, easy to drive, reasonably peppy and quite capacious. Would we enjoy a KIA Soul or Juke or CX-3 as much??? Not sure; but I like what we have with the FIAT 500L. After owning a number of vehicles costing nearly twice as much, we are tickled to find such a capable and comfortable vehicle in the low-mid $20k range!!! March '20 update of sorts... Taking Elle in for her 30k mile service this week(IF the Corona virus doesn't shut down the dealer service dept). Other than the radio gremlin(defaults to 670 AM or some such from time to time), I really don't have any issues with the little wagon. Mixed MPG on our stop and go Texas highways is pretty close to 30...and highway MPG still looks to be 15% higher than that...all on Top Tier 87 fuel. Not bad for a capable hauler. My plan is to keep this Elle until the 4/50 warranty runs out before seriously looking for another vehicle. Depending on how our '13 Volvo C70 is holding up at that time(roughly 2022), we might hang on to the FIAT or even ADD a 500C(onvertible) to the garage. Dealing with vehicles closer to $20K vs $45K has become a delight!! Oct 2020 Update... Shortly after posting the previous update, "Elle" developed a "leak" of some engine compartment fumes into the passenger compartment. At times, it smelled like exhaust from an old truck, on occasion the smell had a petro(oil?) component to the smell. This was quite disturbing as it continued intermittently for days until I could get back to the dealer. NO repair was available and we immediately traded the car for a Volvo XC40.
I will never purchase a Fiat again! When I first bought it I loved it....2 years later and thousands of dollars in repairs. Seems every month something new needs to be fixed on it... ..not happy customer at all!!