2019 FIAT 500L
- Trekking model's Urbana Appearance package is no longer available
- Part of the first 500L generation introduced for 2014
- Plenty of passenger and cargo room for a small hatchback
- Touchscreen interface is attractive and easy to use
- Rear seats don't fold flat for more cargo flexibility
- The latest advanced driver safety aids aren't available
- Interior materials look and feel cheap
- Ride quality is choppy over rough pavement
Which 500L does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating2.5 / 5
The 2019 Fiat 500L is a compact wagon that tries to replicate the charm and playfulness of the diminutive Fiat 500 city car while offering greater utility. We do like the 500L's spacious interior and cargo area, and having four doors is more useful than just the two of the regular 500. The 500's handling is pretty good by class standards, too. But the overall package just doesn't exude the sense of playfulness that makes the 500 such a charming car.
The seats are hard, the ride is rough, and road and wind noise is palpable. These offenses don't manifest until you drive around for a little while, but the cheap interior plastics are immediately apparent upon entering the cabin. The low-rent materials felt underwhelming when the 500L debuted in 2014, and look even worse now as newer rivals raise the bar.
While the 500L offers a lot of utility at a low price, most other small wagons, hatchbacks and crossovers are more enjoyable to drive and easier to live with.
Trim levels & features
The 2019 Fiat 500L is a four-door compact wagon that competes against a small group of like-minded wagons and hatchbacks as well as some compact crossovers. The base Pop model is fairly inexpensive and comes loaded with creature comforts and tech features. The midlevel Trekking doesn't cost much more and adds a few desirable luxury amenities. The top Lounge model is slightly more expensive than the Trekking, and it's actually a better deal if you want the Trekking's Popular Equipment package.
Every Fiat 500L is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine (160 horsepower, 184 pound-feet of torque) that powers the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.
The base-level Pop comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, heated mirrors, tinted windows, remote locking and unlocking, a rearview camera, air conditioning, cruise control, height-adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40-split folding rear seats that slide fore and aft, a 7-inch touchscreen, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a six-speaker sound system.
The Pop's optional Popular Equipment Group package adds rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, power lumbar adjustment for the driver, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Pop's Premium Group includes those features plus satellite radio, a navigation system and a seven-speaker BeatsAudio sound system.
Stepping up to the Trekking level adds 17-inch wheels, foglights, unique body panels and trim with a rugged theme, LED ambient interior lighting, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a rear-seat armrest and the BeatsAudio system, navigation and satellite radio from the Premium Group package. It is also available with the Popular Equipment Group, which also includes manual lumbar adjustment for the passenger.
The top-trim Lounge equips the 500L with 17-inch alloy wheels with a painted finish, chrome exterior mirrors and body accents, and the contents of the Popular Equipment Group.
A panoramic sunroof and color combinations that match the roof and exterior mirrors are other available options, depending on trim level. Two cosmetic packages are also available: the Pop's Chrome Appearance package (unique 17-inch wheels and chrome exterior trim) and the Lounge's Graphite Edition package (non-painted wheels, the sunroof, and gray-painted roof and mirror caps).
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Fiat 500L Trekking (turbo 1.4L inline-4 | 6-speed automatic | FWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2015, the current 500L has received some revisions, including a new infotainment system (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility) for 2018. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's 500L, however.
Noise & vibration2.5
Ease of use3
Getting in/getting out3
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite 500L safety features:
- ParkSense Rear Park Assist System
- Alerts the driver as the 500L approaches an object behind the vehicle.
- ParkView Rear Backup Camera
- Displays an image of the area behind the vehicle in the touchscreen display.
- Hill Start Assist
- Prevents the 500L from rolling backward when pulling away from a stop while traveling uphill.
Fiat 500L vs. the competition
2019 Fiat 500L
2018 Fiat 500X
Fiat 500L vs. Fiat 500X
The Fiat 500L naturally has more passenger and cargo space than the subcompact 500X crossover, but that's where the L's advantages stop. The 500X has nicer interior materials and a more playful demeanor. Unless you absolutely need the extra space, we say go with the superior 500X.
Fiat 500L vs. Mini Countryman
The Fiat 500L and the Mini Countryman are about the same size, but the similarities end there. The Countryman is a far more refined vehicle, with sporty handling, high-quality interior materials, and engines that are more powerful and fuel-efficient. The Countryman is much more expensive, but the old adage that you get what you pay for certainly applies. For more information about the Mini Countryman, read Edmunds' long-term road test of a 2018 Mini Countryman S E.
Fiat 500L vs. Fiat 500
The Fiat 500 is the smallest vehicle in Fiat's lineup and, indeed, is one of the tiniest cars on sale in the U.S. Though it offers seating for four, only the front seats are suitable for adults. The Fiat 500L is more practical, but it's not as charming or fun to drive as the pint-sized 500.
After nearly 30 years away from the American market, Fiat returned to the U.S. with its tiny, retro-themed 500 two-door hatchback in 2012. As with the original "Cinquecento," the modern Fiat 500 was the ideal runabout for city denizens, commuters, and anyone challenged with finding street parking. Although the 500 wasn't exactly a standout in terms of refinement or as a value proposition, its Italian pizazz won it a fair share of fans.
Some folks liked the idea of the 500 but deemed the car too small. For them, Fiat has the four-door 500L. Think of the L as standing for "Larger." The 2019 Fiat 500L is more than 2 feet longer than a 500 and also shares the tall cabin architecture of its little sibling. The result: The 500L offers about the same room as a small crossover SUV. And like a compact crossover, the 500L provides elevated front seating that many drivers prefer for its optimum view out the windshield. And, thanks to its growth spurt, the bigger 500 also provides a habitable back seat that offers plenty of room even for adults.
Although the 500L has a turbocharged engine, it's a mere 1.4 liters. That's fine for the smaller 500, but the 500L is 800 pounds heavier and so its performance is a mixed bag. With just one or two people aboard, the 500L is peppy enough. Its 0-60 mph time of 8.5 seconds is respectable in the small crossover/wagon class. But fill the seats or load it up with some heavy cargo and you'd be wise to carefully plan your highway merging and passing maneuvers.
The 2019 Fiat 500L is available in three trim levels, ranging from the base Pop to the loaded-up Lounge. Feature highlights include leather seating, power lumbar support for the front seats, and split-folding rear seats that slide fore and aft to optimize legroom or cargo space.
Granted, the 2019 Fiat 500L is like its baby brother in that it has a certain charisma, something that's not too common in this class. But it likewise falls short of its rivals in such key areas as refinement, performance and ride quality. Specifically, in addition to lackluster acceleration when fully laden, the 500L's ride can be choppy over broken pavement, the build quality is spotty, and the brake pedal is difficult to operate smoothly, making jerk-free stops a challenge.
With those reservations in mind, we'd recommend considering another Fiat sibling if a bigger 500 is what you seek. The four-door Fiat 500X provides a roomy cabin along with superior refinement, better ride and handling dynamics, and the availability of more high-tech features. Whatever your preference, Edmunds can help you find the Fiat 500 that's just right for you.
2019 FIAT 500L Overview
The 2019 FIAT 500L is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include Pop 4dr Wagon (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Trekking 4dr Wagon (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and Lounge 4dr Wagon (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A).
What do people think of the 2019 FIAT 500L?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2019 FIAT 500L and all its trim types. 0 Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2019 500L.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2019 FIAT 500L and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2019 500L featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Which 2019 FIAT 500LS are available in my area?
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Should I lease or buy a 2019 FIAT 500L?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.