2019 FIAT 500L Review

Pros & Cons

  • Plenty of passenger and cargo room for a small hatchback
  • Touchscreen interface is attractive and easy to use
  • Ride quality is choppy over rough pavement
  • Interior materials look and feel cheap
  • The latest advanced driver safety aids aren't available
  • Rear seats don't fold flat for more cargo flexibility
Other years
List Price Estimate
$16,755 - $19,089

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Which 500L does Edmunds recommend?

The base trim level is the Pop. Its generous features list and low starting price are attractive for buyers on a budget. But we say go for the top-trim Lounge. It's just about fully loaded and doesn't add much to the bottom line. The only available options at the Lounge level are a panoramic sunroof and the Graphite Edition package, which pairs the sunroof with minor appearance modifications.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

5.8 / 10

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.

2019 FIAT 500L models

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).

Trim tested

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.

Driving

5.5
The engine produces only adequate power, the brakes are grabby, and the handling is unremarkable. As a result, overall drivability is poor.

Acceleration

5.0
The automatic transmission offers manual control and responds intuitively in parking lots and on the highway alike. In Edmunds performance testing, the 500L posted a 0-60 mph time of 8.5 seconds, which is an average for this class.

Braking

5.5
The 500L lacks stability in panic stops and wiggles considerably from side to side. It's not unsafe, but it also isn't confidence-inspiring. It required 122 feet to stop from 60 mph in our testing, which is average. The pedal response is inconsistent in typical use.

Steering

7.0
Though the steering is reasonably precise, the Fiat's steering wheel commands a tall vehicle with low grip limits. Quick steering inputs are met with lots of lean and a sense that turning rapidly isn't a 500L strength.

Handling

6.5
You can hustle the 500L without it being unsafe, but it isn't rewarding or quick-reacting. The limits are modest and end in predictable understeer that the driver can't correct easily. Stability control intervention is aggressive and poorly executed.

Drivability

4.0
The 500L doesn't exhibit the major drivability gaffes with the traditional six-speed automatic the way it did with the dual-clutch automatic (produced before 2015). But still it's never a real pleasure to drive due to the engine's modest, nonlinear power delivery.

Comfort

6.0
Though it can manage short trips well, the 500L isn't a confident or comfortable road tripper. Its stiff ride and hard seat bottoms make it a poor choice for journeys lasting more than an hour.

Seat comfort

5.5
The front seats are highly adjustable, but a good outward view demands a wholly upright seating position, which hurts comfort. The seat bottoms, both front and rear, are extremely hard. The rear seatbacks are rather upright.

Ride comfort

6.0
The 500L's ride comfort feels unrefined in the real world. There's ample vertical motion over even small imperfections. Rough roads create vibrations throughout the structure, including the steering wheel. Most competitors are better.

Noise & vibration

6.0
Both wind noise and tire noise manage to find their way inside the cabin more frequently than they should. Coarse surfaces and crosswinds pose real problems. Engine noise isn't too loud in normal conditions but can be burdensome at high rpm.

Interior

6.0
The 500L's double roof-pillar design inhibits quarter-angle visibility in all directions. The rear seats don't fold completely flat, but the movable rear shelf makes up the difference. Even though this is an economically priced car, the materials feel below par.

Ease of use

7.0
The trip computer button's location at the end of the wiper stalk is odd, but large air-conditioning knobs, legible displays, and logical placement of most controls make the 500L easy to operate.

Getting in/getting out

7.0
The doors lack obvious detents but offer good access to the seats, which are at a convenient height. The doorsills are wide, and grab handles are provided above each door. The rear seats slide fore and aft and tumble forward, but they curiously don't fold flat.

Roominess

7.0
Because the roof is quite high, there's a feeling of openness. Even so, long-torsoed rear passengers will run out of headroom if the optional sunroof is installed.

Visibility

6.0
We appreciate the design idea of double roof pillars, but in practice there are four pillars both front and back, where there could be just two. The standard rearview camera and optional rear parking sensors ease anxiety while in reverse.

Quality

5.0
Inconsistent panel gaps, less than stellar paint, and below-average fit and finish inside hurt the 500L's score. Most competitors feel better from behind the wheel. Many controls feel hollow and don't give an impression of quality.

Utility

7.5
The 500L is pretty roomy, with cargo space of 68 cubic feet and behind-the-rear-seat space of 21.3 cubic feet. Storage for small items is OK, with decent-size cupholders, but the door pockets and front bin are underwhelming.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall5.8 / 10
Driving5.5
Comfort6.0
Interior6.0
Utility7.5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2019 FIAT 500L.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Great For What It Is
Bill in TX,11/15/2019
Trekking 4dr Wagon (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
My 2014 500L Trekking has been 100% reliable to date, and with a manual transmission is fun to drive! I am old enough to remember when Italian cars had a reputation for unreliability, but that was a long time ago and I do not believe that the current crop should be tarred with that brush. Interior room is great...lots of headroom and legroom both front and back, as well as good cargo capacity in back. FWD provides good traction in poor weather, and the 6-speed manual transmission helps in that department, too. Performance is good in general. Acceleration will not pin your ears back, nor can you fling it at high speeds through hairpin curves, but if that is what you are looking for, then you probably aren't even considering this car in the first place. To summarize, the Fiat 500L Trekking is a good, reliable car that is fun to drive. BTW, speaking of reliability, I have been a Land Rover owner in the past and know current Land/Range Rover owners....in terms of reliability I will take my 500L over an Evoque any day, hands down.
Fast Italian ...
Eguzarobb,10/03/2019
Urbana 4dr Wagon (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
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Safety

Our experts like the 500L models:

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.
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2019 FIAT 500L

Used 2019 FIAT 500L Overview

The Used 2019 FIAT 500L is offered in the following submodels: 500L Wagon. Available styles include Pop 4dr Wagon (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Trekking 4dr Wagon (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Lounge 4dr Wagon (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and Urbana 4dr Wagon (1.4L 4cyl Turbo 6A). Pre-owned FIAT 500L models are available with a 1.4 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 160 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2019 FIAT 500L comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2019 FIAT 500L comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2019 FIAT 500L?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2019 FIAT 500LS are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2019 FIAT 500L for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2019 FIAT 500L.

Can't find a used 2019 FIAT 500Ls you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used FIAT 500L for sale - 1 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $23,064.

Find a used FIAT for sale - 7 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $12,520.

Find a used certified pre-owned FIAT 500L for sale - 7 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $8,073.

Find a used certified pre-owned FIAT for sale - 1 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $14,895.

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.

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