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2014 FIAT 500L Review

An abysmal reliability rating and unimpressive safety scores banish the all-new 2014 Fiat 500L to the bottom of the class. Though it has low ownership costs, the 500L lacks the driving dynamics and quality interior of some rivals. 

Pros & Cons

  • Low cost of ownership
  • Excellent passenger room
  • Bottom-of-the-barrel reliability
  • Poor safety scores for class
  • Dull handling




Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 8.2
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2014 FIAT 500L Overview

Is the 2014 Fiat 500L a Good Used Car?

If you can look past the 500L's alarming reliability rating, this wagon could be a good choice for those on a budget who need a utilitarian daily driver. It offers plenty of passenger and cargo space, all for reasonably low average prices. However, if you're looking for an engaging drive or an elegant interior, the 500L isn’t for you.

Used 2014 Fiat 500L Performance and Interior

The new-for-2014 Fiat 500L is powered by a four-cylinder turbocharged engine that puts out 160 horsepower. It’s the same peppy engine used in the performance Fiat 500 Abarth, and it mostly gets the wagon moving with enthusiasm. However, there is a bit of turbo lag right when you hit the gas. Acceleration is also impacted by the heavier weight of the wagon compared to its smaller stablemate. The 500L is available with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, and it delivers fuel economy estimates of 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

The front-wheel-drive Fiat 500L isn't as sporty as some other rivals, but it maintains a comfortable ride quality over most surfaces. It can also exhibit some body lean around turns, which is common for taller cars.

Read more about 500L performance »

The 500L seats five people on standard cloth upholstery, but some models may have leather seats or heated front seats. Though the 500L shares the retro exterior styling of the Fiat 500, this wagon is more practical. All passengers should have plenty of headroom, and there is ample second-row legroom for adults to stretch out comfortably. Additionally, forward visibility is great thanks in part to a high driving position. The 500L has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors, plus an additional tether anchor for the middle seat. The wagon offers up to 68 cubic feet of cargo space with the back seats folded.

Standard features in the 2014 Fiat 500L include Bluetooth, a USB port, voice command activation, and a 5-inch touch-screen infotainment system. Optional equipment includes dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, satellite radio, two USB ports, a dual-pane sunroof, a 6.5-inch touch screen, navigation, a Beats Audio sound system, rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera. Both touch-screen interfaces are easy to use and respond promptly to commands. Other large physical buttons and knobs are laid out intuitively on the dashboard for controls like climate and audio volume. 

Read more about 500L interior »

Used 2014 Fiat 500L Prices

Average prices for a used 2014 Fiat 500L range from around $10,000 for a base Pop model to about $12,800 for the top Lounge trim. The condition, mileage, and features of the car can affect its price, and listings can vary based on where you live.

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We Did the Research for You: 24 Reviews Analyzed

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on safety and reliability data, total ownership costs, and the findings of professional test drivers. We analyzed 24 published testimonies for this 2014 Fiat 500L review.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking and reviewing vehicles for 10 years, and our editorial staff has decades of experience writing about cars. We don’t accept expensive incentives or gifts from car companies, so you can trust that our reviews are impartial. Any ads you see on our pages are put there by a third party.

How Reliable Is the 2014 Fiat 500L?

J.D. Power and Associates gives the 2014 Fiat 500L a reliability rating of two out of five, which is the lowest mark possible. No other wagon has a rating that low.

Read more about 500L reliability »

How Safe Is the 500L?

The Fiat 500L also gets low safety scores for its class. Only evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 500 earned the top score of Good in four individual crash tests. However, it received the lowest possible mark in its fifth evaluation – the small overlap front test, which simulates the driver's side front corner impacting a tall, skinny object like a tree.

Rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are the only driver assistance features that can be found in the 500L.

See 500L safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used 500L?

Fiat introduced the 500L as an all-new vehicle for the 2014 model year. There were few major changes over the 500L's first several years, so you're better off saving some money with an inaugural version than spending more on a very similar newer model.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 500L »

Which Used Fiat 500L Is Right for Me?

The 2014 Fiat 500L is available in four trims: Pop, Easy, Trekking, and Lounge. While the base model comes with cool standard features like Bluetooth and a small touch-screen interface, upper trims don't cost much more, so it's worth considering an upgrade. The Fiat 500L Easy adds features like alloy wheels, and it's the first trim level in which you can find amenities like the larger touch screen, satellite radio, and a rearview camera. Since many desirable features aren’t standard – such as a sunroof and leather seats – you'll have to hunt around for what you want.  

You may also want to consider a certified pre-owned 500L. For certified pre-owned Fiat vehicles, the original new-car powertrain warranty is extended to seven years or 100,000 miles. CPO vehicles also get a three-month/3,000-mile Maximum Coverage Care warranty. There are restrictions related to mileage and models, so read the Fiat warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Fiat certified pre-owned program »

2014 Fiat 500L and Other Vehicles to Consider

Which Is Better: 2014 Fiat 500L or 2014 Mini Cooper Countryman?

The 2014 Mini Cooper Countryman has a lot of the same utility as the 500L. Both hatchbacks have impressive amounts of passenger space, though the 500L has more cargo space. Like many Mini vehicles, the Countryman boasts enthusiastic handling and sharp steering; and though its base engine is weak, its two available turbocharged engines are much more energetic. The Countryman also offers an upscale, attractive interior, with materials like standard leatherette seats. The 500L's poor reliability score is contrasted by the Countryman's above-average rating. Ultimately, your choice may come down to your budget – average prices for the Countryman are thousands of dollars higher than those of the 500L. If you can swing it, the Mini is your best bet.  

Which Is Better: 2014 Fiat 500L or 2014 Kia Soul?

The fully redesigned 2014 Kia Soul is an excellent compact car overall – and a better choice than the 500L. The Soul's high reliability and safety ratings make it an admirable daily driver, and its average prices are comparable to the Fiat's. Neither car will wow you with its performance; the Soul's base engine is anemic and even its optional turbocharged engine feels underpowered. Both of these boxy cars offer ample room for passengers, and the Soul has comparable cargo space to the 500L's excellent capacity. For your money, the Soul is the better option.

Compare the 500L, Cooper Countryman, and Soul »


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