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2018 FIAT 500L Review

The 2018 Fiat 500L finishes near the bottom of our wagon rankings. This car hits some of the key notes for a wagon, like plentiful passenger and cargo space. However, nearly every competitor is more upscale, earns better safety scores, and is more enjoyable to drive.

Pros & Cons

  • Good maximum cargo capacity
  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Unsupportive seats
  • Short features list
  • Below-average fuel economy
  • Unimpressive ride and handling

New for 2018

  • Updated styling
  • Standard rearview camera and larger standard touch screen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto became available

Rankings & Research

The 2018 FIAT 500L's #7 ranking is based on its score within the 2018 Wagons category. Currently the FIAT 500L has a score of 7.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 33 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 6.5
Performance: 6.4
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.8
Safety: 8.2
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 FIAT 500L Overview

Is the 2018 Fiat 500L a Good Used Wagon?

The 500L is not a very good used wagon. It falls short of the standards set by rivals in many key areas.

Here are the 2018 500L's main selling points:

  • Infotainment system is intuitive and easy to master
  • Enough space for adults in front and rear seats
  • Front passenger seat folds flat for more cargo room
  • Plenty of cargo space with the rear seats folded

And here are its main drawbacks:

  • Both rows of seats lack adequate support
  • Inferior cabin materials compared to other wagons
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Turbo lag when taking off from a stop
  • Lackluster handling ability and ride quality
  • Short list of standard and available features
Why You Can Trust Us

Our Fiat 500L review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 37 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2018 Fiat 500L?

Based on listings for the 2018 Fiat 500L on our site, the average price is $17,000, which is below average for the class. Prices range from $13,500 to $20,500 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Fiat 500L Cost to Own?

The 2018 500L’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $24,635, or $4,927 per year. That’s above average for a wagon.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New 500L?

The 2019 Fiat 500L starts at $21,910 and offers no notable improvements over the 2018 model. Stick with the 2018 model to potentially save money and get a wagon that’s nearly identical to the newer model.

Read about the new Fiat 500L »

The Fiat 500L saw a few notable upgrades for 2018, including refreshed exterior and interior styling. There were also a few new standard features, including a rearview camera (previously optional), a larger touch screen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. You may be able to save money with an older used model, but you’ll lose out on these improvements. If you want a 500L with a manual transmission, however, you’ll have to buy a model from 2014 through 2016. Fiat dropped this transmission from the options list in 2017.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 500L »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Fiat 500L?

J.D. Power gives the 2018 500L a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Read more about 500L reliability »

2018 Fiat 500L Recalls

At the time of writing, there are no recalls for the 2018 Fiat 500L.

See more information on Fiat 500L safety recalls »

Which Used Fiat 500L Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Fiat 500L comes in three trims: Pop, Trekking, and Lounge. Every trim features a 160-horsepower turbo-four engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. Choosing the right trim comes down to personal preference. There are a few styling touches that differentiate trim levels, but you can find any trim equipped with a similar array of features.

  • Fiat 500L Pop: The 500L Pop's standard features include a rearview camera and the Uconnect infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and a USB port. You may also find Pop models equipped with additional features that were optional when this Fiat was new. These include dual-zone automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, a Beats audio system, satellite radio, and navigation.
  • Fiat 500L Trekking: The 500L Trekking comes with leather upholstery, heated front seats, a Beats audio system, satellite radio, and an upgraded Uconnect system with navigation. You may also find Trekking models with dual-zone automatic climate control and rear parking sensors.
  • Fiat 500L Lounge: The 500L Lounge comes with almost every feature you can get in a 500L, including dual-zone automatic climate control and rear parking sensors.

See 2018 Fiat 500L trims and specs »

What Does Fiat's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Fiat offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Fiat extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. CPO vehicles also get a three-month/3,000-mile Maximum Coverage Care warranty. Additional benefits are available, including a 90-day SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, a CarFax vehicle history report, 24-hour towing and roadside assistance, and a car rental allowance. There are mileage and model restrictions, so read the Fiat warranty page carefully.

Fiat has one of the worst CPO programs among affordable carmakers, according to our analysis. Kia, Hyundai, Chevy, Ford, Honda, and Mazda are all better.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the 500L?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2018 500L the highest rating of Good in four crash tests and the lowest rating of Poor in the driver-side small overlap front test.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • rear parking sensors

See 500L safety scores »

2018 Fiat 500L Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Fiat 500L or 2018 Fiat 500X?

Aside from the fact that it's a subcompact SUV, the 2018 Fiat 500X has a lot in common with the 500L. They share similar interior styling and quality, and both have the same unimpressive base engine. However, the X is available with a more powerful engine and all-wheel drive. You’ll find a more robust features list with the L, but the 500X’s powertrain makes it the better buy.

Which Is Better: 2018 Fiat 500L or 2018 Mini Countryman?

The 2018 Mini Countryman is a subcompact SUV that's more upscale and much more athletic than the 500L. It also costs a lot more money on average. The Countryman is available with all-wheel drive, and its available turbocharged engines provide more muscle than the Fiat's. The 500L does have more cargo space and an easier-to-use infotainment system, but the Countryman is a better car overall.

Compare the 500L, 500X, and Countryman »

2018 500L Performance

How Does the 2018 Fiat 500L Drive?

This Fiat gets ample power from its turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but the powertrain is hardly impressive. There's some turbo lag, which makes the engine feel lethargic, and the 500L isn't that agile around turns. It's stable, but there's noticeable body lean. Ride quality is also something of a sore spot; rough pavement will likely jar the 500L's occupants.

  • Base engine: 160-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder
  • Drivetrain: front-wheel drive
  • Transmission: six-speed automatic
Does the 2018 Fiat 500L Get Good Gas Mileage?

Almost every other wagon gets better fuel economy than the 500L.

  • 22/30 mpg city/highway

Read more about 500L performance »

2018 500L Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 500L Seat?

The 2018 500L seats five people in two rows. The cabin is stylish, but the materials used are lacking in quality, leaving this Fiat with a less upscale look and feel than rivals. Both rows of seats are spacious enough for adults, and the large doors make it easy to get in and out of the front or back. The seats aren't very supportive, however, so they get uncomfortable on longer drives.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth upholstery

Available seating features:

  • leather upholstery
  • heated front seats
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Fiat 500L?

The 2018 500L has two complete sets of LATCH child car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. The anchors are easy to find unless the rear seats are slid all the way back. And while the rear seat provides decent space, it may not give you enough room to install a car seat without moving the front seats forward – a potential problem if you're a taller driver.

2018 Fiat 500L Features

This Fiat has a shorter features list than many rivals. On the bright side, the Uconnect infotainment system has a user-friendly interface that's easy to master. The touch screen's buttons are a bit small, though, so tapping the one you want can be tricky.

  • Standard infotainment features: six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, a USB port, a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto
  • Available infotainment features: a six-speaker Beats audio system, satellite radio, and navigation
  • Other available features: a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and dual-zone automatic climate control

See 2018 Fiat 500L specs »

Read more about 500L interior »

2018 Fiat 500L Dimensions

Fiat 500L Cargo Space

Behind the rear seats, the 500L has an unimpressive 22.4 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold the rear seats down, however, and you get 68 cubic feet of room, which is a solid total for a wagon.

The liftover height is high, making it tough to load heavy items. Also, the rear seats don't fold flat, leaving you with an uneven cargo floor. The front passenger seat folds flat, though, which is not the case in every wagon.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Fiat 500L Length and Weight
  • Length: 13 feet, 11 inches to 14 feet
  • Curb weight: 3,254 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Fiat 500L Built?

Fiat built the 500L in Serbia.

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