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2020 FIAT 500L Performance

#5 out of 5 in Wagons

U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 FIAT 500L Performance Review


Performance: 4.9

The 2020 Fiat 500L has subpar fuel economy estimates, a rough ride, and leisurely acceleration. Handling and engine power are both OK at best.

  • "The engine produces only adequate power, the brakes are grabby, and the handling is unremarkable. As a result, overall drivability is poor." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "It's important to get one point out of the way quickly: The 500L doesn't drive like its baby brother. Shoppers expecting it to drive like its tiny 500 will find the 500L to be rough around corners and not especially fun to drive. Even the 500X sub-compact SUV provides a little more verve behind the wheel. We've also found the 500L's ride to be on the rough side." -- Autotrader (2019)
  • "I liked the ride. I don't like small(ish) cars that crash and bang over potholes and whatnot, and this car soaked up everything Detroit offered on my commute. Plus it feels light. Keep the tach above 3K, and it's downright eager. I liked that. Ditto the steering - nice and quick for buzzing around town. A hot hatch? No, but are 500L buyers expecting that? Doubt it. I submit the car performs as Fiat intended." -- Autoweek (2016)

Acceleration and Power

Every 500L has a 160-horsepower 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The powertrain feels energetic if you’re driving solo or with a single passenger. Acceleration comes more slowly when the car is loaded with people or cargo, and there’s noticeable turbo lag.

The 500L’s fuel economy estimates of 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway are some of the worst ratings in the wagon class.

  • "At our test track, the Fiat 500L returned a 8.0-second result in our zero-to-60-mph test. That's on par with the CX-3 and significantly quicker than the Nissan Kicks, but numbers don't tell the whole story here. The pudgy 500L feels lethargic when you try to accelerate in traffic: The engine exhibits considerable turbo lag, and the automatic transmission exacerbates the issue with its slow downshifts." -- Car and Driver
  • "Fuel economy still isn't that great, but power from the 160-hp turbocharged engine manages to flow in a smoother manner. Acceleration is also pretty good, as the 500L feels pretty peppy compared to subcompact SUVs like its 500X sibling (it is available with the same turbo engine, but only with a manual transmission)." -- Autotrader (2019)
  • "Acceleration is far from spry, but just shy of sluggish, requiring about eight seconds to reach 60 mph and closer to 10 seconds when loaded down." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

Handling and Braking

The front-wheel-drive 500L is somewhat stable and composed, but many competitors are more spirited. The 500L has a bumpy, stiff ride, and some road flaws penetrate the cabin. At times, its brakes can feel grabby too.

  • "Enthusiast drivers will be similarly disappointed by the 500L's handling. Pitched into a corner, the wagon's tall body leans heavily and the steering, though fairly quick to respond to driver inputs, fails to provide adequate feedback for spirited motoring. Things don't get any better on the highway, where the Fiat lacks composure and bounces over expansion joints." -- Car and Driver
  • "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." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "The 500L's handling is responsive and secure, but the ride is stiff and jittery." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 FIAT 500L

MSRP: $22,500 - $24,645

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