Italian-designed urban utility 

If you like the whimsical Italian styling of the FIAT 500 but need something a bit more accommodating, then the 2017 FIAT 500L is just what you’re looking for.

The 500L offers many of its smaller siblings' charms, yet it sports two more doors, enhanced seating (it comfortably seats five), and impressive cargo capacity despite its conveniently compact size. Simply put, it’s the FIAT that you love but with more capability.

For 2017, FIAT has streamlined the 500L. There are now three trim levels instead of five, and all models now use a traditional six-speed automatic. The previously available dual-clutch automatic transmission has been discontinued. 

Performance

The FIAT 500L is a peppy compact wagon that’s powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine. It makes 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. As mentioned above, all 500L models come equipped with a standard six-speed automatic transmission.

For enhanced fuel economy, all FIAT 500L models are front-wheel drive. Drivers needing all-wheel drive should consider the FIAT 500X compact crossover. 

Adding to the 500L’s versatility is its excellent fuel economy. The EPA rates the 500L at 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway).*

Features

The 2017 FIAT 500L is a four-door compact wagon that comes in three different trims: Pop, Trekking, and Lounge. Pricing starts at $19,495.**

Like its name suggests, the Pop trim comes with a ton of equipment that will appeal to the masses. Drivers will get 16-inch alloy wheels; power mirrors; air-conditioning; a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; and 60/40-split rear seats, which slide fore and aft making it easier to stow cargo. The Pop trim also comes with some great tech features, including a 5-inch Uconnect® touchscreen interface, voice controls, and a six-speaker sound system complete with a CD player and USB port.

Next up is the Trekking. It adds features like 17-inch wheels, leather upholstery, unique body panels, heated front seats, a rear seat armrest, a BeatsAudio™ system, and much more.

Sitting triumphantly atop the FIAT 500L line is the Lounge trim. It boasts 17-inch alloy wheels with a painted finish and chrome exterior trim and mirrors.

More options are available and are grouped into bundles for each trim level. Highlights include the Popular Equipment package, which adds rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a 115-volt auxiliary power outlet, dual-zone automatic climate control, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Premium package bundles those items and adds a spare tire, the BeatAudio™ system, navigation, and upgraded Uconnect® interface with a larger 6.5-inch touchscreen.

Design

If the 2017 FIAT 500L were a candy bar, it would be labeled “king size.” Larger than the standard 500, the 500L adds more than two feet of length that allows for two more doors and yields as much interior volume as some small crossovers.

Inside, drivers benefit from high-mounted front seats that give front-row occupants a commanding view of the road. It’s equally pleasant in the back, where the 500L provides impressive rear legroom.

The 2017 FIAT 500L’s dashboard design is another high note. It has a contemporary design that is sure to please drivers through the overall build quality, especially in the small details like the padded upper dash and modern-looking dual-gauge instrument cluster.

Safety

The 2017 FIAT 500L places a strong emphasis on fun and functionality, but it never overlooks the importance of safety. All models come standard with anti-lock disc brakes, traction and stability control, hill-hold assist, front-seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, a driver-side knee airbag, and active head restraints for front seat occupants.

A rearview camera and rear parking sensors are also available. The optional Uconnect® Access feature that comes with the 6.5-inch touchscreen includes remote vehicle access (via a smartphone app), emergency assistance, and stolen vehicle location.

Verdict

Fun, functional, and full of value, the 2017 FIAT 500L is the ideal car for buyers that are smitten with the standard 500 but need more room for passenger, gear, and whatever else life throws their way.

For more information, or to schedule a test drive, contact us online or visit Stateline Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat at 800 Gold Hill Rd, Fort Mill, SC 29708.

*EPA estimates. Your mileage will vary depending on driving habits and conditions.

**MSRP excludes destination, taxes, title and registration fees. Starting at price refers to the base model, optional equipment not included. A more expensive model may be shown. Pricing and offers may change at any time without notification.

Image Credit: FIAT