2020 Fiat 500L Pros vs Cons. Should You Buy?
If someone is looking for a compact crossover, he or she has several options. It seems like these vehicles are becoming more popular each year, but if one truly wants to stand out, the 2020 Fiat 500L should be considered. Made by an Italian company, the 500L definitely feels European and seems almost like it it was plucked off the streets of a quaint village.
This car comes in four different trims. The Pop level starts things off, the Trekking and Urbana trims are the mid-level options, and the Lounge model is the more high-end trim. They all run on the same engine, so the differences lie mostly in interior stylings and the number of included amenities.
What's New for 2020?
The 2020 Fiat 500L is unchanged from the 2019 version. Fiat has decided to stick with what they perceive to be a winning formula.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2020 Fiat 500L – The Pros
1. Versatile Cargo Space
Behind the rear seats of the 2020 Fiat 500L is about 22 cubic feet of storage space. This is great news for anyone who wants to drive a smaller car but still wants to have room for cargo. Lowering the rear seats expands the area to about 68 cubic feet. This puts the Fiat in the same range as some SUVs in terms of cargo capacity, which might be surprising. Remember that the cabin is relatively tall, and this would be ideal for certain types of equipment, such as bikes or bulky items.
2. Standard Smartphone Connectivity
Every model of the Fiat comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These days, many consumers are specifically looking for this type of compatibility in their new vehicles, so this is definitely an advantage for the Fiat.
3. Affordable Pricing
The entry-level model of the 2020 Fiat 500L comes in at well under $25,000. The next two trims are priced a little higher, with the top-of-the-line model being just a touch over the rest. This level of pricing would put the 500L within reach of many consumers, unlike some more expensive rivals.
It's also nice the the trims are all priced fairly close together. People on a budget will actually feel like they can consider all of the trims instead of just being limited to the base model.
4. Good Visibility
Visibility can sometimes be a concern in smaller vehicles, but this isn't the case here. With large windows in both the front and back of the vehicle, the driver in the Fiat will have an easy time seeing in almost every direction. Further opening up the cabin is an available dual-pane moonroof that stretches almost from one side to the other.
5. Comprehensive Infotainment
The infotainment package on the Fiat is pretty attractive. First, all models come with the smartphone connectivity already mentioned, and they also come with seven-inch touchscreens and Bluetooth capability. The Pop trim is equipped with Uconnect 4 technology, with the other three having a Uconnect 4 NAV system, meaning that they've been built with integrated navigation. This is a major benefit of upgrading to any one of these trims, and it's quite generous considering many other brands reserve the navigation feature for their highest trims.
The three higher trims have Beats premium audio systems as opposed to the standard six-speaker configuration. In addition, they have SiriusXM Satellite Radio to give people more entertainment options.
6. Reasonable Leg Room
Leg room in the front of the 2020 Fiat 500L is 40 inches, and in the back, it's 36.7 inches. This would mean that taller passengers can be pretty comfortable in the back seat, even on longer rides.
7. High-End Seating
If the Urbana or Lounge trims are selected, people will get to enjoy some luxuries. These trims come with leather-trimmed seats, and the Lounge has power-operated front seats as well. The top three trims have heated front seats that can make things more cozy when the colder weather arrives.
Each trim has its own standard color scheme. The Pop has warm gray premium cloth seats, the Trekking and Lounge have black leather trim, and the highest trims can showcase Carerra gray leather.
8. Exterior Upgrades
The 2020 Fiat 500L has several components that make it look like a luxury vehicle. Standard on the car are power-operated and heated mirrors, and most trims have front fog lamps, sill molding, and 17-inch wheels. The Lounge has the best package of features, to include painted aluminum wheels, chrome molding, and chrome mirrors.
Some trims have the option to get a roof that is a different color than the body. While body-color roofs are standard, this option lets people outfit their Fiats with grey, black, or white roofs. This two-tone look is bold and would certainly make a statement.
9. Solid Engine
For being a smaller car that doesn't have the expensive price tag of a sports car or luxury vehicle, the Fiat 500L is powered by a nice-sized engine. Under the hood of the vehicle, there is a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbo engine. This engine is paired with a six-speed transmission, and it delivers up to 160 horsepower. Torque is 184 pound-feet, which is quite strong. These numbers give the Fiat an edge over some other compact crossovers.
10. Rear Back Up Camera
It's common to find rear back up cameras on higher priced vehicles, and the Fiat 500L has this feature as well. The ParkView technology gives drivers a wide-angle perspective of what's behind them while they're in reverse. Gridlines are helpful when parking in tight spaces, and an available park assist system provides warnings when the Fiat is getting too close to other objects.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2020 Fiat 500L – The Cons
1. Only Basic Safety Features
While the 2020 Fiat 500L comes with some standard safety components, like air bags and electronic stability control, what it lacks is noticeable. It does not have any driver-assist features, such as automatic emergency braking or blind spot monitoring. It seems like most vehicles being released in 2020 have those driver-assist systems as available features, if not standard ones. This would be a major way in which the Fiat 500L is missing out.
2. Slow to Respond
When the Fiat 500L is chugging along at one pace, but the driver suddenly needs to accelerate, the response time is not that impressive. Especially when driving in busy traffic, people may start to feel a little impatient at the time it takes for the 500L to respond to their increasing pressure on the gas pedal. Fortunately, most people aren't often in situations where they have to accelerate all of a sudden.
3. Not the Best Handling
Some cars feel like they're literally hugging the road, taking turns with ease. The 2020 Fiat 500L can't be considered one of these types of cars, though, as its handling can be described as a bit clumsy. This could be partially attributed to the fact that the Fiat is tall but not wide or lengthy, so it doesn't have the ideal proportions for good handling. Another factor that plays a role in handling is the Fiat's suspension system, which doesn't do a great job of cushioning the ride when traveling over bumpy roads.
4. Unique Style
To say the least, the Fiat 500L has a distinct style. It's hard to pin down one word that can be used to describe the car, as it has both a very modern vibe and some classic elements, like circular headlights. The style of the car can be looked at as either a plus or a minus since everyone has a different opinion. However, if people aren't immediately intrigued by the Fiat's exterior, the car would be a hard sell.
5. Not Very Fuel Efficient
One might expect a small crossover like the Fiat 500L to get excellent mileage. Unfortunately, the car only gets an estimated 22 miles per gallon in the city. Highway driving yields a slightly better result, at an estimated 30 miles per gallon. Still, in a time in which hybrids are becoming more common, the Fiat doesn't hit the mark in this area.
How It Stacks Up to the Competition:
The Nissan Kicks and Kia Soul are two compact vehicles that may appeal to the same buyers who are interested in the 2020 Fiat 500L. The Fiat edges out both models in horsepower, so it would definitely win the match-up if anyone values performance. In addition, the Fiat is often compared to the MINI Cooper Clubman because they share similar design elements. From a purely economical standpoint, the Fiat comes out as the winner since it's priced much more affordably the Clubman.
With its own flair, the 2020 Fiat 500L is a memorable vehicle. Small and compact, it's easy to maneuver around town and can fit into small spaces without any problems, and at the same time, it has a relatively powerful engine that drivers will appreciate. The cargo area is expansive, giving people plenty of flexibility when it comes time to loading up the car with gear. Further, the Fiat has a modern infotainment system that can keep people connected while they're on the road. For all of these reasons, the Fiat 500L would be a smart choice for anyone looking for something a little bit different but also practical and convenient.
• Why buy a 2019 Fiat 500L? w/ pros vs cons