New 2017 FIAT 500L Hatchback New 2017
FIAT 500L Hatchback

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KBB Editor's Overview

By Editorial Staff

For those who love the look of the 500 coupe, but can’t fit their family or lifestyle around the tiny 2-door, there’s the 2017 Fiat 500L 4-door hatchback. The 500L gives Fiat a viable counterpunch to the Kia Soul, Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman, although its lack of an all-wheel-drive (AWD) option may send prospective buyers to its 500X sibling. Some have complained the 500L’s styling looks a bit cartoonish, while others point out that for just a bit more money buyers can opt for better styling and AWD security of the 500X. Still, given its roomy interior, versatile hatch and nimble handling, the 2017 Fiat 500L isn’t without merit, it just lacks the good resale and reliability record of nearly every competitor.


You'll Like This Car If...

If you love the look, versatility and creative concept surrounding the Fiat 500, but you need more room for passengers and cargo, the 2017 Fiat 500L is the solution. Good fuel economy, sprightly driving manners and a sub-$22,000 starting price should help sweeten the deal.

You May Not Like This Car If...

You can find more versatile AWD compacts like the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3 that can scratch that “look-at-me” itch, plus offer much better resale and reliability records plus a larger dealer network. Kia’s Soul costs thousands less and comes with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

What's New for 2017

The Fiat 500L hatchback for 2017 sees its model lineup simplified to just three trims: Pop, Trekking and Lounge. Last year’s 6-speed manual and Euro twin-clutch automatic transmissions are dropped, leaving only a 6-speed automatic paired with the 1.4-liter turbo.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

Employing the same 160-horsepower, 1.4-liter turbocharged engine from the 500 Abarth, one would think Fiat’s 2017 500L 4-door hatchback would share that car’s feisty performance. But sadly, the extra weight and 6-speed automatic sap all the fun away, as does a suspension set up more for comfort than cornering. 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. The 500L’s tall profile and elongated wheelbase don’t take well to being thrown into tight corners, at least not with the same joy as a Nissan Juke or Mazda CX-3. The payoff, however, is how stable and secure the 500L feels at highway speed. The L’s softly sprung suspension soaks ups bumps and blemishes like a sponge, and the interior remains fairly quiet save for some wind buffeting around the exterior mirrors.

Favorite Features

Benefiting from its Chrysler acquisition, the 2017 Fiat 500L gains the American company’s excellent Uconnect infotainment system. The system’s quick-responding touch screen bundles audio, navigation and hands-free phone connectivity into a single, easy-to-use device.

Fiat’s interior design brings new life to small-car design, and should be the standard by which all others are judged. From the handsome color options to features like the panoramic sunroof, the 500L offers an interior as handsome as it is versatile.

Vehicle Details


You'll immediately sense the difference in interior space between the Fiat 500 and the 500L. Where the 500 has just two tiny rear seats and a small cargo bay in the hatch area, the 2017 Fiat 500L has a 3-person rear bench that can comfortably fit two adults. Rear legroom is impressive, and the rear seats also recline, slide, flip and tumble forward for cargo/passenger versatility. Headroom in all seats is sky-high, making the Fiat 500L a surprisingly good car for tall people. Outward visibility is above average thanks to a front pillar split by glass and wraparound rear windows.


With its extra pair of doors, taller profile and voluptuous rear, the 500L's exterior also differs much from the diminutive 500. The L has a more cartoon-like profile than, say, the Mini Cooper 4-door or its own sibling, the Fiat 500X. Who could resist those doe-eyed headlights, available "floating" roof in white or black, and propeller-like front grille piece encircling a big red "FIAT" logo? For a slightly tougher take, there's the 500L Trekking model with its beefier front and rear aesthetics and larger 17-inch wheels, while the Urbana Appearance Package adds matte-black accents.

Notable Standard Equipment

The 2017 Fiat 500L is available in three trims: Pop, Trekking and Lounge. At around $22,000, the Pop comes equipped with air conditioning, 16-inch alloy wheels, tilt/telescoping steering column, cruise control, and basic Uconnect telematics system with 5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth streaming audio, text-message reader, and a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD player with USB/auxiliary inputs. Trekking models include 17-inch wheels and a 2-tone interior, heated front seats, leather seating and BeatsAudio system, while top-line Lounge models add 17-inch wheels, chrome mirror caps, a 115-volt outlet, rearview camera and rear parking sensors.

Notable Optional Equipment

The BeatsAudio system can be added to the Pop, while the Pop and Trekking offer the Popular Equipment Package that brings driver’s power lumbar support, dual-zone auto climate control, XM satellite radio, rearview camera and rear parking sensors. The Premium package is available on all three trims and adds all the features of the Popular Equipment Package plus Beats audio and a dual-pane panoramic sunroof to models not already equipped. The dual-pane panoramic sunroof is a stand-alone option on Trekking and Lounge trims.

Under the Hood

All 2017 Fiat 500L models use a small and efficient turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that drives the front wheels. The standard transmission is a traditional 6-speed automatic. The Fiat's turbocharged 1.4-liter engine can run on 87-octane gasoline, but premium 91-grade is recommended. Fun fact: The Fiat 500L is built in Serbia and classified by the EPA as a small station wagon.

1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4
160 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
184 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 mpg

Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.


Pricing Notes

The 2017 Fiat 500L has an appealing Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting under $22,000 for a Pop model. Even a loaded Lounge version won't break the bank for a few thousand more. Because the 500L hasn't been flying off dealer lots, there's a good chance of finding discounts and rebates. Check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Fiat. The Fiat 500L is less expensive than a Mini Hardtop 4-door and Countryman, but nearly a grand more than a Nissan Juke. A Kia Soul has an even lower sticker price, as does the Nissan Versa Note and Jeep Renegade Sport with the automatic transmission. With a lower starting price, the new Honda HR-V makes a strong argument as a better buy, even more so when you compare the stellar predicted resale value of the HR-V against the 500L’s rather poor one.

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