BEHIND THE WHEEL: My Christmas list; The 2020 Fiat 500L
When I sing “All I want for Christmas this year is you” I could be referring to this snazzy little 2020 Fiat 500L. It depends on who I am talking to, of course, but the Fiat is one of those little driving machines that I was hard pressed to tear myself away from the week I was rolling around in it.
While there were some dislikes the real win for me was it gave me that Italian feel.
Item number one to notice on this vehicle is the fact that Fiat has expanded the appeal of the past Cinquecento’s charm by offering more than 40 percent interior space on this small size crossover. That means the 500L can fit up to five people. The cargo space will also surprise on this feisty little Italian machine and since the competition is the Kia Soul, Mini Cooper Clubman, Mazda CX-3, Nissan Kick, and the Subaru Outlook, the Fiat 500L still stands on its own.
Trim levels are called Pop, Trekking, Urbana, and the Lounge. Across the range on the Fiat is the Android Auto/Apple CarPlay techno standard. On all the trim levels you get a seven-inch touchscreen with infotainment and an A Beats audio system except the base Pop trim, in this case you can add as an upgrade. There is also an in-dash navigation system on all but the Pop trim and a USB port all around.
For a higher end feel you are going to want to go with the Trekking, Urbana or the Lounge, the latter offering heated seats and leather upholstery. The Trekking and Urbana trims also will give you 17-inch wheels.
UNDER THE HOOD
On the high-end Lounge add rear parking sensors and lumbar adjustment with an option to add these two features on the Trekking too.
The 2020 Fiat 500L has a 160 horsepower, turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. You get a six-speed automatic transmission and that comes standard with front wheel drive - no all-wheel drive is offered on any trim on the Fiat 500L.
For those with a heavy foot you can hit zero to 60 miles per hour in about eight seconds with the 500L. Lackluster in this regard but handling might still be a consideration you won’t want to pass up.
According to Fiat there are more than 40 safety and security features available on the 2020 Fiat 500L. That includes the Parkview rear backup camera, electronic stability control, seven standard airbags and the Parksense rear park assist system.
INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR HIGHLIGHT
A plus in this small crossover is the fact that both the front and back seats are plenty comfortable for passengers who need room to stretch out. Another noticeable difference between the Fiat and its competition is the exceptionally large windows that offer views for miles to not only the driver, but the passengers. I also appreciated the oversized panoramic sunroof as an option.
For hauling stuff, the cargo space will make you smile with 22 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 68 cubic feet when the seats are folded down.
Most disappointing on the 2020 Fiat 500L is the uninteresting material used inside. The options and standard features on all the trim levels are also not as robust as in the competition.
ALONG FOR THE RIDE
Acceleration could be more impressive and the 2020 Fiat 500L does not offer the most comfortable ride, but I like the vibe. For folks who have a yearning to make this the year of the European experience at home – the Fiat is a perfect fit. In fact, as I was driving this snappy vehicle around town, I remembered my time living in Southern Italy. So, there is that!
The warranty package could get an overhaul since the 500L powertrain warranty is only at four years or 50,000 miles. Compare this to the Kia competition at 10 years or 100,000 miles and well, let’s just say you really just have to want to drive a Fiat or nothing else.
SHOULD YOU NEED TO KNOW
There are no changes on the 2020 Fiat 500L for 2020.
In the 2020 Fiat 500L I drove gas mileage came in at 22 in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway.
For the cost of the Fiat 500L it was a base of $23,825. With my added optional equipment including, but not limited to a rear-view auto dimming mirror and two-way lumbars for driver and passenger the price went up to $28,305.