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Fiat Expands Lineup with All-New, Longer 2014 500L

6/18/2013
After a long absence, Fiat re-entered the U.S. market for the 2012 model year with its 500 2-door hardtop, followed by the 500C 2-door convertible, and now the extended-length 2014 500L.

From the outside, the all-new 500L bears a strong resemblance to Fiat's other models, albeit with larger swept headlights, a tail-end design all its own, and an extra set of doors. Compared with the 500, the 2014 500L is 26.9 inches longer, 6 inches taller, 6.1 inches wider, and offers about 40% more interior volume. That includes 23.1 cubic feet of cargo space, which can be expanded with rear 60/40 fold-and-tumble seats. The relatively spacious cabin has room for 5 passengers, and features front and rear roof pillars that integrate glass panels designed to improve visibility. An available dual-panel panoramic roof serves to bring in more light and make the cabin feel more spacious. According to the EPA, the new 500L is classified as a large car, and offers more passenger space than a Volvo XC70 wagon, Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen, or a Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan.

Under the 4-door Fiat's short and raked hood is a 1.4-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that generates 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, and is shared with the sporty 500 Abarth. Output is directed to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed twin-clutch automatic. According to Fiat, buyers who opt for the stick-shift gearbox will see 25/33/38 mpg (city/highway/combined), whereas the 500L with automatic transmission should average 24/33/27 mpg.

Due to arrive at dealerships this summer, the 2014 Fiat 500L will be available in four trim levels, two of which will be familiar to current 500 owners. With a starting price of $19,900, including a destination charge, the entry-level 500L Pop offers a height-adjustable driver's seat, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with integrated controls, and a UConnect in-car communication system featuring a 5-inch touch-screen display, Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming, text message reader, and USB port. All models include 7 air bags, front active head restraints, and hill-start assist.

The Pop is followed by the 500L Easy, equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, leather interior accents, and a 520-watt sound system. A Premium package is also standard for 2014 (will not be standard on 2015 models), and is comprised of rear park-assist sensors, rearview camera, and an upgraded UConnect system offering a larger touch screen, voice-controlled navigation, and an SD card reader.

An all-new Trekking trim level debuts for the Fiat brand, intended to appeal to 500L buyers living the so-called active lifestyle by way of its graphite exterior trim, 17-inch alloy wheels, two-tone black and brown interior, and more.

Resting atop the 2014 Fiat 500L model lineup is the Lounge variant. Standard features include the automatic transmission, chrome trim, leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, 60/40-split fold-and-tumble rear seat, dual-zone climate control, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Among the new 500L's options is a Beats by Dr. Dre sound system boasting 6 speakers and a trunk-mounted subwoofer.

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