When it was unveiled in January at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, we thought the 2014 Fiat 500L was dumb. It looked like a taller, wider, longer version of a hacked 500 coupe. The truth is something similar to that, which is why it’s important to revisit auto show hoopla and compare it to a firsthand driving experience. Thankfully, Fiat invited us to Baltimore last week to drive its new B-segment multi-purpose hatchback, and we walked away eating our own words.
In all, there are 4 trims to the new 500L, with prices somewhere between $19,900 and $24,995. The 500L receives the Abarth’s hot-rodded 160-hp, 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, and two different six-speed transmissions, including a dual-clutch automatic–both good for 33 mpg highway.
Look past the styling, we say. Sit in it and give it a drive, we say. But is it better than the competition from Kia, Toyota, Scion, and Mini? You’ll just have to click on to read our 2014 Fiat 500L First Drive review.