If only it was all about looks. The 2020 Fiat 500L sure is cute, with a retro, European look and some nice design elements. It also gets some pretty great fuel economy. However, according to Consumer Reports, you shouldn’t let looks fool you. They gave the Fiat 500L a dismal overall score of 29. For comparison, they gave the 2020 Subaru Forester an 84, so you can see Fiat ran into some real problems with the 500L.
The 2020 Fiat 500L got low ratings
Sadly for Fiat fans, the 500L got low ratings pretty much across the board, in quite a few areas. The four-door scored a 1 out of 5, which is something you don’t see very often, in both predicted reliability and predicted owner satisfaction. They gave the 500L a 2 out of 5 in several categories including the transmission, ride comfort, and cargo area.
Mediocre 3 out of 5 scores abounded. Consumer Reports gave the acceleration and emergency handling a 3, as well as the headlights and driving noise. Front seat comfort, interior fit and finish, and driving position also all got mediocre scores from reviewers.
Reviewers were not impressed
The road test of the 2020 Fiat 500L was not a happy time for Consumer Reports reviewers, for a multitude of reasons. Behind the wheel, they found the power delivery uneven, with the turbo power coming out all at once after an initial lag. They also found the ride to be jittery and stiff, and experienced a lot of cabin noise.
Overall, they didn’t find the front seats comfortable or accommodating at all. The driving position is uncomfortable and awkward, forcing the drivers to thrust their arms out toward the steering wheel.
The front seats were also uncomfortable. They also complained that occupants felt every bump in the road. Visibility inside the cabin was limited thanks to tall, skinny windows and a thick pillar between the windshield and door.
Consumer Reports also didn’t like the usability of the 2020 Fiat 500L. They reported the steering wheel was too thick and blocked the driver’s view of the gauges, and they said it blocked speeds between 20 and 80, which is pretty much where we normally travel. They also felt the big climate control knob was hard to reach under a big dashboard overhang.
A few things to like about the 500L
Even with all the bad things to say, Consumer Reports did like a few elements of the 2020 Fiat 500L. In the cockpit, they enjoyed the details like the two-tone steering wheel. They liked the rear legroom, where passengers were able to be comfortable in a contoured back seat with a flat floor. In the cargo space, they liked the two tiers that are handy for organizing items.
Routine handling and braking also got a 4 out of 5 ranking. Where did the 2020 Fiat 500L get a 5 out of 5? Well, you’ll be happy to know that getting in and out via the front and rear doors get top scores, and so does the climate system — so it’s not a complete disaster.
They also liked the 500Ls easy connectivity, with standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Audio control buttons on the back of the steering wheel, standard for awhile on Chrysler vehicles, are now also featured in Fiat cars.
When it comes to the 2020 Fiat 500L, cuteness and fuel efficiency only go so far. Consumer Reports is not a fan of this year’s model, and gave it low ratings in some very key categories. According to them, 2020 looks like a year to skip.