Used Fiat 500L Hatchback 2013-2022 review

Category: MPV

The Fiat 500L combines the cheeky looks of its smaller sibling with more space, but there are far better used family cars out there

Fiat 500L front cornering
  • Fiat 500L front cornering
  • Fiat 500L front seats
  • Fiat 500L front seats
  • Fiat 500L side
  • Fiat 500L rear
  • Fiat 500L boot
  • Fiat 500L side
  • Fiat 500L rear
  • Fiat 500L front cornering
  • Fiat 500L front seats
  • Fiat 500L front seats
  • Fiat 500L side
  • Fiat 500L rear
  • Fiat 500L boot
  • Fiat 500L side
  • Fiat 500L rear
Used Fiat 500L Hatchback 2013-2022 review
Star rating

What's the used Fiat 500L hatchback like?

In 2008, Fiat released its reincarnated Fiat 500 to the world. As you’ll probably be aware due to the number you’ll see milling around these days, it went down a storm, becoming the perfect transport for urban fashionistas everywhere.

For Fiat, though, the question was how to capitalise on its success and translate it into a larger, more family-friendly car that’d carry the same appeal. The answer was this: the Fiat 500L.


The Fiat 500L combines the cheeky looks of its smaller sibling with more space, but there are far better used family cars out there

  • Decent space
  • Practical boot
  • Cheap servicing
  • Not great to drive
  • Cheap-feeling interior
  • Weak engines

It won’t have escaped your attention that the 500L’s styling unashamedly mimics the cues of its smaller stablemate. Whether it does so successfully, mind you, rather depends on who you ask. Either way, the 500L was offered with a similarly bright palette of colours and a range of personalisation options, so if nothing else, it stands out from the crowd. It went off sale in 2022, but there are plenty on the used car market and at very affordable prices.

Engines: Engines available on the used market range from a 0.9-litre two-cylinder turbo petrol up to a 1.6-litre diesel with 104bhp – although its power was upped in early 2014 to 118bhp. The most popular engines, however, are a naturally-aspirated 1.4-litre petrol with 94bhp, and an 84bhp 1.3-litre diesel.

Trims and equipment: Those engines are matched to a model range which starts with both Pop Star and Easy, available for the same price when new; the former is geared toward style and gets body-coloured dashboard panels and alloy wheels, while the latter targets comfort and so gets rear parking sensors and electric rear windows.

Both versions, however, get cruise control, a five-inch touchscreen, and Bluetooth connectivity as standard. The Lounge is the next rung up, with climate control, a panoramic glass roof and automatic lights and wipers all coming as standard. And in 2013, the Trekking joined the range, adding bulkier, SUV-inspired styling to the Lounge model.

A 2017 facelift saw mild revisions to specification and styling, and included the renaming of the Trekking version to Cross, to tie in with other Fiat models.

Ride & handling: Looking at the 500L, you’d be hard-pushed to imagine it’s a particularly sporty thing to drive, and you’d be right. Slow, remote steering makes it feel ponderous, and while the body doesn’t lean over as badly when cornering quickly as other MPVs, it still feels rather stodgy to drive.

And while the 500L doesn’t ride badly, neither does it do so particularly well. Poor road surfaces don’t trouble it too much, but larger potholes and ruts cause jarring thumps to be sent through the cockpit.

What’s more, while the 1.6-litre diesels are punchy enough, most of the smaller engines feel a little weedy when tasked with hauling the 500L’s weight, especially the naturally aspirated 1.4. All of the engines, bar the rare 1.4-litre petrol turbo, make too much noise and vibration, and there’s a lot of road and wind noise into the bargain which makes long trips wearing.

Automatic 500Ls, meanwhile, which are badged Dualogic, are jerky and slow to respond in traffic.

Interior & practicality: Inside, the 500L’s dash is rather plasticky, though better quality materials were used after the facelift. Even these versions, though, suffer from flimsy-feeling indicator stalks and switchgear that feels cheap and nasty to the touch.

The touchscreen is fast and responsive, but a little complex in its menu system.

Occupants in the front seats will marvel at the amount of leg and head room there is on offer, and so will those in the back – as long as the 500L they’re in isn’t fitted with the panoramic roof, which severely restricts head room back there. Rear seat passengers will also lament how flat and unyielding their perches are, and won’t want to sit in them for anything more than a short trip.

But at least the boot is big and practical.

If you'd like to buy a used Fiat 500L, or any of the other cars mentioned here, check out our Used Cars For Sale pages.

Ownership cost

What used Fiat 500L hatchback will I get for my budget?

The starting price for a high-mileage 500L is around £1500 at the moment, though you’ll want to up your budget to at least £2000 if you want a car with average miles and a decent history. A good one from 2017 onwards can be yours from £5000 upwards and, if you want one of the latest, facelifted models, you’ll need to up your budget over that and up to £11,000.

All of which leaves the 500L priced roughly on a par with most other small MPVs of the same age – cheaper than the Volkswagen Golf SV, but more expensive than the Citroen C3 Picasso and Nissan Note.

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Fiat 500L front seats

How much does it cost to run a Fiat 500L hatchback?


The 500L’s fuel consumption figures don’t make great reading; 1.4-litre petrol versions perform more poorly in official lab tests than their rivals, and while the 0.9 petrol and diesel versions do much better, in our experience, these models achieve way less than their official figures in the real world.

Road tax

Tax rates are quite high on the 1.4-litre petrol versions, though if you avoid these you shouldn’t pay more than £30 a year in tax, which is reasonable. If you buy a 500L registered after 1 April 2017, of course, you’ll be liable to pay the newer flat rate of tax, which is £190 a year for all models.


In the 500L’s corner, though, is Fiat’s fixed-price servicing scheme for cars aged three years old or older; it’s one of the cheapest around and means you can get your 500L serviced at a Fiat dealership for little more than you’ll pay at a local independent.

Our recommendations

Which used Fiat 500L hatchback should I buy?


All of the engines have drawbacks, but we reckon the 1.3 diesel’s are the fewest and furthest between. It’s cheap to run and has just about enough punch, and there are plenty of examples around for you to choose from.


Meanwhile, the Pop Star model is well enough equipped for most people, and keeps the price down. It’s also popular, which makes it easy enough to find.

Our favourite Fiat 500L: 1.3 Multijet Pop Star

Fiat 500L side


What alternatives should I consider to a used Fiat 500L hatchback?

If you can afford it, a Volkswagen Golf SV is worth the extra cost – it’s quieter, sweeter to drive, more comfortable, more spacious and higher quality, even if it isn’t quite as funky to look at.

Also worth looking at is the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, which offers two extra seats for not much more cash, and manages to be higher-quality and better to drive into the bargain. Reliability can be an issue, though.

Or if you want something cheap to buy, the Citroen C3 Picasso is one of our favourite small MPVs. It’s just as spacious inside as the 500L and stands out from the crowd just as well, yet it costs less to buy and to run, and it’s more comfortable.

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If you'd like to buy a used Fiat 500L, or any of the other cars mentioned here, check out our Used Cars For Sale pages.

Fiat 500L rear