Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Fiat 500L hatchback?
Electrical issues are not unknown with the 500L, so make sure you check all of the electrical accessories thoroughly, ensuring too that there are no strange lights on the dashboard and that the sat-nav, audio and ventilation systems all work as they should.
Some 500Ls have been known to suffer from lacquer problems on the alloy wheels, too, so make sure you check all four of them carefully for signs of damage or peeling, bubbling paint.
Keep in mind, too, that many 500Ls will have been used and abused by families, so it pays to check over the interior carefully for snapped or cracked bits of plastic, and stained or scuffed upholstery.
What are the most common problems with a used Fiat 500L hatchback?
Cars equipped with the 0.9-litre engine are very sensitive to oil, so if you’re buying one of these it’s imperative to change the oil regularly – at least in line with the manufacturer’s schedule, if not more frequently – as well as to check oil changes have been carried out frequently and promptly by previous owners. Failure to do so could result in engine problems down the line.
Diesel models are fitted with particulate filters that help to make them more environmentally friendly. However, these particulate filters need to self-clean, which they can only do at motorway speeds – and if they don’t, they can clog up, requiring expensive replacement. Therefore it’s sensible to find out whether the car you’re buying has been used on motorways regularly, and to work out whether you’re going to use the car for a motorway run at least every few weeks. If not, a petrol version might be better.
Is a used Fiat 500L hatchback reliable?
Unfortunately, not enough owners of 500Ls took part in our 2017 Reliability Survey for us to gain an accurate insight into the model’s reliability specifically. However, Fiat as a manufacturer obtained a score of 70.2%, placing it 24th out of 32 manufacturers taking part – well below average.