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Car Tech Video: Largest Fiat has the heart of a compact

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Car Tech Video: Largest Fiat has the heart of a compact

5:57 /

Big on space, but small on displacement; the 2014 Fiat 500L makes due with a tiny 1.4T engine.

This is the 2014 Fiat 500L. Though it is a Fiat 500 in name, it's a totally different vehicle in every other respect. It's wider. It's bigger. It's heavier. It's taller. There's. There's more interior space. There's nothing small, about this 500L. But it's still got the heart, of a tiny car under the hood. Let's pull over, and I'll show you what I mean. [MUSIC]. Now, under the hood, you'll find one of the few things, that the 500L shares with the standard Fiat 500. And that is its 1.4L MultiAir Turbo engine. Now that 1.4 liter engine is the same engine that you'll find under the hood of the C8 500 turbo and the 500 abarth. Here, we're looking at about 160 horse power and 184 pound feet of torque. Which is not half bad for a vehicle that weighed at about 3,200 pounds. Now that weight puts it a little bit heavier, than for example, the Mazda CX5. But it got a little bit, more power, as well. So we're expecting better acceleration from this vehicle, maybe not not as good handling. Power these are gonna go through a manual transmission, or in this case a 6 speed DC T transmission, that's a dual clutch automated manual. So you're gonna get, manual efficiency, with automatic convenient. The EPA reckons that in this configuration, the 500L's good for 24 miles per gallon in the city, 33 on the highway, and a combined average of about 27 miles per gallon. That's not bad for a big, old vehicle like this. Let's hop inside, and see exactly how spacious it is. Now when you hop, in the driver's seat of the Fiat 500L, you realize that there's a lot of space in here. And there's also, a lot visibility. One of the best features of this vehicle, is that you get a lot of greenhouse glass. Big, wide windshield. These sort of, between the A-pillar windows and this huge $1,100 power sunroof. All of that's going to work together to create a brightened, airy feeling. And that's kind of the whole point of this vehicle. You got a lot of space, for people and your junk. Now we're talking about, cabin tech. You kinda know that out of the box this is going to be a pretty sparsely equipped vehicle. Went on FIAT's website. They're talking about how great the Power Locks are. Fortunately we do have, cabin tech that's been upgraded with the, $1,700 UConnect infotainment system. Now, this is straight out of the Chrysler parts bin, it's something that the, Fiat-Chrysler partnership kind of brings to this brand. Our navigation is gonna be powered by Garmin, even though you won't see a Garmin logo anywhere on the infotainment system. But, the way that the maps look, and the way the menu structure is organized is straight out of garment portable navigation device. As far as audio sources, we've got USB connectivity, we've got a SD card slot, and an auxiliary slot right down here at the bottom of the dashboard. You've also got radio and satellite radio as available audio sources. One thing that you will not find, in this vehicle is a CD or DVD player slot. Seems Chrysler completely ditched the optical drive, so if you've got physical discs laying around you're gonna want to, rip those to a USB drive or something before you hit the road. Audio's gonna come through in this case, an optional beats audio system. That's the same, Beats by Dre that you see on everyone's headphone. The system's also been optimized to, work with digital audio. So those of you who are worried about losing that CD drive can know that the stereo system's been optimized for compressed digital audio. Also, a part of that Uconnect system's gonna be Bluetooth connectivity. If we pop in here, we can see that we're paired with our phone. That's gonna also include audio streaming from a paired device. And, if you get a text message. You can actually view the message, on the system right here. And if you're driving, you get a pop up that asks you if you want to listen to it with text to speech and then reply with a canned response. Courtney Brawn, word to the wise, don't rent a car in the hood. Now it's got a small car's engine, and small car power, 160 horsepower in a vehicle this big isn't really a ton to have a lot of fun with. The big vehicle also has a lot more, weight and mass to kind of move around, but from where I'm sitting in the cabin, a lot of the 500L size is just empty space that you can fill with people and things. The suspension's gonna to be an experience in front situation up front and a, torsion bar suspension in the rear with Koni shocks, that's a name brand. It's kind of interesting, to see that in a vehicle without any sort of performance but the Phoenix 500 L doesn't really feel like a performance car. As you go around corners there's a lot of body roll because the mass is really high, and I'm pretty sure that all this glass up top isn't doing anything to help that. Okay, let's price this 2014 Fiat 500L. The 500L is gonna start at $19,195 at the entry point. But this trekking model has a couple of different creature comforts and styling upgrades. It's gonna bring the price up, to about $22,000. However, as tested we're at $26,845. And that's because we've got a couple of options that you're gonna wanna consider when choosing your 500L. The first is this $1100 power sunroof. And let me tell you, if you're looking at the 500L and you don't get this sunroof, why are you even bothering? It's one of the best features on this car. We've also got the Beats audio system, that's a $700 option on this trekking model. And that's gonna give you, really bass heavy audio if you're into that sort of thing. And for early adopters, Fiat's gonna toss in it's premier package. That normally runs you 1,745 bucks. Now, that package is gonna include the touchscreen uConnect navigation system, the rearview camera and park distance system. It's included here, at no additional charge. But even if you don't get it for the freebie, definitely worth the money. [MUSIC]

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