Fiat gives 2018 500L a facelift, but you can't fix ugly
It's unclear when this new 500L will make its way to the US, as the announcement only covers the European model at the moment.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
500L was never the prettiest car on the block. Now, after it received a facelift for the 2018 model year, it... wait, no, it's still pretty homely.
The updates are mild, focusing on light aesthetic updates to this MPV's overly round form. There are new accents in the headlights, new running lights and a lower grille with some chrome-looking mesh. Out back, the reverse lights are now lower on the bumper. Depending on the trim level selected, different bumpers are available, but none of them are what I'd call "pretty."
Fiat claims the interior is new, but it looks pretty close to the old one. There's a more attractive steering wheel and a revised instrument cluster with a 3.5-inch display. The 500L relies on Fiat Chrysler's Uconnect infotainment system -- in this car, the screen measures 7.0 inches and carries both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
While the refresh might seem mild, Fiat claims that about 40 percent of the vehicle's parts are new.
In Europe, the Fiat 500L is available in three different variants -- Urban, Cross and Wagon. Cross attempts to inject a bit of overland flavor in the multi-purpose vehicle, by way of a 1.0-inch lift kit and a new mode selector. It also picks up the ugliest front bumper of the bunch, with a bunch of unpleasant holes just below the Fiat badge.
There's no word yet on when it will come to the US, or if it will. A US representative for Fiat Chrysler declined to comment regarding any potential US introduction date. 2014 was the best year for the 500L in the US, with Fiat selling 12,413 examples, with more recent years seeing between 25 and 50 percent of that. It made up about 10 percent of Fiat's sales volume in 2016, which isn't great, considering Fiat only sells four cars in the US.
2018 Fiat 500L facelift proves some ugly ducklings become ugly swans