The 500L is a Fiat super-sized (pictures)

Fiat is a brand best known for its small cars, which is what makes the super-sized and spacious 2014 500L Trekking so strange.

Antuan Goodwin
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Antuan Goodwin
1 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2014 Fiat 500L Trekking

Taking it slow and easy is the best way to drive the 500L. It's a cruiser and any attempts at sporty driving were met with disappointment.

2 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Relatively small

Despite being rather large for a vehicle wearing a Fiat badge, the 500L is fairly compact when compared to the small wagons and crossovers with which it competes.

3 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Small footprint

The L's footprint is smaller than those of the Scion xB or Mazda CX-5, but the interior volume is larger than either vehicle.

4 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Easy to park

This makes the 500L an easy car to park in the cramped confines of the city.

5 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Relatively large

The 500L is significantly larger than the 500 coupe with which it shares its name.

6 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Small engine

The 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged engine is the same mill that you'd find under the hood of a 500 Turbo.

7 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Euro Twin Clutch

The engine is mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a dual-clutch automatic gearbox, also with six speeds.

8 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET


The 500L's cabin feels a bit cheap to me, even with optional comfort upgrades.

9 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Koni suspension

The L rides on Koni suspension at all four corners (with MacPhersons up front and torsion beam on the rear).

10 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

L for Large

The "L" in 2014 Fiat 500L Trekking stands for "large."

11 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Interior volume

The most spacious ride in the Car Tech garage this week poses with the least spacious one.

12 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Active lifestyle

Seen here in the Trekking trim level, the L features gray plastic accents that are meant to evoke a sporty, active lifestyle.

13 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Keep it on the tarmac

However, with front wheel-drive being the only powertrain configuration available in the States as well as a "normal duty" suspension, the 500L isn't going off-road anytime soon.

14 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

17-inch wheels

Enlarged, 17-inch alloy wheels fill the 500L Trekking's wheel wells but still seem too small beneath the plastic cladding and the bulbous body.

15 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Design language

The 500L stretches Fiat's cutesy design language across a much larger canvas than before. Personally, I think the result is a bit awkward looking.

16 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The heart of a compact

Behind this enlarged 500's grille breathes the engine of a much smaller car.

17 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

160 horsepower

Power is stated at 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration is...acceptable.

18 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Airy greenhouse

Generous greenhouse glass gives the 500L's spacious cabin a light and airy feel.

19 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Power sunroof

The optional power sunroof opens nearly the entire roof with tinted glass to let the sun shine in.

20 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Fiat's best feature

This is easily one of the best creature comforts that the 500L offers.

21 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Smooth ride

The ride is smooth enough, but the top-heavy 500L doesn't corner very well.

22 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Digital audio

The 500L does not feature a CD or DVD drive for physical discs. Users have access to an SD card reader, a USB port, and Bluetooth audio streaming for their digital media.

23 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Uconnect tech

The Uconnect infotainment system is borrowed from Fiat's friends at the Chrysler group.

24 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Beats Audio

This example's premium audio system has been upgraded with the optional Beats Audio system, which adds a powered subwoofer for strong bass.

25 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Steering wheel

Steering wheel controls are logically laid out and feature rockers for volume and skip on the backside of the horizontal spokes.

26 of 26 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Instrument cluster

Instrumentation is a bit difficult to read at a glance. The speedometer's numbers are cluttered, and the orange-on-yellow information display is low contrast.

More Galleries

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera
A houseplant

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera

20 Photos
Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra

Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra

10 Photos
The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum
Samsung Galaxy S24

The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum

23 Photos
Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design
The Galaxy S24 Ultra in multiple colors

Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design

23 Photos
I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

34 Photos
17 Hidden iOS 17 Features You Should Definitely Know About
Invitation for the Apple September iPhone 15 event

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features You Should Definitely Know About

18 Photos
AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

17 Photos