Fiat 500L MPV - Reliability & safety
Five-star Euro NCAP score and automatic braking system make the Fiat 500L a safe choice
Fiat finished in a mid-table 15th place out of 30 brands covered in our Driver Power 2019 owner satisfaction survey, although too few owners responded for the 500L to be individually featured. When it comes to durability, it certainly feels better built than budget models such as the Dacia Sandero, but the plastic quality inside doesn’t inspire a huge amount of confidence. For that reason, we’re left with the feeling that the 500L won’t be anywhere near as durable as Volkswagen Golf over a three-year period.
Fiat 500L reliability
The Fiat 500L wasn't featured in the 2019 Driver Power survey, but a 15th-place overall finish for Fiat is eight places up from the 2018 survey. Owners seem to be happier with the reliability of their cars than in previous years – a lower-than-average 10.9% reported suffering at least one fault in the first year of ownership – but Fiat cars on the whole were rated as stylish and well equipped, with impressive connectivity and electronics. However, the fact that rear seat space and very limited practicality were cited as particular weaknesses suggests that Fiat 500 owners made up the majority of respondents.
The 500L includes driver and passenger airbags, side airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control and electronic stability control as standard. That all helped it achieve a five-star safety rating when it was crash-tested by Euro NCAP. Although the latest tests are even tougher, NCAP found that the Fiat’s passenger cell remained stable after a head-on shunt and protection for the driver and front passenger was judged to be good. Full marks were also awarded to the 500 for the protection it provided in the event of a side impact.
Although it can’t be fitted to the basic model, the optional automatic braking is the easiest way to make your 500L safer and it comes as standard on the Cross model. It’s part of the Safety pack, and comes bundled with automatic light and windscreen wipers, plus an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. Other options include a third rear headrest, a heated windscreen and front foglights.