In-depth Reviews

Fiat 500L MPV - Reliability & safety

Five-star Euro NCAP score and automatic braking system make the Fiat 500L a safe choice

Carbuyer Rating

3.0 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.9 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Reliability & safety Rating

2.5 out of 5

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.

Safety

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.

Most Popular

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

New 2021 Audi Q4 e-tron: prices, specs and release date
2021 Audi Q4 e-tron SUV - front 3/4 dynamic
Audi
15 Apr 2021

New 2021 Audi Q4 e-tron: prices, specs and release date

Best new car deals 2021
Skoda Fabia
Deals
16 Apr 2021

Best new car deals 2021

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Best cars
24 Dec 2020

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks