By on July 11, 2017

2017 Fiat 500L Trekking with Urbana Appearance Package - Image: FCAEntering June 2017, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ U.S. dealers had a 219-day supply of Fiat 500Ls, roughly 1,400 cars in stock for a nameplate that generates fewer than 200 U.S. sales per month.

At least for the time being, however, U.S. Fiat dealers won’t be accepting any new copies of the 500L.

Unfortunately for the Serbian economy, the Fiat 500L’s inventory reduction in the United States is merely a byproduct of a strike at FCA’s Kragujevac assembly plant. That facility, which is one-third owned by the Serbian government, produces 8 percent of the nation’s exports.

Consequently, Ana Brnabic, Serbia’s prime minister, is advocating for the Kragujevac line workers prompt return to work. “It will be very difficult for us in the future to bring new investors when there is no certainty that workers will honor contracts between unions and employers,” says Brnabic, according to Reuters.

Workers are reportedly after a 30-percent pay hike, as well as workload alterations and transit assistance. FCA wants its workers back. The Serbian government wants FCA to get its workers back.

But car buyers do not want Fiat 500Ls.

Brnabic tells workers that Fiat will not enter further negotiations so long as the workers remain on strike. Now in its second week, the strike effectively shutters a plant that employs around 2,000 workers.

This isn’t the first time there’s been employee unrest surrounding the 500L’s Kragujevac facility. In late 2013, parts from a local supplier could not be delivered because a transport company’s workers were blocking railways. Demands made by workers in 2015 were not met. In early 2016, workers still couldn’t get the company to negotiate. One year ago, workers were laid off because of poor sales. Late last year, the plant went on hiatus because of weak global demand for the 500L, and not for the first time.

Fiat had initially hoped to sell 160,000 500Ls per year, a huge forecasting mistake on behalf of an ungainly and often unreliable car that didn’t offer the all-wheel drive of its Mini Countryman opponent — and didn’t offer the driving experience, either. At full capacity, the Serbian plant would be able to build 200,000 500Ls per year.Fiat 500L Kragujevac Serbia Assembly Plant - Image: FCABut by 2015, FCA Serbia was building only 100,000 cars per year. Production slowed to 70,000 units in 2016. Incidentally, prior to the massive renovation required to modernize the Kragujevac plant, the Yugo — another miserable failure — was assembled at the same location.

Specific to the U.S., the Fiat 500L’s initial dearth of popularity led to a severe downturn in the second half of 2015. Only 12,413 500Ls were reported sold by FCA in 2014, but that figure was cut by 37 percent in 2015. The 7,863 500Ls sold in 2015 was nevertheless an impressive figure compared with the 3,118 sold in 2016, a 60-percent year-over-year drop for a relatively fresh model with many of the characteristics that apply to vehicles such as the Kia Soul and Toyota C-HR.

The 500L wasn’t behind the times, nor is it ahead of its time. The Fiat 500L is just poorly executed.

Serbia’s economy, Reuters reports, was expected to report 3-percent growth in 2017. If the 500L’s Kragujevac strike continues, however, that rate of growth seems unlikely. Serbia relies on 500L production for 3 percent of its economic output.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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63 Comments on “One Way to Reduce Massive Fiat 500L Inventory Glut: An Ongoing Strike at Serbia’s Fiat Assembly Plant...”


  • avatar
    tallguy130

    I would have significant quality concerns about a car built in a former soviet nation best known for ethnic cleansing…just me?

    • 0 avatar

      Although it may not work with your preconceived notions of my people, we are not savages. We were communist for a time but were not part of the Soviet Union. I am not a fan of the 500L but the people that put it together have lots of pride in their work.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I’ll take you at your word on the workers, Bozi. But there’s no getting around the fact that this car’s junky.

        Given that it’s on the same basic platform as far better FCA product (like the 500X/Jeep Renegade), and assuming the workers aren’t the problem, what went wrong?

        Maybe it’s the Ghost of Yugo?

        @tallguy:
        America has its’ own history of ethnic cleansing too. We even made movies about it. Many starred John Wayne.

        • 0 avatar

          There are lots of issues surrounding the car. The dry dual clutch transmission was just a horrible design and one of the main issues from my point of view.

          I am sure that the workers get discouraged from time to time and may slack off since they constantly protest how they are paid and get little in return. The facility is brand new and fully modern so the only thing connecting it to the Yugo is geography. This plant is related to the Yugo plant in the same manner that the Ford Flat Rock Plant is related to the former Wixon Plant.

          The rest of it relates to cost cutting. Although, the 500L shares a motor with with the Dart and 500, a lot of the other parts are made just for it, like the rear brakes or the shock absorbers.

          Many of these parts are made in the Kragujevac industrial park at the lowest cost possible and may not be of the same quality as the parts built in other locations.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I have a feeling it boils down to quality control procedures at the plant, and the quality of the components. The 500L just feels far less solidly built than other FCA products.

          • 0 avatar

            I am sure that quality control is affected based on what I’ve heard about how things operate in the plant and the responsibilities and pressure that are put on the workers in that position.

          • 0 avatar
            MJAB

            DCT transmission, at the time not use for 500L in Europe, was tuned by former Chrysler LLC technitians in U.S.A..
            For sure You’ll have problems if You make active creeping too hard, it is like driving a manual gearbox car with clutch sliding… it will heat up.

            Strangely enough same gearbox used in other FCA vehicles, and now in Fiat 500X / Jeep Renegade, … have not that problems in other markets.

      • 0 avatar
        tallguy130

        I apologize for any offense. That was unfair of me.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      So things can’t change in a country as time passes? They have certainly had problems but then heck, so has the USA. Maybe not large scale ethnic cleansing but racial problems, small scale religious conflicts, etc.

      Detroit was not always known for it’s quality vehicles either. Plenty of books out there telling about line workers and managers alike that just didn’t care as long as the paychecks kept coming.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      That’s just rude.

      The former Yugoslavia was communist, but non-aligned, i.e., not Soviet. In fact, the USA had very good relations with the former Yugoslavia and considered them an ally to a degree. Jason Vuic’s book on the Yugo outlined the warm relations between Yugoslavia and the US during the 1980’s; it was part of how Malcolm Bricklin got assistance to bring the car here.

      As noted before me, the relationship between the Fiat plant and the former Zastava plant is only location. Fiat has invested a huge amount in the plant and the area.

      The car may not be your cup of tea, but there’s no need to taint it with the past sins of some of the people who lived there. Or maybe we should preface all of our comments about Japanese, German and other car manufacturers with list of past offenses? What would Native Americans say about our domestic manufacturers?

  • avatar
    ChesterChi

    Serbia is not a “former soviet nation”. They were not part of the USSR. They were not even part of the Warsaw Pact. They were less tied to the USSR than most eastern European countries.
    That said, it was a communist hellhole just the same (perhaps not the worst of them), and they do enjoy their ethnic cleansing and accompanying mass murder of civilians.

  • avatar

    This POS has singlehandedly helped reinforce FIAT’s previous reputation for dubious quality. Why they keep trying to sell this thing here for a meagher couple of hundred units a month is beyond me.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Is it safe to say at this point that the reintroduction of the Fiat brand in the US has been a disaster? While certainly I can’t argue that leveraging Fiat platforms for Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep makes sense, (though they certainly screwed up the Dart), what didn’t make sense was bringing back a brand few have much memory of, and doing so with utterly unremarkable product.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      The 500 was moderately successful, but subsequent products have not generated the demand that Fiat was hoping for.

      Also, Fiat is horrible at keeping their products up to date. The “new” 500 is now 10 years old in Europe, with a facelift that only made it halfway to North America (only the interior got updated in our cars).

      The 500L is now 5 years old in Europe, with a facelift on the way.

      These product cycles are too long in a market where updates come every 3 years.

  • avatar
    ajla

    How many people have had their lives indirectly screwed up by half-baked, economy-class dual-clutch transmissions?

    They’ve harmed the Focus, Fiesta, Dart, and 500L.

    The 500L did eventually go to a conventional automatic, but by then reliability and customer satisfaction ratings were scorched.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      True, but Fiestas and Focuses are excellent cars otherwise, and you can cure the transmission problems by buying a manual.

      Setting aside the car’s looks, the 500L’s problems go way beyond the transmission – the whole car feels like junk. FCA makes other cars on the same basic platform that are a LOT better. I think the plant is the problem.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        How can the plant be the problem? Everyone tells me the robots that put the car together are the same everywhere! That’s why the Jetta/Golfs put together by Mexican robots are just as desirable as the ones put together by German or Chinese robots.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Maybe the Serbian robots are less efficient. The mind boggles.

          (My guess is poor quality procedures, poor supplier quality, etc.)

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            That’s the real variable when it comes to the same product being built in different locations: the suppliers. The robot may be doing the same thing, but if one robot’s putting in a Chinese widget made of materials of unverifiable provenance, and the other’s using an American widget with papers/documentation, which would you rather have?

      • 0 avatar
        Chan

        I have an early build 500L, and understanding the DDCT, I’ve driven it without any problems so far. It’s really my wife’s car, and she admits to letting it creep sometimes when she forgets that she shouldn’t. 41k miles now.

        What else about the car is junk? When I bought it in 2013, it felt much more substantial than a Kia Soul, much more upscale inside than a Scion xB, and much more spacious than a Mini Countryman.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Lots of cheap interior materials / poor interior fits / junky sounding doors. Again, no offense. I know this is your ride. I’m just calling it like I see it.

          • 0 avatar
            Chan

            None taken, I just don’t find the interior that bad. It’s no Honda CR-V, but it also has more interesting shapes than a Honda.

  • avatar
    matt3319

    Feel sorry for the plant workers. I have no doubt the work hard and make sure the 500L is built well. Unfortunately for the workers, building a Turd with Turd parts is a losing battle. Its not the workers fault Fiat builds crappy turds no one wants.

  • avatar
    Heino

    The Porsche workers in Slovakia are upset that their German colleagues make more. Great article in the Economist about how Eastern Europeans are convinced they get inferior versions of consumer goods from the West. They feel put upon. Violins away.

    • 0 avatar
      stingray65

      The only reason anyone would set up a car plant (or buy an existing one) in Eastern Europe is because labor is cheap. If the Poles, Slovakian, Romanians, etc. want German wages, the Germans (and their unions) would rather build the cars at home or seek even even cheaper labor in China/Mexico.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Eastern Europeans hold a grudge against Germany?

      Now, why would that be…?

    • 0 avatar

      Lots of the goods that come over are inferior. Even as a kid, I remember that chocolates from the same producer made for the German market held a premium over chocolates that were made for the Balkan market because they tasted better.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    I always have liked the “new” Fiat 500 – it nicely captures the retro-vibe of the original. Obviously Fiat management thought the 500L could latch onto the popularity of the 500, but whoever styled this lemon certainly didn’t try very hard to give it the styling cues of the 500. Mini has done a much better job of keeping the Mini styling cues as they launched upsized models, which proves it can be done. If you can’t get the styling right on a retro-themed car you are pretty much doomed to fail, because that is the primary reason people buy them.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    I’ve heard from several Fiat owners here in Germany that Italian Fiats are the worst, Brazilian Fiats are more or less okay, and Polish Fiats are virtually bulletproof. No-one I know has a 500L (because they are not completely devoid of taste), so I can’t say anything about Serbian ones.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    I say they redesign the model and sell it here as the Chrysler PT Cruiser. Price it competitively with vehicles like the Soul and non-AWD versions of popular small CUVs.

    It would give Chrysler dealers a practical small car to sell again. Since people don’t want their sedans, they might do better with something like the old PT.

    End all the 500 likeness, it doesn’t translate well to the body, and therefore rename the redesigned Fiat version.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      It looks like they start at around $20k, and they now have a Aisin 6AT standard.

      Assuming its discounted below $15k (which is the most I’d want to spend), is there any good reason not to choose it for Uber/Lyft?

      I would rather have a C-Max for the better MPG, but is the Fiat’s interior worse? The C-Max looks and feels a lot less like an economy car than its size suggests. Is the 500L similar?

      Anyone who’s driven or owned a 6AT example, I’d appreciate your comments. Its a left-field choice I never considered before.

      • 0 avatar
        NN

        good thinking, this could make a good Uber/Lyft option. I’m sure you could pickup a low mileage late model for under $10k.

        I actually really like this car, but I love any car with a good story, and man, this thing has a story (being of Serbian origin, former Yugo plant, and so quirky overall). This is the kind of car I might buy for my son when he’s ready to start driving, in stick shift version of course.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          I like quirky and unique.

          I did a search, found several for over $20k, none under it. Of course I’m sure a deal can be had.

          On a whim, thinking they might be super cheap, I looked for a used Chevy Captiva Sport. They want a lot for those things! Not nearly the good deals I was expecting. Almost all were over $15k. I did find a loaded 2013 for $12.5, 55k miles. For that much money, I just don’t like it, I’d rather have a the 2012 Taurus SEL I found for under $10k with not much more mileage (65k? Can’t remember). The Taurus only lacks a sunroof, which isn’t important for this car’s mission. I love the way my parents 2012 drives, I know I’d be happy in it.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        Having driven both for a fair bit of time, and driven for Uber & Lyft:

        The 500L is very roomy, more so than the C-Max, but the “theater” rear seating hurts headroom considerably in a car that, based on its shape, “should” be able to accommodate Abe Lincoln front or rear…with stovepipe hat on. The Fiat beats the Ford on rear cargo room though: deeper, and no battery hump.

        Both have very nice-looking interiors, frankly; the 500L that I had was a Trekking with the optional Doberman-pinscher color scheme, so the base model wouldn’t be so lush, but it would still have the big lovely retro-style gauges and other nice cues, and I’ve never seen one at a dealer without at least a touch-screen radio. The C-Max has a very nice looking interior too, but it goes for futurism where the Fiat goes for fashion (my 500L had a sparkly mica dash…such a cool and wholly original idea, and somehow it was matte enough not to reflect light into my eyes). The difference is in the quality of the controls: the climate control knobs in the Fiat felt loose, for example, where the C-Max’s controls all felt solid; and it’s rare to find a used regular 500 without a broken AC vent and worn-through volume knob, which is not a good sign.

        The C-Max drives better, hands down. Even as tall as it is, it corners confidently with precise steering; it feels like you’re sitting in it, not on it, with comfortable seats that hold you in place; low-end torque is ample thanks to the hybrid drivetrain and power never feels lacking; the ride is supple and rarely jittery despite the short wheelbase. None of these are true of the Fiat, which just isn’t much fun to drive. The Fiat’s two advantages here are a delightful muffled-Abarth exhaust note that makes you want to put the window down, and the ability to sharply turn the front wheels (the C-Max belongs to that subset of FWD cars with a comically poor turning radius — the inability to do a U-turn without changing it to a 3-point turn is a bad quality in an Uber).

        The MPG crown goes to the Ford, obviously: it will fall short of its original “47 mpg” EPA numbers by a solid 10 mpg even in good weather, but that’s still far better than you’ll see from the Fiat…partly because you have to rev that little sewing machine above 3000 rpm for power (maybe not the best quality in a small van), and partly because the “regular” automatic costs you 2 mpg vs the dual-clutch, but mostly because even a tiny turbo motor is no match for a hybrid drivetrain.

        Reliability? Well, door locks started working intermittently on the 500L with 13k miles, and it was ranked the least reliable car in America at one point (but given that there are “no bad cars anymore” the real difference might be smaller than it sounds, yadda yadda yadda). The C-Max was a reliability nightmare and was recalled constantly to boot, but most of the reliability problems were corrected by the recalls or by design changes.

        The C-Max is a good buy used. The 500L can be insanely cheap used, especially with the 6-speed manual. You’d have to do the math on MPG and potential repair cost to see which one pencils out better.

        FWIW, I drove and liked the dry-clutch auto, but if you want it to last, idle creep is a no-no. Fine for steady suburban traffic, not fine for LA freeways at rush hour. No such worry with the C-Max, which is happy to creep along on battery power at such times.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      The 500L comes standard with a six speed manual transmission. Once you get past the Pop (base) level, they come with the Aisin autobox.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Really? I just did the build and price on their website, it said 6AT was standard in the Pop.

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          I stand corrected.

          I haven’t looked at the website since FIAT announced they were going to rationalize the choices in the US line.

          I’m glad to see the Urbana package is still around.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            Well, now I’ll know older ones are worth a look if they have a manual, so I appreciate that.

            I had initially assumed all were autos after reading many of the comments, looking at used and new examples online (all were automatic), and then seeing a standard 6AT when I looked them up new on Fiat’s website.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            Hey! This ain’t bad!

            https://sanantonio.craigslist.org/cto/6192445678.html

            I hate white (does that make me a self-hating racist? LOL) cars but that’s a helluva price for that car. Its a decent trip to San Antonio, but not out of the question.

            I did want leather for ease of cleaning, that back seat looks like cheap material to me. Maybe I could have it recovered in leather/vinyl.

          • 0 avatar
            geozinger

            That looks like a pretty good deal, actually…

  • avatar
    Chan

    Fiat’s biggest mistake was introducing the 500L with the dual dry-clutch transmission to a huge market that does not know what a clutch is. The second-biggest mistake was to programming said transmission to automatically creep like a slushbox (a terrible thing to do, as would be on a manual transmission).

    The 500L’s most common complaint is overheating clutch putting the car into limp mode. That’s because people drive it as they would a traditional torque-conv automatic, and also because the car lets them do so.

    Fiat quickly realised their mistake by 2015, replacing the DDCT with a 6AT slushbox. But too late–people had already been turned off.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I think there was the idea that the dual dry clutch trannys were going to be the “next big thing” in cars. It was a way to get some cachet from the likes of Porsche and others who were pushing those things at the time. Look at the issues Ford has had with it’s version of the DDCT.

      You’re right, FIAT realized the mistake, but too late to help the 500L’s reputation.

      • 0 avatar
        Chan

        Yes, and a wet clutch with an oil cooler would have let cars creep without too much physical consequence. Looks like Fiat wanted the cachet of a DCT without spending on reliability per actual use cases (i.e. the ‘Murican AT creep).

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Fiat’s mistake was doing the 500L first. It should have been the 500X. Americans want tiny CUVS, not small family haulers.

      (And I know it’s your ride…so, no offense, but the styling on the 500L is just not OK to my eyes.)

    • 0 avatar
      MJAB

      And that is the result of wwhat wanted and tuned the technical center of FCA in Detroit, U.S.A..

      “Magically” same gearbox, better to say transaxle, doesn’t have that problems outside U.S.A. market.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    A little armchair quarterbacking here… While I get that FCA was trying to steal a page from the MINI playbook, the experiment with the 500L has floundered. I’ve wondered if they wouldn’t have been better to Federalize the 500L Living model, which is the version that has an extended rear compartment. Maybe the current 500L is too short for North Americans?

    That said, my wife is in love with these thing and is threatening to buy one. I wouldn’t mind actually, as I think they’re incredibly handy. I just want to get the Trekking Urbana version, not the regular version…

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      The first barrier is that nobody knows the 500L exists because FCA failed to market it for its practicality.

      I drove my wife’s 500L to the gym the other day and a couple stopped to look all over the car as if they had no idea Fiat made a larger car.

      The second barrier is that it looks strange, and insecure men have issue with something looking so dorky. Mini did a more cohesive job with the Countryman, to be honest.

      The third barrier is the constant negative press that the 500L gets in the US due to DCT clutch overheating. Because it was the wrong transmission to give to Americans–we don’t know what a clutch is, and now it’s too late.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        Here’s the fourth barrier: The pricing. By the time you optioned up a 500L to Kia Soul equipment levels, you were looking at a $25,000 MSRP car. Granted, this wouldn’t be a bad price if you were looking at a Countryman, but FIAT has a long way to go to command those kinds of prices. But, used prices reflect the real value of the car…

  • avatar

    Chrysler should just stick a jeep grill on it. I whipped out a rendering (below) to illustrate this concept.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10212938632404528&set=gm.1422991514447545&type=3

  • avatar
    mike1041

    A Fiat 500L list price in Canada is 26,685 and it is imported from wherever in Eastern Europe. In my backyard Toyota Corollas are produced and for that many pictilures of the Queen I can get a fully loaded copy. Makes no sense to own Chrysler quality as opposed to the Corolla

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Well, they’re both ugly, I guess, but at least the 500L has personality.

      If you’re looking for a sleeping aid replacement, the Corolla will do fine.

      • 0 avatar
        mike1041

        I agree John Taurus but it is a week built sleep aid

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          If that is all you are looking for, Fiat doesn’t make sense. No Itialian brand should be on your list, built in Serbia or anywhere.

          Comparing a turbocharged highly styled Italian-designed wagon to a CVT snoozebox sedan (or its ugly hatchback sibling) doesn’t work.

          Your comparison says you can find a better value in a mainstream compact car. That argument could be made for just about anything that isn’t also a mainstream compact car. It misses the point. That isn’t where the 500L is supposed to play, even though it is a small car.

          The difference here is Fiat isn’t selling reliability and value so much as its selling a funky lifestyle thing at a halfway reasonable price. The experiment is not working, but they’re not trying to sell it to a Corolla droan.

          I grant you that its a sales failure, and the Corolla is a success. But, I know which I’d rather have, and it isn’t one I’ll loose amongst 50 of its kind at the library, bank and/or Walmart anytime soon.

          You could say if Fiat wanted to be successful, they’d simply build a Corolla. They tried, they called it the Dodge Dart. It didn’t move the needle much, and that was with a brand most Americans are familiar with, dare I say trust (well, in comparison to Fiat…).

          They may try again with the Fiat Tipo (Dodge Neon in Mexico), but unless its to customers mostly named Budget, Enterprise, Avis and Hertz, I wouldn’t count on it doing that well.

  • avatar

    Sorry to rain on the hate parade, but what is left conspicuously out of the article is the Fiat 500L is the best-selling car in its segment in Europe for years, with more than 300,000 sold in past three years. Last year, the 500L had a 25.5% share with more than 81,000 units sold. So far this year, despite the small MPV market being down 10% compared to last year (an important fact also left out of the article) the 500L still accounts for 1 out of every 4 cars sold in its segment. This hardly sounds like a miserable failure. Maybe the Europeans know something we don’t, like that the 500L has the interior room of a full-size car and it has unmatched versatility with 1500 different ways to configure the space inside the car to name just two attributes?

    While it is true, sales in the US haven’t fared as well. How much can be attributed to the poor reporting here? For example, to this day Consumer Reports regurgitate its 2013 road test results on the first year 500L, complaining about its ride and seats, without mentioning that the car had its seats redesigned in 2015 along with its suspension settings, plus received a conventional automatic transmission. That amounts to misinformation and an injustice to its readers and the general public which quotes CU as some kind of bible. Then there are sites where people with absolutely no or very limited experience with the cars spew off the wall comments.

    If you want to know the “truth,” most Fiat owners seldom come to these sites to counterpoint the haters because they don’t want to subject themselves to nonsense, plus frankly, they are too busy enjoying their cars. If you are a car enthusiast and love cars, you need to try an Italian car for yourself and see what the rest of the world outside the US knows.

    • 0 avatar
      akcaptruth

      We own a 2015 500L with the Aisan 6speed automatic, Easy trim level (mid) with Panoramic, Beats Audio, Uconnect with Sat Radio and Navigation. We like the car a lot.

      I’m a design professional, and I like to say the styling is refreshingly without guile. It’s akin to a Boston Terrier’s looks: more endearing than pretty — in a way that’s not immediately obvious and that grows over time.

      What we like most is the interior packaging, and as a Mini-MPV, that’s the raison detre of these cars. You sit high and chair-like, visibility is super, and the tall, reconfigurable, rear-sliding-tumbling-reclining-s60/40 seats are handy. When we go out to dinner with another couple, they often remark at how roomy the rear seating is. It’s a very large interior car for its contained footprint.

      The car is fairly saturated with small, thoughtful details: the fuel tank is capless, it has a great ‘intelligent” blinker setup (easy to use and six blinks); the lights have a “coming home” feature you can activate in 30 second increments, the Uconnect is full-featured and a breeze to use, bluetooth streaming is a cinch, the seats have pneumatic lumber support, etc.

      Our lifetime FUELLY mpg average is 28.5, and we’ve had no mechanical problems. The interior plastics are bargain basement, the front brakes are grabby, the handling is minivan-like.

      We have four 500L’s in a four block area of where we live, we talk regularly, and we all are pretty satisfied.

  • avatar
    MJAB

    Total production of FCA Serbia plant was for 2016 was 85k vehicles.

    The registrations for European Union countries + Switzerland, Norway and Iceland were

    2016 82,150
    2015 85,357
    2014 94,114
    2013 74,536
    2012 10,494

    Note: these are registrations of new vehicles, not sales declared by manufacturer as is done in U.S.A..
    Registrations in European Union and other countries in Europe are accounted by public authorities and are that the data published monthly.

    May 25 started the production of restyled model.

    The powertrains used is NAFTA Fiat 500L is not sold in Europe and it was developed and tuned in U.S.A..

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