2015 FIAT 500L vs. Its Competition

2015 Fiat 500L
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

High-roofed hatchbacks are perfect for city dwellers.

Still, Americans didn't take to them until the last batch of imports starting hitting our shores.

The new-for-2015 Honda Fit is sensible and smart, with its trick rear Magic Seats and impressive fuel economy.

The 500L also competes with the spacious Kia Soul, a similarly polarizing high-roofed hatchback recently redesigned in 2014.

The Fiat also reminds us of the Mini Countryman, but the British-branded car is more expensive and has a stiffer ride in the negative column; sharper handling and quicker acceleration (in S form) to its positives.

The Scion xB is less successful: it grew in its second generation, and it's now more like an ersatz Chrysler PT Cruiser than the JDM hottie adored by its fans at launch.

And the Nissan Cube was apparently so unsuccessful that the company has decided to discontinue it; we were always more interested in the smaller Cubes that never made it out of Japan, anyway.

2015 Fiat 500L2015 FIAT 500L
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2015 Honda Fit2015 Honda Fit
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2015 Hyundai Elantra2015 Hyundai Elantra
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2015 Kia Soul EV First Drive  -  Portland  -  November 20142015 Kia Soul
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2015 MINI Cooper Countryman2015 MINI Countryman
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2015 Scion xB2015 Scion xB
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Quick Specs
Tall wagons aren't a thing here, yet, but the 2015 Fiat 500L gives us one more reason to ask, why not?
The 2015 Honda Fit might not up the ante in sportiness, but it offers up exactly what urban small-car shoppers want in safety and convenience features—and it's still as good as some utility vehicles or vans with its wondrous, unmatched Magic Seat setup.
Snappy sheetmetal and smart packaging puts the 2015 Hyundai Elantra on most must-drive lists, though it's not as engaging to drive as some compact sedans.
The 2015 Kia Soul is a recognizable five-door boxy wagon that fits into urban environments and carries occupants with comfort and style.
The mildly updated 2015 MINI Countryman is a versatile compact crossover, one of the smallest on the market, that maintains MINI's character and fun-to-drive spirit.
The 2015 Scion xB still excels at the big car in a small package goal, but a lack of updates have kept it only as good as the slightly flawed follow-up to the original.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
22 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy29 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy24 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy
Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Premium Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Small Station WagonsSmall Station WagonsMidsize CarsSmall Station WagonsCompact CarsSmall Station Wagons
Style Name     
5-Door HB Pop5-Door HB Manual LX4-Door Sedan Manual SE (Alabama Plant)5-Door Wagon Manual BaseFWD 4-Door5-Door Wagon Manual (GS)
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
HatchbackHatchbackSedanHatchbackSport UtilityWagon
Manual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2015 FIAT 500L vs. 2015 Honda Fit2015 FIAT 500L vs. 2015 Hyundai Elantra2015 FIAT 500L vs. 2015 Kia Soul2015 FIAT 500L vs. 2015 MINI Countryman2015 FIAT 500L vs. 2015 Scion xB