View Full Version : Drove Countryman and 500L Today in Atlanta

06-14-2013, 09:14 PM
My Fiat dealer just got 8 500L's off the truck last night. I went over and drove the 500L with a manual trans first and then a Countryman with a manual and the turbo...first impression is that they are pretty different, especially when you look at the pricing

500L Likes: spacious, sweet stereo/nav unit, smooth transmission (shift quality better than a normal 500), quiet inside, smooth ride, good acceleration, well equipped

500L Dislikes: slight turbo lag (an owner could work around it...not a big deal), the relationship between the driver and the windshield is a bit weird (almost too much space...bus-like?), I think I will like the Trekking better style-wise

Countryman Likes: tight cockpit feel, minimal turbo-lag, ride is a bit tighter (no surprise) but still comfortable, decent shifter

Countryman Dislikes: pricing (about $6k more for the Mini for a stick/turbo combo), much smaller on the inside...didn't even try to get in the back seat, major controls

I hope that Fiat really ramps up the advertising for the 500L....it is a great value. I think the Fiat dealers need something more "normal" to drive traffic....our local dealer is in a great location with plenty of Abarths, etc. and it is still pretty quiet in there. Go Fiat!

Tim D
06-15-2013, 12:09 AM
So based on your test drive, if you were in the market for a new car and it was between these two vehicles which would you choose and why?

06-15-2013, 07:15 PM
Being an Italian car guy (I used to own an Alfa Milano), I have been waiting and seriously considering the 500L for quite some time. My first drive was great and the car is what I am looking for. I have to say the Countryman had a great, sporty feel to it but it is so small and so much more expensive. I am a Realtor, and I could not show property with the Countryman...the space in the back seat is so tight and I am 6'2" so nobody would be able to sit behind me. The 500L is a much more useable size and very comfortable. I guess I could get used to the front windshield / dash area but when you sit in one you will notice that the space feels kind of funky.