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Thread: Newish 500L Touring owner

  1. #1
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    Newish 500L Touring owner

    I say newish (2014) because I bought it from my fiancee, who has driven it for the last 4 years or so. It is now my winter car, which I might trade to my son for his older SUV.

    It is in great condition with virtually no problems, with the exception of an electrical issue that cropped up literally the first time I took it on a road trip after buying. This was apparently due to a dud battery, and hopefully has been solved with the battery replacement.

    It is a pretty good car, not as fun as my Miata, but nice to drive and very comfortable for hauling people or stuff, especially camping gear and bikes (we have a roof rack and hitch mount as well). Manual transmission. Nice interior styling, stereo and electronics. I wish it were AWD, but the 500X had not come out yet when we got it. (Apparently the reliability of the 500X is not on a par with the 500 or 500L for some reason.) It still does well in the snow and slush with Blizzak tires.

    Anyway, hello from Nebraska. Nice to have a place to throw questions about the car from time to time.

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forum! The US 500L (actually all 500 models) has an enhanced traction control system similar to the Traction+ system used in Europe so they do pretty well in the snow, especially with good snow tires. Post some pictures when you can.

    By the way for what it is worth, we had a 500X and it was rock solid.

    abarth500forum.com fiat124spiderforum.com fiat500lusaforum.com fiat500xforum.com

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    Lifetime Member Lifetime Member DeSoulo's Avatar
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    Welcome 500LJeff! I have a 2014 as well and aside from a few "glitches" I'm still digging the car. Those dud/dying batteries can cause some strange electrical warning lights to come on, so good thing you have a new one.

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    Welcome aboard, Jeff! Same as DeSoulo- 4 and a half years in and I still love this car. I was just thinking to myself how much I like the DDCT- despite all the criticisms, I think it does a fine job. You just gotta figure out how to make your peace with it. Under light to medium throttle application, the shifts are virtually imperceptible. I have yet to install a GoPedal, but that's something you might consider- many on this forum have done so and seem to swear by them (it will improve your throttle response). To me the car isn't so great when you hammer it- you can, but as you've no doubt observed, it's no sports car. At a more relaxed pace it's in its element.

    As far as the dead/dud battery is concerned, there was a TSB way back when that fixed an issue that caused a slight but constant drain on the battery, where if the car were left parked for an extended period of time (say, a week at the airport, for example), you'd come back to a dead battery. It was software-related, as I recall, and it required one of the modules to be re-flashed (body control module, I believe). My guess is your Elle has already had it done (if your fiance has had it for four years with no issues, it seems unlikely that it hasn't been done), but in any case it's not a bad idea to at some point make sure all your software is up to date and TSB's complied with.

    I've driven our 500L in the snow a number of times, living here in the Northeast as we do- no problems at all- it soldiers right through it. Probably the most limiting factor is the relatively low ground clearance (the front bumper clip in particular hangs fairly low).

    Good luck with your Elle, and post some pic's when you get a chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronbo10 View Post
    Welcome aboard, Jeff! Same as DeSoulo- 4 and a half years in and I still love this car. I was just thinking to myself how much I like the DDCT- despite all the criticisms, I think it does a fine job. You just gotta figure out how to make your peace with it. Under light to medium throttle application, the shifts are virtually imperceptible. I have yet to install a GoPedal, but that's something you might consider- many on this forum have done so and seem to swear by them (it will improve your throttle response). To me the car isn't so great when you hammer it- you can, but as you've no doubt observed, it's no sports car. At a more relaxed pace it's in its element.
    DDCT? Isn't that auto? Mine is manual.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 500LJeff View Post
    DDCT? Isn't that auto? Mine is manual.
    Quite right. Its the auto. Somehow I missed that. In fact, I've never tried an Elle with the manual- doesn't look like I'm going to get the chance either, at least not a new one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronbo10 View Post
    Quite right. Its the auto. Somehow I missed that. In fact, I've never tried an Elle with the manual- doesn't look like I'm going to get the chance either, at least not a new one.
    Most of the cars I've owned have been manuals, including my current other car, a 2018 MX5 Club, and my prior 2017 WRX. I did have a BMW X3 with auto that I thought was one of the best autos I've ever driven.

    Maybe it's just a weird assumption, but I've always thought AT's in smaller cars, i.e., 4 cylinder, were not that great, because the gearing wasn't ideal. To be honest I don't drive a lot of smaller cars with AT's. 3 of my kids have them (Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla, Honda CRV), while my older son just bought a Civic ST because, like his old man, he really likes driving and punching the gears.

    I think the MT on the 500L is quite good--the only issue for me is the long throw, which is definitely different from the MX5. Gives me a good upper body workout.

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