2014 Fiat 500L Fails IIHS Crash Test

Fiat 500L crash test IIHS 1 photo
Photo: IIHS
The Fiat 500L promised to bring all the fun of a regular 500 with the practicality of a bigger car. Is sounded like the perfect formula, but since it went on sale last year, several chinks have been discovered in its armor. The latest was found when the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted its routine small overlap crash test on a 2014 version of the Italian car.
As you can see from the video, several problems with the integrity of the vehicle were found when it hit against the crash barrier at 40 miles per hour. High levels of passenger cell deformation can be seen, the driver door is ripped clean off and that sexy A-shaped glass pillar is clearly not tough enough. We dread to think of what might happen if this exact same crash is replicated at highway speeds.

The IIHS gave an overall safety rating of "Poor" to Fiat's 500L subcompact, which could prove really problematic for the company. The 500L retails for $19,195 and is thus more expensive than an Impreza, one of our favorite compact cars. When tested last year, the IIHS gave the Subaru sedan a "Good" rating in every type of test and awarded it the Top Safety Pick accolade.

The steering column can clearly be seen moving away from the driver, which allows his head to hit the hard dashboard on the left side of the vehicle. In the real world, this would have caused serious head injuries to a person.

This isn't the only safety problem the Italian car might have. Following our report about transmission problems with the Fiat's twin-clutch automatic, many people have written to us, saying they feel unsafe behind the wheel of the 500L.

"I am experiencing the same problems with our Trekking version of the fiat 500L. It is a very dangerous situation to be left in. Transmission one minute then nothing the next. I have been dumped twice by our car and there is no rhyme or reason to when it happens. I did have the transmission recall performed and it still repeated the same bad performance in the transmission. I would yell to anyone- do not buy this car until Chrysler stands by it and repairs it's reputation in the industry- this of course would mean putting out a product that is capable of holding it's transmission ability under all conditions. I am very disappointed in the car and the company that should be standing by it's product,"
said reader Julie Carithers on July 21st, 2014.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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