2017 Fiat 500L Thalassa Redesign

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The 2017 Fiat 500L Thalassa may share a name with most of the rest of the Fiat range, but it’s actually an entirely different vehicle underneath. There is electronic assistance to help prevent the car from crashing in the first place and a good safety record in case one does happen. It has a good level of standard equipment, with a touch-screen, air-conditioning and Bluetooth as standard across the range, but reviewers generally concur that the car is not that cheap.

2014 Fiat 500L Trekking

2017 Fiat 500L Thalassa Engine

Another big simplification is in the powertrain combinations. The 160-horsepower, 184-lb-ft turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder engine remains unchanged. The three transmissions originally offered on the 500L manual, a slightly clunky dry dual-clutch, and a lovely planetary automatic only the lovely one remains. Sadly its 25-mpg combined fuel economy trails that of the other trannies; EPA-rated mileage is 22/30 mpg city/highway. The 500L’s gearboxes do not get such good reviews, and critics note that both the six-speed and the five-speed manual are notchy and are not as good as the gearboxes in rivals.

2017-fiat-500l-thalassa-engine

2017 Fiat 500L Thalassa Design

Fiat offers customization options familiar to Mini shoppers, including a roof in contrasting colors and various wheels. Which bundle options like nav, parking sensors, the sunroof, a rearview camera, and satellite. A Beats Audio system is also available, and the model adds black wheels, trim, and accents.

2017-fiat-500l-thalassa-interior

An available Uconnect 6.5 system provides a larger 6.5-inch screen, an SD card slot, text-message readback, and dealer-programmed navigation. The navigation is rudimentary, the screen remains small, and the maps themselves are hard to scale quickly. A good smartphone and a suction-cup mount is a better solution. A sliding rear bench means there is “vast rear legroom” in the words of one reviewer. With generous headroom that is only compromised slightly by a full-length sunroof called Skydome. With a Skydome, however, the Fiat 500 has superb visibility, thanks to a big windscreen and glass panels.

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