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Driving the Fiat 500 Abarth Automatic

With lightning fast shifts, the Fiat 500 Abarth automatic is not your typical slushbox automatic

Fiat 500X All- Wheel-Drive System Explored

The Fiat 500X has an advanced All-Wheel-Drive system. See how it outperforms the competition.

Driving the New Fiat 124 Spider and Abarth!

A look at how the new Fiat 124 Spider stacks up against the original

Fiat 500L Design

Within its compact dimensions, the Fiat 500L has the room of a full-sized car. See how Fiat did it and the concept and goals of the design team

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Debut

Watch the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Debut Video at the LA Autoshow

Fiat 500 Abarth Oil Change

Everything you need to know about changing the oil on a Fiat 500 Abarth and 500 Turbo

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fiat 500L Earns Top Safety Pick!

Fiat 500L IIHS Crash Test

The 2014 Fiat 500L has earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick rating. The Fiat 500L's performance in front, side, rollover, and rear crash tests achieved the highest-possible ratings.

The IIHS testing simulates a 40 MPH front moderate-overlap impact, a 31 MPH side impact, a roof-crush consistent with a rollover, and a 20 MPH rear collision capable of causing a whiplash injury.



The double A pillars contribute immensely to the strength and rigidity of the Fiat 500L's passenger compartment. Notice during the crash the door opening is barely deformed and the windshield doesn't break!

In each of these tests, the Fiat 500L recorded the highest-possible rating of “good.” This is consistent with crash test performed by Euro NCAP, the organization that assesses the safety performance of cars sold in Europe. The Fiat 500L achieved a 5 star crash rating - the highest Euro NCAP gives out and the best in class performance.





The roomy and versatile Fiat 500L is aimed towards families with active lifestyles who don't settle on ordinary transportation and appreciate European design and driving dynamics. Italian family cars have a tradition of being roomy, fun to drive and safe. Early in the 1960s Fiat took a leading role in pioneering safety advances in its market segment. Back then, safety features like controlled collapsibility and rigid passenger compartments were rare and only available on expensive cars. Fiat brought these innovations to the mainstream market, and by 1969, all Fiat passenger car bodies were able to maintain a minimum crash survival space for their occupants in any impact situation at any speed up to 30mph.*


Fiat 500L Driver Seat Crash Test Result
The dummy's position in relation to the steering wheel and instrument panel after the crash test indicates that the driver's survival space was maintained very well.

Moderate Overlap Front Impact Test at 40 MPH

  • Overall evaluation GOOD
  • Structure and safety cage GOOD

Fiat 500L driver side crash test dummy

Smeared greasepaint indicates where the dummy's head hit the window frame and head restraint during rebound. Head accelerations from these hits were low.

Injury Measures
  • Head/neck GOOD
  • Chest GOOD
  • Leg/foot, left GOOD
  • Leg/foot, right GOOD
  • Restraints and dummy kinematics GOOD




Restraints and Dummy Kinematics

Dummy movement was well controlled. During rebound, the dummy's head hit the window frame in front of the B-pillar.

Injury Measures

Measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity. Head acceleration from the window frame hit was low.


Fiat 500L IIHS Side Impact Test

 

Side Impact Test at 31 MPH

  • Overall evaluation GOOD
  • Structure and safety cage GOOD

View of the vehicle after the crash with doors removed, showing the side airbags and damage to the occupant compartment.

Driver Injury Measures
  • Head/neck GOOD
  • Torso GOOD
  • Pelvis/leg GOOD
  • Head protection GOOD

Fiat 500L driver dummy's head
Smeared greasepaint shows where the driver dummy's head was protected from being hit by hard structures by the side airbags.

Rear Passenger Injury Measures
  • Head/neck GOOD
  • Torso GOOD
  • Pelvis/leg GOOD
  • Head protection GOOD

Note: Side crash test ratings can be compared across vehicle categories.


Smeared greasepaint shows where the driver dummy's head was protected from being hit by hard structures by the side airbags.

Injury Measures

Driver — Measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity.

Passenger — Measures taken from the dummy indicate a low risk of any significant injuries in a crash of this severity.

Head Protection

Driver — The dummy’s head was protected from being hit by any hard structures, including the intruding barrier, by a side curtain airbag that deployed from the roof and a side airbag that deployed from the seat.

Passenger — The dummy’s head was protected from being hit by any hard structures, including the intruding barrier, by a side curtain airbag that deployed from the roof.

Head Restraints and Seat Whiplash Test

  • Type: Manual cloth seat
  • Overall evaluation GOOD
  • Dynamic rating GOOD
  • Seat/head restraint geometry GOOD

Important: Head restraints and seats ratings should be compared only among vehicles of similar weight.



Roof Strength Rollover Test

To measure roof strength, a metal plate is pushed against one corner of a vehicle's roof at a constant speed. The maximum force sustained by the roof before 5 inches of crush is compared to the vehicle's weight to find the strength-to-weight ratio. This is a good assessment of vehicle structural protection in rollover crashes.

Vehicles only need a strength-to-weight ratio of 1.5 to meet the federal regulation. The Fiat 500L roof can withstand nearly 6 times its weight.

Overall evaluation GOOD
Curb weight 3,317 lbs
Peak force 19,557 lbs
Strength-to-weight ratio 5.90

Roof strength test ratings can be compared across vehicle categories.

Car Rating Peak force (lbs) Strength-to-weight ratio
Fiat 500L
2014 models
Good 19,557 5.90
Kia Soul
2014 models
Good 15,304 5.27
Mini Countryman
2011-13 models
Good 14,829 4.97
Nissan Juke
2011-13 models
Good 13,191 4.46
Ford Fiesta hatchback
2011-14 models
Good 13,142 5.05
Honda Fit
2012-13 models
Good 12,894 5.02
Toyota Yaris
2007-12 models
Acceptable 9,072 3.78
MINI Cooper
2007-13 models
Acceptable 8,810 3.44



Here is a look at just some of the 40 safety and technology features standard on the Fiat 500L designed to mitigate the impact of collisions:

•Advanced multistage air bags, which inflate with a force appropriate to the severity of the impact; unique to the Fiat 500L is a design that includes tethers to shape the air bag (standard)

•Full-length side-curtain air bags, which extend protection to all outboard front- and rear-seat passengers; each side air bag has its own impact sensor that triggers deployment on the side where an impact occurs (standard)

•Driver’s-side knee air bag, which deploys with the driver’s advanced multistage air bag; located below the instrument panel, it is designed to properly position the occupant during impact and offer additional lower leg protection (standard)

•Seat-mounted side pelvic-thorax air bags, which provide enhanced protection to the driver and front outboard passenger in certain impacts; each side air bag has its own impact sensor that triggers deployment on the side where an impact occurs (standard)

•Reactive head restraints, which deploy in the event of a rear collision by minimizing the gap between the heads of the driver and front passenger and their respective head restraints (standard)

•Three second-row head restraints (standard)

•Seat belt pretensioners, which remove slack from the seat belt system to reduce forward movement of the occupant’s body, thereby maximizing the system’s efficiency; activated by impact sensors (standard)

•Digressive load limited retractors, which regulate force exerted on the occupant by the seat belt and then gradually releases seat belt webbing in a controlled manner; system features a digressive load limiter for the driver and the front passenger (standard)

•Three-point seat belts for front occupants; all rear seating positions have lap and shoulder belts (standard)

•Energy management system of three front load paths designed from high-strength steel manage vehicle crush and minimize cabin intrusion

•Crumple zones designed to deform during an accident to absorb energy from an impact, which decreases transfer of that energy to occupants

•Safety cage body structure, which protects occupants by managing and controlling energy in the event of an impact (standard)

•Side guard door beams, which provide occupant protection during a side impact

•Daytime running lamps for additional forward illumination; improves vehicle awareness

Read more:


Sources: IIHS, Fiat USA
*The New Fiat Guide by Jan P Norbye 1969

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