... the Fiat dealer had a few of these 500 L's when we took out a 500 turbo and was surprised at how big they were; we just were not in the market for that model (this was for my son's first 'new' personal car). The fit and finish was much nicer than a Hyundai Veloster we took out, plus the color options seemed endless. As you've driven it I would wonder if it had enough power but I think that with a turbo or even an Abarth option (didn't think they offered that on the 'L' though) it would be OK. As the dealer was a bit of a pain, my son only drove the 500 turbo he didn't like the clutch / shifter setup (he learned to drive stick on my '99 Miata) as well as the car had a tiny back seat so we passed. The Hyundai and Kia's do have a great warranty but I would wonder how they would hold up over time.
On the comment on the interior ... he ended up with CPO '12 Golf R 2-door which has an all black interior; the only contrast is some grey stitching and some silver accents on the dash, etc. It would have been nice if VW had more color options but that model sells in very low numbers.
The Golf (TDI, GTI, base or R) has a very surprising amount of room for a small car ... doesn't have the ride height of the 500 L or possibly the Soul (my personal car is a VW Touareg -- simply must have the higher ride height on our trip car -- ours is a dark blue with a light beige interior, keeps the car much cooler in the summer) so if that's a 'must have' its probably something you're not checking out. A base VW Tiguan comes close though (kind of an elevated Golf) so might be worth a drive.
I've heard the ride on a Soul is quite choppy but then our smart's aren't exactly boulevard cruisers
Even with the lower ride height and stiffer suspension 'R' version his new car rides quite well ... of course his main car before was our '08 smart so a major step up. Our '08 still has some commuter duties but we're waiting for the Ed to get to the midwest ...