2018 Toyota Yaris vs. 2018 Fiat 500L

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Yaris has standard Pre-Collision System, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The 500L doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Yaris’ lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The 500L doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Yaris’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The 500L doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Yaris and the 500L have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Yaris 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Fiat covers the 500L. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 500L ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Yaris for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Fiat doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 500L.

There are over 3 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Fiat dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Yaris’ warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Yaris second among small cars in their 2017 Initial Quality Study. The 500L isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 13th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 68 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 32nd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 65 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Fiat is ranked 28th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Yaris Auto gets better fuel mileage than the 500L (30 city/35 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Yaris uses regular unleaded gasoline. The 500L requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The Yaris offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The 500L doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The Yaris stops shorter than the 500L:

 

Yaris

500L

 

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The Yaris SE 5dr Liftback handles at .81 G’s, while the 500L Lounge pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Yaris 3dr Liftback’s turning circle is .8 feet tighter than the 500L’s (31.5 feet vs. 32.3 feet).

Chassis

The Toyota Yaris may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 900 to 950 pounds less than the Fiat 500L.

The Yaris is 11.5 inches shorter than the 500L, making the Yaris easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces. The Yaris is 1 foot shorter than the 500L Trekking.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Yaris 3dr Liftback is rated a Subcompact car by the EPA, while the 500L Station Wagon is rated a Small Station Wagon.

The Yaris 3dr Liftback has .6 inches more front legroom and .4 inches more rear hip room than the 500L.

Ergonomics

The Yaris has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The 500L doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Yaris detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 500L doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Model Availability

The Toyota Yaris comes in coupe, sedan and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Fiat 500L isn’t available as a coupe, sedan or four door hatchback.

Economic Advantages

The Yaris will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Yaris will retain 42.95% to 47.87% of its original price after five years, while the 500L only retains 32.9% to 33.7%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Yaris will be $9501 to $9664 less than for the Fiat 500L.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Yaris third among small cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The 500L isn’t in the top three.

The Toyota Yaris outsold the Fiat 500L by almost 27 to one during 2017.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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