2019 Fiat 500 vs. 2019 Honda Civic Si

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 500 has standard Reactive Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Reactive Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the 500 and the Civic Si have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Fiat 500 is safer than the Honda Civic Si:

 

500

Civic Si

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

166

204

Chest Movement

.7 inches

1 inches

Abdominal Force

199 G’s

252 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

382

404

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The 500 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes free 24-hour roadside assistance. The Civic Si’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Reliability

The Fiat 500’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Civic Si’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

The engines in the 500 have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the Civic Si has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the 500 Abarth is faster than the Honda Civic Si (manual transmissions tested):

 

500

Civic Si

Zero to 60 MPH

6.7 sec

6.8 sec

Transmission

The 500 offers an optional automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. The Civic Si doesn’t offer an automatic transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The 500 stops shorter than the Civic Si:

 

500

Civic Si

 

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

131 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

126 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

Chassis

The Fiat 500 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 400 pounds less than the Honda Civic Si.

The 500 is 2 feet, 9 inches shorter than the Civic Si Coupe, making the 500 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The 500 is 6.7 inches narrower than the Civic Si, making the 500 easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the 500 Abarth is quieter than the Civic Si Coupe (82 vs. 84 dB).

Passenger Space

The 500 has 2.4 inches more front headroom and 1.1 inches more rear headroom than the Civic Si Coupe.

Ergonomics

The 500’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Civic Si’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the 500 has a standard rear wiper. The Civic Si doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Consumer Reports rated the 500’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Civic Si’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The 500’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Civic Si’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 500 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the 500 with a number “5” insurance rate while the Civic Si is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 500 is less expensive to operate than the Civic Si because typical repairs cost much less on the 500 than the Civic Si, including $301 less for a starter, $102 less for front struts and $204 less for a timing belt/chain.

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

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