2019 Fiat 500L vs. 2019 Ford EcoSport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

Both the 500L and the EcoSport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

Warranty

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

Reliability

The Fiat 500L’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the EcoSport’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

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

Engine

The 500L’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. produces 37 more horsepower (160 vs. 123) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (184 vs. 125) than the EcoSport’s standard 1.0 turbo 3 cyl. The 500L’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. produces 35 lbs.-ft. more torque (184 vs. 149) than the EcoSport’s optional 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Fiat 500L is faster than the Ford EcoSport:

 

500L

EcoSport turbo 3 cyl.

EcoSport 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

8.8 sec

11.2 sec

9.9 sec

Quarter Mile

16.8 sec

18.2 sec

17.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.3 MPH

76.7 MPH

77 MPH

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 500L’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the EcoSport:

 

500L

EcoSport

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

The 500L stops much shorter than the EcoSport:

 

500L

EcoSport

 

70 to 0 MPH

169 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

132 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

139 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 500L Trekking/Lounge’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the EcoSport (225/45R17 vs. 205/60R16).

The 500L Pop’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the EcoSport’s standard 60 series tires. The 500L Trekking/Lounge’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the EcoSport’s optional 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The 500L has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The EcoSport doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 500L’s wheelbase is 3.6 inches longer than on the EcoSport (102.8 inches vs. 99.2 inches).

The 500L Lounge handles at .82 G’s, while the EcoSport Titanium pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 500L Trekking executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the EcoSport SE (28.2 seconds @ .58 average G’s vs. 29.3 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 500L’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the EcoSport’s (32.3 feet vs. 35 feet).

Passenger Space

The 500L has 7.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the EcoSport (98.8 vs. 91.1).

The 500L has 1.1 inches more front headroom, 3.3 inches more front hip room, 4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom and 3.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the EcoSport.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the 500L’s rear seats recline. The EcoSport’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The 500L has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the EcoSport with its rear seat up (22.4 vs. 20.9 cubic feet). The 500L has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the EcoSport with its rear seat folded (68 vs. 50 cubic feet).

The 500L’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The EcoSport’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

Ergonomics

The 500L’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The EcoSport’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

The 500L’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the EcoSport Titanium/SES.

The 500L’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The EcoSport doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the 500L has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The EcoSport doesn’t offer rear vents.

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

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