2019 Fiat 500L vs. 2019 Ford Escape

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 Escape doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the 500L and the Escape 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, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.


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 Escape’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.


The Fiat 500L’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Escape’s engines use 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 Escape have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.


The 500L’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. produces 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (184 vs. 170) than the Escape’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The 500L’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. produces 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (184 vs. 177) than the Escape’s optional 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

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



Escape 4 cyl.

Escape turbo 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

8.8 sec

9.1 sec

9.6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.8 sec

16.9 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.3 MPH

80.9 MPH

78.6 MPH

Brakes and Stopping

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




Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

The 500L stops much shorter than the Escape:





70 to 0 MPH

169 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the 500L’s turning circle is 6.4 feet tighter than the Escape’s (32.3 feet vs. 38.7 feet).


The Fiat 500L may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 500 pounds less than the Ford Escape.

The 500L is 11.1 inches shorter than the Escape, making the 500L easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The 500L has .8 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front hip room and 1.4 inches more front shoulder room than the Escape.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the 500L easier. The 500L’s trunk lift-over height is 25.9 inches, while the Escape’s liftover is 27.3 inches.


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 Escape’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. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Escape and aren’t offered on the Escape S.

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

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