2019 Fiat 500L vs. 2019 Mazda CX-5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Compared to metal, the 500L’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda CX-5 has a metal gas tank.

Both the 500L and the CX-5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, 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 CX-5’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 CX-5’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 CX-5 have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 500L has a standard 150-amp alternator. The CX-5’s 100-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Fuel Economy and Range

The 500L has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 500L’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-5:

 

500L

CX-5

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.7 inches

The 500L stops much shorter than the CX-5:

 

500L

CX-5

 

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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 CX-5 Sport/Touring’s standard 65 series tires. The 500L Trekking/Lounge’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The 500L has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CX-5’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The 500L Trekking handles at .79 G’s, while the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the 500L’s turning circle is 3.7 feet tighter than the CX-5’s (32.3 feet vs. 36 feet).

Chassis

The Fiat 500L may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 550 pounds less than the Mazda CX-5.

The 500L is 1 foot shorter than the CX-5, making the 500L easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The 500L has 1 inch more front headroom and .2 inches more front shoulder room than the CX-5.

Cargo Capacity

The 500L has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the CX-5 with its rear seat folded (68 vs. 59.6 cubic feet).

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 CX-5’s liftover is 29.2 inches.

Servicing Ease

The 500L has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The CX-5 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

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 CX-5’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The 500L’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 CX-5’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The 500L’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Mazda only offers heated mirrors on the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature.

The 500L Lounge has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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

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