2019 Fiat 500L vs. 2019 Toyota Rav4

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 Rav4 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the 500L and the Rav4 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, 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 Rav4’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 Rav4’s 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 engine in the Rav4 has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

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 Rav4 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The 500L stops much shorter than the Rav4:

 

500L

Rav4

 

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

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 Rav4 LE/XLE’s standard 65 series tires. The 500L Trekking/Lounge’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s 55 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 Rav4 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The 500L Trekking handles at .79 G’s, while the Rav4 Limited pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The 500L Trekking executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Rav4 Limited (28.2 seconds @ .58 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 500L’s turning circle is 3.8 feet tighter than the Rav4 LE/XLE’s (32.3 feet vs. 36.1 feet). The 500L’s turning circle is 5.1 feet tighter than the Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s (32.3 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

The 500L is 1 foot, 1.9 inches shorter than the Rav4, making the 500L easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The 500L has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front hip room and 1.7 inches more rear hip room than the Rav4.

Cargo Capacity

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 Rav4’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

Ergonomics

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 Rav4 LE’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

The 500L’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Toyota charges extra for heated mirrors on the Rav4.

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

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