2019 Honda CR-V vs. 2018 Fiat 500X

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Collision Mitigation Braking System optional in the CR-V as “Superior.” The 500X scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The 500X doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the CR-V and the 500X have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CR-V the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 500X was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty

Honda’s powertrain warranty covers the CR-V 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Fiat covers the 500X. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 500X ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 2 times as many Honda dealers as there are Fiat dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CR-V’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the CR-V’s engine. A rubber belt that needs periodic replacement drives the 500X Pop’s camshafts. If the 500X’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the CR-V’s reliability 49 points higher than the 500X.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CR-V third among compact suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The 500X isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 52 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 29th.

Engine

The CR-V LX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 24 more horsepower (184 vs. 160) than the 500X Pop’s standard 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The CR-V LX’s 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 4 more horsepower (184 vs. 180) and 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (180 vs. 175) than the 500X’s optional 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 10 more horsepower (190 vs. 180) and 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (179 vs. 175) than the 500X’s optional 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Honda CR-V is faster than the Fiat 500X 2.4 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

 

CR-V LX

CR-V 1.5T

500X

Zero to 60 MPH

8.6 sec

8.2 sec

9.8 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

0

On the EPA test cycle the CR-V gets better fuel mileage than the 500X:

 

 

 

MPG

CR-V

FWD

Auto

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/32 hwy

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

28 city/34 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

27 city/33 hwy

500X

FWD

Manual

1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/33 hwy

 

Auto

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda CR-V uses regular unleaded gasoline. The 500X Pop requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The CR-V has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the 500X (14 vs. 12.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The Honda CR-V comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the 500X.

The CR-V has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The 500X doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The CR-V stops shorter than the 500X:

 

CR-V

500X

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CR-V has larger tires than the 500X (235/65R17 vs. 215/60R16). The CR-V LX’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 500X (235/65R17 vs. 225/45R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CR-V LX has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the 500X Pop.

The CR-V has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 500X; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CR-V’s wheelbase is 3.5 inches longer than on the 500X (104.7 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the CR-V is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 500X.

The CR-V’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57% to 43%) than the 500X’s (60.3% to 39.7%). This gives the CR-V more stable handling and braking.

The CR-V Touring AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the 500X AWD pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The CR-V LX executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the 500X Trekking AWD (27.7 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the CR-V has a greater minimum ground clearance than the 500X (8.2 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the CR-V to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the CR-V uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The 500X doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The CR-V uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 500X doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the CR-V Touring AWD is quieter than the 500X AWD (40 vs. 41 dB).

Passenger Space

The CR-V has 14.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 500X (105.9 vs. 91.7).

The CR-V has 1 inch more front headroom, 1.8 inches more front hip room, 3.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom, 5.6 inches more rear legroom and 2.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the 500X.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the CR-V’s rear seats recline. The 500X’s rear seats don’t recline.

The front step up height for the CR-V is .4 inches lower than the 500X (19” vs. 19.4”). The CR-V’s rear step up height is 1.6 inches lower than the 500X’s (18” vs. 19.6”).

Cargo Capacity

The CR-V has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the 500X with its rear seat up (39.2 vs. 12.2 cubic feet). The CR-V has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the 500X with its rear seat folded (75.8 vs. 32.1 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the CR-V easier. The CR-V’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 26 inches, while the 500X’s liftover is 30.5 inches.

The CR-V’s cargo area is larger than the 500X’s in every dimension:

 

CR-V

500X

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

37.5”/71”

n/a

Max Width

54”

41.3”

Min Width

41.5”

37.8”

Height

41”

28.8”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CR-V’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The 500X doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the CR-V. The 500X doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the CR-V Touring’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The 500X doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

The CR-V’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the 500X’s (1500 vs. 0 pounds).

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the CR-V EX-L/Touring, the memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The 500X doesn’t offer memory seats.

The CR-V EX-L/Touring’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 500X doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

If the windows are left open on the CR-V the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the 500X can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The CR-V has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The 500X doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The CR-V’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the 500X’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

The CR-V has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The 500X doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The CR-V’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The 500X Pop doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the CR-V has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The 500X doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring has a standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The 500X doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages

The CR-V will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the CR-V will retain 48.39% to 49.83% of its original price after five years, while the 500X only retains 35.57% to 36.62%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CR-V is less expensive to operate than the 500X because it costs $126 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the CR-V than the 500X, including $196 less for a water pump, $19 less for front brake pads, $58 less for fuel injection and $84 less for a fuel pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda CR-V will be $1271 to $2472 less than for the Fiat 500X.

Recommendations

The Honda CR-V has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

CR-V

500X

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

FALSE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CR-V first among compact suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The 500X isn’t in the top three.

The CR-V was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 17 years. The 500X has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

Motor Trend selected the CR-V as their 2018 Sport Utility of the Year. The 500X has never been chosen.

The Honda CR-V outsold the Fiat 500X by over 62 to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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