2019 Kia Niro EV vs. 2019 Fiat 500e

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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To maximize occupant safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Kia Niro EV have pretensioners to eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision. The Fiat 500e doesn’t offer pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Kia Niro EV are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Fiat 500e doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Niro EV has standard Autonomous Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The 500e doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Niro EV’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The 500e doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Niro EV EX Premium has standard Parking Assist to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The 500e doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

To help make backing safer, the Niro EV’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The 500e doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Niro EV and the 500e have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The Kia Niro EV weighs 874 pounds more than the Fiat 500e. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.


The Niro EV comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The 500e’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Niro EV 2 years longer than Fiat covers the 500e. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the 500e ends after only 8 years or 100,000 miles.

There are over 84 percent more Kia dealers than there are Fiat dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Niro EV’s warranty.


J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 123 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 31st.


The Niro EV’s electric motor produces 90 more horsepower (201 vs. 111) and 144 lbs.-ft. more torque (291 vs. 147) than the 500e’s electric motor.

As tested in Car and Driver the Kia Niro EV is faster than the Fiat 500e:

Niro EV


Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

8.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.5 sec

8.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

80 MPH

Top Speed

108 MPH

86 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Niro EV gets better fuel mileage than the 500e (123 city/102 hwy vs. 121 city/103 hwy MPGe).

The Niro EV’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 239 miles on a full charge, almost three times as far as the 500e’s 84-mile range.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Niro EV’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 500e:

Niro EV


Front Rotors

12 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

9.4 inches

The Niro EV stops shorter than the 500e:

Niro EV


70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Niro EV has larger tires than the 500e (215/55R17 vs. 185/55R15).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Niro EV has standard 17-inch wheels. Only 15-inch wheels are available on the 500e.

The Kia Niro EV’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Fiat 500e only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Kia Niro EV has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Fiat 500e has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

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

The Niro EV has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Niro EV flat and controlled during cornering. The 500e’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Niro EV’s wheelbase is 15.7 inches longer than on the 500e (106.3 inches vs. 90.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Niro EV is 6.6 inches wider in the front and 7.4 inches wider in the rear than on the 500e.

Passenger Space

The Niro EV has standard seating for 5 passengers; the 500e can only carry 4.

The Niro EV has 25 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 500e (96.6 vs. 71.6).

The Niro EV has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more front legroom, 5.9 inches more front hip room, 6.6 inches more front shoulder room, 2.2 inches more rear headroom, 8.4 inches more rear legroom, 5.7 inches more rear hip room and 8.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the 500e.

Cargo Capacity

The Niro EV has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the 500e (18.5 vs. 7 cubic feet).


To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Niro EV has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The 500e doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

The Niro EV’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them. Fiat does not offer a locking feature on the 500e’s standard power windows.

The Niro EV’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The 500e’s power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

The Niro EV’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The 500e’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

Smart Key standard on the Niro EV allows you to unlock the driver’s door, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Fiat 500e doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Niro EV has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the 500e only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Niro EV has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The 500e doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Niro EV has standard extendable sun visors. The 500e doesn’t offer extendable visors.

When the Niro EV with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The 500e’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Niro EV EX Premium keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 500e doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Niro EV EX Premium’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The 500e doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Niro EV has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The 500e doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Niro EV’s standard 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 500e doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Niro EV has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The 500e doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Niro EV has a standard Advanced Smart 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 500e doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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

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