2019 Lexus UX Series vs. 2019 Fiat 500L

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The UX Series has standard Pre-Collision System, 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 500L doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The UX Series offers optional Parking Support Brake which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The 500L doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The UX 250h has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The 500L doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The UX Series’ 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 500L doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The UX Series offers optional Parking Support Alert to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The 500L doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

To help make backing safer, the UX Series’ optional 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 500L doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the UX Series and the 500L have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the UX Series 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Fiat covers the 500L. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the 500L ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The UX Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the 500L’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The camshafts in the UX Series’ engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The 500L’s camshaft is driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the 500L’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 93 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 29th.

Engine

The UX 200’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 9 more horsepower (169 vs. 160) than the 500L’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The UX 250h’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 15 more horsepower (175 vs. 160) than the 500L’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the UX 200 FWD gets better fuel mileage than the 500L (29 city/37 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the UX Series Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The 500L doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Lexus UX Series uses regular unleaded gasoline. The 500L requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The UX Series 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 500L doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the UX Series has larger tires than the 500L (225/50R18 vs. 205/55R16).

The UX Series’ tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 500L Pop’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the UX Series has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the 500L Pop. The 500L’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

The Lexus UX Series’ wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Fiat 500L only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the UX Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The 500L doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Lexus UX Series 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 500L has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the UX Series’ wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the 500L (103.9 inches vs. 102.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the UX Series is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the 500L.

Passenger Space

The UX Series has 2.1 inches more front legroom and 2.9 inches more rear hip room than the 500L.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the UX Series’ available liftgate can be opened just by a gesture, leaving your hands completely free. The 500L doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Fiat. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 127% lower rating, Fiat is ranked 31st.

Ergonomics

The UX Series has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The 500L doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The UX Series’ optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 500L doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The UX Series offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The 500L doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The UX Series 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 500L doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the UX Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 500L doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the UX Series F SPORT has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The 500L doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the UX Series keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 500L doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the UX Series has a standard Dynamic Radar 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 500L doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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

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