2019 Nissan Kicks vs. 2019 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 5 points, IIHS rates the Automatic Emergency Braking in the Kicks as “Superior.” The 500X scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The Kicks SR has a standard Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The 500X only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Kicks the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 62 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 500X was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Kicks 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 almost 3 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Fiat dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Kicks’ warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 59 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 29th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Kicks gets better fuel mileage than the 500X (31 city/36 hwy vs. 23 city/29 hwy).

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

Transmission

The Kicks 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.

Tires and Wheels

The Kicks has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The 500X doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Kicks’ wheelbase is 1.9 inches longer than on the 500X (103.1 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

The Kicks SR handles at .83 G’s, while the 500X pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Kicks’ turning circle is 2.2 feet tighter than the 500X’s (34.1 feet vs. 36.3 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan Kicks may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 pounds less than the Fiat 500X.

The Kicks is 6.2 inches narrower than the 500X, making the Kicks easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Kicks has a liquid-filled front engine mount. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The 500X uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The design of the Nissan Kicks amounts to more than styling. The Kicks has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .334 Cd. That is lower than the 500X (.35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Kicks get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The Kicks has 2.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 500X (93.9 vs. 91.7).

The Kicks has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 2.3 inches more front legroom, .7 inches more rear headroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the 500X.

The front step up height for the Kicks is 4 inches lower than the 500X (15.4” vs. 19.4”). The Kicks’ rear step up height is 3.8 inches lower than the 500X’s (15.8” vs. 19.6”).

Cargo Capacity

The Kicks has a much larger cargo volume than the 500X with its rear seat up (25.3 vs. 12.2 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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 Kicks’ available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the 500X’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

The Kicks 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 500X only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Kicks SV/SR has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The 500X doesn’t offer rear vents.

Recommendations

The Nissan Kicks outsold the Fiat 500X by over four to one during 2018.

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

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