2019 Nissan Rogue Sport vs. 2019 Fiat 500L

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Rogue Sport 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 500L doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Rogue Sport are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The 500L doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Rogue Sport has standard Forward 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 500L doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Rogue Sport SV/SL has standard Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The 500L doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Rogue Sport offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The 500L doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Rogue Sport SV/SL’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 500L doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Rogue Sport (except S) offers an optional Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The 500L only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

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

The Rogue Sport (except S) offers optional NissanConnect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The 500L doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Rogue Sport and the 500L have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 and rearview cameras.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Nissan Rogue Sport is safer than the 500L:

 

Rogue Sport

500L

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

110

228

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

3 cm

14 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Femur Force R/L

2.4/.1 kN

10.1/3.9 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

63%/1%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Tibia index R/L

.51/.43

.88/.82

Tibia forces R/L

1.5/.3 kN

1.8/1.5 kN

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Rogue Sport 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Fiat covers the 500L. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 500L 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 Rogue Sport’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Rogue Sport’s engine. A rubber belt that needs periodic replacement drives the 500L’s camshaft. If the 500L’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 Rogue Sport’s reliability 38 points higher than the 500L.

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 Rogue Sport gets better fuel mileage than the 500L:

 

 

 

MPG

Rogue Sport

 

FWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/32 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

500L

 

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

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

The Rogue Sport has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the 500L (14.5 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Nissan Rogue Sport higher (5 out of 10) than the Fiat 500L (3). This means the Rogue Sport produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 500L every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The Rogue Sport 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.

Brakes and Stopping

The Rogue Sport’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the 500L are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Rogue Sport has larger standard tires than the 500L (215/65R16 vs. 205/55R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Rogue Sport SL has standard 19-inch wheels. The 500L’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

The Nissan Rogue Sport’s 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.

The Rogue Sport 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 500L doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Nissan Rogue Sport 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 Rogue Sport has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Rogue Sport 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 Rogue Sport’s wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer than on the 500L (104.2 inches vs. 102.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Rogue Sport is 2.5 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than on the 500L.

Passenger Space

The Rogue Sport has 2.8 inches more front legroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the 500L.

Cargo Capacity

The Rogue Sport has a larger cargo volume than the 500L with its rear seat up (22.9 vs. 22.4 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Rogue Sport (except S) offers a 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 climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 500L doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Intelligent Key standard on the Rogue Sport SV/SL 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 500L doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Rogue Sport 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 500L doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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

The Rogue Sport SV/SL 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 Rogue Sport SV/SL detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 500L doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

On extremely cold winter days, the Rogue Sport’s optional (except S) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The 500L doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the Rogue Sport and the 500L offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Rogue Sport has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The 500L doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Rogue Sport (except SV) offers an optional Intelligent 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.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Rogue Sport, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Fiat 500L isn't recommended.

The Nissan Rogue outsold the Fiat 500L by almost 256 to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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