2019 Toyota Mirai vs. 2019 Fiat 500e

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

To maximize occupant safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Mirai have pretensioners to eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Fiat 500e doesn’t offer pretensioners.

The Mirai’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 500e doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear (child comfort guides) seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Mirai 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 Mirai 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 500e doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

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

To help make backing safer, the Mirai’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.

The Mirai’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 500e doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Mirai has standard Safety Connect™, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The 500e 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 Mirai 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 Toyota Mirai weighs 1095 pounds more than the Fiat 500e. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Mirai 2 years longer than Fiat covers the 500e. Any repair needed on the motor, fuel cell, transmission, axles or joints is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the 500e ends after only 8 years or 100,000 miles.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Mirai for 3 years and 35000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Fiat doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 500e.

There are almost 3 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Fiat dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Mirai’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 141 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 31st.

Engine

The Mirai’s electric motor produces 40 more horsepower (151 vs. 111) and 100 lbs.-ft. more torque (247 vs. 147) than the 500e’s electric motor.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Mirai’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 312 miles, almost 4 times as far as the 500e’s 84-mile range. After it exhausts its hydrogen, the Mirai can refuel in minutes at a hydrogen dueling station, while the 500e has to recharge for 4 hours. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 24 hours.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Mirai

500e

Front Rotors

11.6 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.41 inches

9.4 inches

Tires and Wheels

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

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

The Toyota Mirai’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 a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Mirai’s wheelbase is 18.9 inches longer than on the 500e (109.5 inches vs. 90.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Mirai is 5.1 inches wider in the front and 6 inches wider in the rear than on the 500e.

Chassis

The design of the Toyota Mirai amounts to more than styling. The Mirai has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the 500e (.311) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Mirai get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Mirai a Subcompact car, while the 500e is rated a Minicompact.

The Mirai has 14.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 500e (85.7 vs. 71.6).

The Mirai has 1.8 inches more front legroom, 5.6 inches more front hip room, 4.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 2.5 inches more rear legroom, 9.8 inches more rear hip room and 7.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the 500e.

Cargo Capacity

The Mirai has a much larger trunk than the 500e (12.8 vs. 7 cubic feet).

With its sedan body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the Mirai offers cargo security. The 500e’s hatchback body style, non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

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

Servicing Ease

The Mirai uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The 500e uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Mirai has a power 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.

When two different drivers share the Mirai, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The 500e doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Mirai’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 500e doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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

The Mirai’s front and rear power windows all 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 Mirai’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.

On a hot day the Mirai’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the 500e can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Smart Key System standard on the Mirai allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk 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.

The Mirai’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The 500e’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The Mirai 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.

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

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

When the Mirai 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.

The Mirai has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The 500e has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Mirai and the 500e have standard heated front seats. The Mirai also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the 500e.

On extremely cold winter days, the Mirai’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The 500e doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Mirai 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 Mirai’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 Mirai 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 Mirai 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 500e doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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

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