2020 Audi Q3 vs. 2020 Fiat 500X

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Q3’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 500X doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the Q3 and 500X have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q3 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The 500X’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Pre Sense Front in the Q3 as “Superior.” The 500X scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The Q3 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The 500X doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Q3’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The 500X doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Q3 Prestige has a standard Top View Camera System 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 Q3 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, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Audi Q3 weighs 600 pounds more than the Fiat 500X. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Q3 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 55 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 500X was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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The Q3’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the 500X’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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The Audi Q3’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the 500X’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

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 Q3’s reliability 60 points higher than the 500X.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 125 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 31st.

Engine

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The Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 51 more horsepower (228 vs. 177) and 48 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 210) than the 500X’s 1.3 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi Q3 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The 500X requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Q3 has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the 500X (15.9 vs. 12.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi Q3 higher (7 out of 10) than the Fiat 500X (3 to 7). This means the Q3 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 500X every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Q3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 500X:

Q3

500X

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

10.95 inches

The Q3’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the 500X are solid, not vented.

The Q3 stops shorter than the 500X:

Q3

500X

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

163 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Q3 has larger standard tires than the 500X (235/55R18 vs. 215/60R17). The Q3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 500X (255/40R20 vs. 215/60R17).

The Q3’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 500X AWD’s standard 60 series tires. The Q3’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the 500X AWD’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q3 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 500X AWD. The Q3’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the 500X AWD.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q3’s wheelbase is 4.3 inches longer than on the 500X (105.5 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Q3 is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the 500X.

The Q3 Prestige handles at .91 G’s, while the 500X pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

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The Q3 has .5 inches more front headroom, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear legroom and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the 500X.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Q3’s rear seats recline. The 500X’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Q3 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the 500X with its rear seat up (23.7 vs. 14.1 cubic feet). The Q3 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the 500X with its rear seat folded (48 vs. 39.8 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Q3 easier. The Q3’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.9 inches, while the 500X’s liftover is 31.4 inches.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Q3. The 500X doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Q3 has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The 500X doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Servicing Ease

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The Q3 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The 500X 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.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Fiat. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 114% lower rating, Fiat is ranked 31st.

Ergonomics

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The Q3’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 500X’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the Q3 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the 500X can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Q3’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 500X’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Q3’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the 500X’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

The Q3 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.

The Q3 Prestige 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 500X offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Q3 has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The 500X doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Q3 has a 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. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the 500X and isn’t available on the 500X Pop.

The Q3’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The 500X Pop doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Q3 has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The 500X doesn’t offer rear vents.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi Q3 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The 500X doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Q3 Prestige’s Park Steering Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The 500X doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/15

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi Q3, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Fiat 500X isn't recommended.

The Audi Q3 outsold the Fiat 500X by almost three to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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