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The Camaro (except LS) offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The 500 Cabrio doesn't offer a collision warning system.
To help make backing safer, the Camaro’s 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 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
The Camaro has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, 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 500 Cabrio 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 Camaro and the 500 Cabrio have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.
The Chevrolet Camaro weighs 756 to 1646 pounds more than the Fiat 500 Cabrio. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.
Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Camaro 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Fiat covers the 500 Cabrio. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 500 Cabrio ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
The Camaro’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the 500 Cabrio’s (6 vs. 5 years).
There are over 7 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Fiat dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Camaro’s warranty.
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Camaro’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the 500 Cabrio’s camshaft. If the 500 Cabrio’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Camaro has a standard 700-amp battery. The 500 Cabrio’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.
The battery on the Camaro is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Camaro’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The 500 Cabrio’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.
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 Camaro’s reliability 19 points higher than the 500 Cabrio.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 134 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 31st.
The Camaro has more powerful engines than the 500 Cabrio:
Camaro 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
Camaro 3.6 DOHC V6
Camaro LT1/SS 6.2 V8
Camaro ZL1 6.2 supercharged V8
500 Cabrio 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.
500c Abarth 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.
500c Abarth 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.
An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Camaro V6/V8 Auto’s fuel efficiency. The 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.
The Camaro has 8.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the 500 Cabrio (19 vs. 10.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Camaro has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
A six-speed manual is standard on the Chevrolet Camaro, with closer gear ratios for better performance and a lower final drive ratio for quieter highway operation, less engine wear and better fuel mileage. Only a five-speed manual is available for the 500 Cabrio.
The Camaro (except 4-cylinder/V6)’s optional launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer launch control.
The Chevrolet Camaro SS/ZL1 manual has a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.
For better stopping power the Camaro’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 500 Cabrio:
The Camaro SS’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the 500 Cabrio are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the Camaro has larger standard tires than the 500 Cabrio (245/50R18 vs. 195/45R16). The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 500 Cabrio (F:305/30R19 & R:325/30R19 vs. 205/40R17).
The Camaro SS 1LE/ZL1’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 500c Abarth’s optional 40 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Camaro has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the 500 Cabrio. The Camaro’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels optional on the 500c Abarth.
The Chevrolet Camaro’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Fiat 500 Cabrio only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.
The Camaro 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 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Camaro can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
For superior ride and handling, the Chevrolet Camaro 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 500 Cabrio has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
The Camaro has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Camaro flat and controlled during cornering. The 500 Cabrio base model’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
The Camaro offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The 500 Cabrio’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Camaro’s wheelbase is 20.1 inches longer than on the 500 Cabrio (110.7 inches vs. 90.6 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Camaro is 7.9 inches wider in the front and 7.8 inches wider in the rear than the track on the 500 Cabrio.
The Camaro’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.9% to 48.1%) than the 500 Cabrio’s (64% to 36%). This gives the Camaro more stable handling and braking.
The Camaro SS Convertible executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 5.2 seconds quicker than the 500c Lounge (24.3 seconds vs. 29.5 seconds).
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Camaro Convertible a Subcompact car, while the 500 Cabrio is rated a Minicompact.
The Camaro Convertible has 8.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 500 Cabrio (85 vs. 76.2).
The Camaro Convertible has a much larger trunk than the 500 Cabrio (7.3 vs. 5.4 cubic feet).
A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Camaro. The 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
The Camaro uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The 500 Cabrio 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.
The engine in the Camaro is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the 500 Cabrio. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.
The Camaro Auto 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 climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Camaro has a 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 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.
When two different drivers share the Camaro (except LS/LT1), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer a memory system.
The Camaro (except LS/LT1)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The Camaro’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The 500 Cabrio does not have an oil pressure gauge.
The Camaro offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Camaro’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 500 Cabrio has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.
The Camaro’s front power windows 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 500 Cabrio’s power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.
The Camaro’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The 500 Cabrio’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.
Keyless Access standard on the Camaro 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 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer an advanced key system.
The Camaro 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 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer automatic headlights.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Camaro has standard extendable sun visors. The 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer extendable visors.
When the Camaro with available tilt-down mirrors 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 500 Cabrio’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Camaro offers optional 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 500 Cabrio offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the Camaro (except LS/LT1) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the Camaro’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The Camaro’s optional 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 500 Cabrio doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Camaro second among midsize sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The 500 Cabrio isn’t in the top three.
The Camaro was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 4 years. The 500 Cabrio has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.
Motor Trend selected the Camaro as their 2016 Car of the Year. The 500 Cabrio has never been chosen.
The Camaro was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2013. The 500 Cabrio has never been an “All Star.”
The Chevrolet Camaro outsold the Fiat 500 by over 9 to one during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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