2020 Ford Escape FHEV vs. 2020 Fiat 500X

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/04/06

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Ford Escape FHEV have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and 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 500X doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

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

The Escape FHEV has standard Post Collision Braking, 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Escape FHEV offers an optional backup collision prevention system that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The 500X doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Escape FHEV’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 500X doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Escape FHEV and the 500X have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

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 vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Escape FHEV the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 500X last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Escape FHEV 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 over 8 times as many Ford dealers as there are Fiat dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escape FHEV’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Escape FHEV has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The 500X doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 16th in reliability. With 103 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 31st.

Engine

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The Escape FHEV’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 23 more horsepower (200 vs. 177) than the 500X’s 1.3 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Escape FHEV gets better mileage than the 500X:

MPG

Escape FHEV

FWD

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

44 city/37 hwy

AWD

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

43 city/37 hwy

500X

AWD

1.3 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Escape FHEV’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The 500X doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The Escape FHEV has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the 500X (14.2 vs. 12.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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The Escape FHEV 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.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Escape FHEV stops shorter than the 500X:

Escape

500X

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Escape FHEV has larger tires than the 500X (225/65R17 vs. 215/60R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escape FHEV offers optional 19-inch wheels. The 500X’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escape FHEV’s wheelbase is 5.5 inches longer than on the 500X (106.7 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escape FHEV is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than on the 500X.

The Escape FHEV SE Sport 4x4 handles at .77 G’s, while the 500X Trekking pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Escape FHEV SE Sport 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the 500X Trekking (28.3 seconds @ .6 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The Escape FHEV has 12.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 500X (104 vs. 91.7).

The Escape FHEV has .9 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, 3.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 4.1 inches more rear legroom, 1.1 inches more rear hip room and 3.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the 500X.

Cargo Capacity

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The Escape FHEV has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the 500X with its rear seat up (34.4 vs. 14.1 cubic feet). The Escape FHEV has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the 500X with its rear seat folded (60.8 vs. 39.8 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Escape FHEV easier. The Escape FHEV’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 27.9 inches, while the 500X’s liftover is 31.4 inches.

The Escape FHEV’s cargo area is larger than the 500X’s in every dimension:

Escape FHEV

500X

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

36.7”/68.3”

n/a

Max Width

57.3”

41.3”

Min Width

41.4”

37.8”

Height

32.8”

28.8”

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

Ergonomics

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When three different drivers share the Escape FHEV Titanium, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The 500X doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Escape FHEV Titanium offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The 500X doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Escape FHEV Titanium’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches. The 500X’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

The Escape FHEV’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of 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 Escape FHEV’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the 500X’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

The Escape FHEV has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The 500X only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

The Escape FHEV 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 Escape FHEV’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 Escape FHEV has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The 500X doesn’t offer rear vents.

The Escape FHEV Titanium has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The 500X doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Escape FHEV Titanium’s Active Park Assist 2.0 can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The 500X doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/04/06

The Escape FHEV is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The 500X doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/04/06

The Ford Escape outsold the Fiat 500X by almost 96 to one during 2019.

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