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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Forward Collision Avoidance Assist optional in the Tucson as “Superior.” The 500X scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”
When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Tucson’s standard Downhill Brake Control allows you to creep down safely. The 500X doesn’t offer Downhill Brake Control.
The Tucson Limited/Ultimate has a standard Surround View Monitor 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.
The Tucson’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 Tucson and the 500X have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Tucson the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 500X was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.
The Tucson comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The 500X’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.
Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Tucson 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Fiat covers the 500X. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the 500X ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
The Tucson’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the 500X’s (7 vs. 5 years).
There are almost 2 times as many Hyundai dealers as there are Fiat dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Tucson’s warranty.
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Tucson has a standard 600-amp battery. The 500X’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.
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 Tucson’s reliability 29 points higher than the 500X.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Tucson second among small suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The 500X isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 125 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 31st.
The Tucson SEL/Sport/Limited/Ultimate’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 4 more horsepower (181 vs. 177) than the 500X’s 1.3 turbo 4 cyl.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Tucson uses regular unleaded gasoline. The 500X requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Tucson has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the 500X (16.4 vs. 12.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Tucson offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The 500X doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.
The Tucson stops shorter than the 500X:
60 to 0 MPH
60 to 0 MPH (Wet)
For better traction, the Tucson has larger standard tires than the 500X (225/60R17 vs. 215/60R17). The Tucson Sport’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 500X (245/45R19 vs. 215/60R17).
The Tucson Sport’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 500X AWD’s optional 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Tucson Sport has standard 19-inch wheels. The 500X’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Tucson’s wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the 500X (105.1 inches vs. 101.2 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Tucson is 2.5 inches wider in the front and 3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the 500X.
The Tucson’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (58% to 42%) than the 500X’s (60.3% to 39.7%). This gives the Tucson more stable handling and braking.
The Tucson SE handles at .82 G’s, while the 500X Trekking pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Tucson Limited AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the 500X Trekking (27.1 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .59 average G’s).
For better maneuverability, the Tucson’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the 500X’s (34.9 feet vs. 36.3 feet).
The design of the Hyundai Tucson amounts to more than styling. The Tucson has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the 500X (.35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Tucson get better fuel mileage.
The Tucson has 10.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 500X (102.2 vs. 91.7).
The Tucson has .5 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, 2.3 inches more front hip room, 2.8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom, 3.4 inches more rear legroom, 2.3 inches more rear hip room and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the 500X.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Tucson’s rear seats recline. The 500X’s rear seats don’t recline.
The Tucson has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the 500X with its rear seat up (31 vs. 14.1 cubic feet). The Tucson has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the 500X with its rear seat folded (61.9 vs. 39.8 cubic feet).
A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Tucson easier. The Tucson’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.3 inches, while the 500X’s liftover is 31.4 inches.
The Tucson’s cargo area is larger than the 500X’s in every dimension:
Length to seat (2nd/1st)
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Tucson Sport/Limited/Ultimate’s power liftgate can be opened just by waiting momentarily behind the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Tucson’s power liftgate can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The 500X doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.
The Tucson 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 500X doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.
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 Tucson’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the 500X’s headlights are rated “Poor.”
The Tucson 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 500X Trekking/Trekking Plus’ cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Tucson Limited’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.
Both the Tucson and the 500X offer available heated front seats. The Tucson Ultimate also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the 500X.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the Tucson Ultimate keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 500X doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the Tucson Limited/Ultimate’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The 500X doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The Tucson 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.
For greater rear passenger comfort, the Tucson has standard rear heat 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 Hyundai Tucson Sport/Limited/Ultimate has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The 500X doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The Tucson is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The 500X doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Tucson is less expensive to operate than the 500X because typical repairs cost much less on the Tucson than the 500X, including $126 less for a water pump, $10 less for front brake pads, $102 less for fuel injection, $254 less for a fuel pump, $60 less for a timing belt/chain and $61 less for a power steering pump.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Hyundai Tucson will be $632 to $5634 less than for the Fiat 500X.
Consumer Reports performed a comparison test in its January 2016 issue and they ranked the Hyundai Tucson Value AWD first. They ranked the Fiat 500X fourth.
The Hyundai Tucson outsold the Fiat 500X by over 27 to one during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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