2020 Jeep Cherokee vs. 2019 Fiat 500L

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2019/10/15

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Jeep Cherokee 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 500L doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Cherokee offers optional Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation, 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 500L doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Cherokee Limited/Trailhawk/Overland offers optional Parksense with Rear Stop that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The 500L doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Cherokee offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The 500L doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Cherokee’s optional 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 500L doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Cherokee offers optional ParkSense to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The 500L doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

To help make backing safer, the Cherokee’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 500L doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Cherokee offers optional Uconnect Access, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 500L 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 Cherokee and the 500L have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

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Jeep’s powertrain warranty covers the Cherokee 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Fiat covers the 500L. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 500L ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 6 times as many Jeep dealers as there are Fiat dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Cherokee’s warranty.

Reliability

© 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 2019/10/15

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Cherokee’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the 500L’s camshaft. If the 500L’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Cherokee has a standard 160-amp alternator (180-amp - Cherokee optional). The 500L’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Cherokee has a standard 700-amp battery. The 500L’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 Cherokee’s reliability 57 points higher than the 500L.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Jeep vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Jeep 24th in reliability. With 82 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 31st.

Engine

© 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 2019/10/15

The Cherokee’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (180 vs. 160) than the 500L’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The Cherokee’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 110 more horsepower (270 vs. 160) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 184) than the 500L’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The Cherokee’s optional 3.2 DOHC V6 produces 111 more horsepower (271 vs. 160) and 55 lbs.-ft. more torque (239 vs. 184) than the 500L’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Jeep Cherokee turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Fiat 500L:

Cherokee

500L

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

8.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.3 MPH

84.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2019/10/15

On the EPA test cycle the Cherokee FWD turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the 500L (23 city/31 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Cherokee’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The 500L doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Cherokee has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the 500L (15.9 vs. 13.2 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 Jeep Cherokee higher (5 to 6 out of 10) than the Fiat 500L (3). This means the Cherokee produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 500L every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Jeep Cherokee, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the 500L.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Cherokee

500L

Front Rotors

13 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

10.95 inches

10.4 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

The Cherokee stops shorter than the 500L:

Cherokee

500L

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

169 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

132 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Cherokee has larger standard tires than the 500L (225/60R17 vs. 205/55R16). The Cherokee Trailhawk’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 500L (245/65R17 vs. 225/45R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cherokee has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the 500L Pop. The Cherokee’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the 500L Trekking/Lounge.

The Jeep Cherokee’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Fiat 500L only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Cherokee 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 500L doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Cherokee offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the 500L, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which has mileage and speed limitations, or roadside assistance and a tow-truck.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Jeep Cherokee 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 500L has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Cherokee has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Cherokee flat and controlled during cornering. The 500L’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Cherokee’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The 500L doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Cherokee’s wheelbase is 3.7 inches longer than on the 500L (106.5 inches vs. 102.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Cherokee is 3.3 inches wider in the front and 3.5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the 500L.

The Cherokee’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57% to 43%) than the 500L’s (60% to 40%). This gives the Cherokee more stable handling and braking.

The Cherokee Latitude 4x4 handles at .80 G’s, while the 500L Lounge pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Cherokee Latitude 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the 500L Lounge (27.1 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Cherokee (except Overland/Trailhawk) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The 500L doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Cherokee Overland offers available computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 500L doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Cherokee Limited 4x4 is quieter than the 500L Lounge:

Cherokee

500L

At idle

44 dB

45 dB

Full-Throttle

77 dB

79 dB

70 MPH Cruising

69 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space

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The Cherokee has 4.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 500L (103.5 vs. 98.8).

The Cherokee has 1.1 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, 3.6 inches more rear legroom, .5 inches more rear hip room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the 500L.

Cargo Capacity

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The Cherokee has a much larger cargo volume than the 500L with its rear seat up (27.6 vs. 22.4 cubic feet).

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

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Cherokee offers an optional 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 500L doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

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The Cherokee has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The 500L has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The Cherokee uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The 500L 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

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The Cherokee offers a 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 500L doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Cherokee (except Latitude/Latitude Plus), the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle and radio stations. The 500L doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Cherokee’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 500L 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.

Keyless Enter-N-Go standard on the Cherokee Latitude Plus/Limited/Overland/Trailhawk allows you to unlock the driver’s door, cargo door 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 500L doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Cherokee’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The 500L’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Cherokee has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the 500L only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Cherokee 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 500L doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Cherokee Limited/Overland/Trailhawk detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 500L doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Cherokee Overland has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The 500L doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Cherokee Limited also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

Both the Cherokee and the 500L offer available heated front seats. The Cherokee Overland also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the 500L.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Cherokee (except Latitude/Latitude Plus) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 500L doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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

Both the Cherokee and the 500L offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Cherokee has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The 500L doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Cherokee Limited/Trailhawk/Overland offers an optional Adaptive 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 500L doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Cherokee Limited/Trailhawk/Overland’s optional ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The 500L 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 2019/10/15

The Jeep Cherokee outsold the Fiat 500L by over 169 to one during 2018.

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

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