2020 Kia Niro vs. 2020 Fiat 500X

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

The Niro LXS/Touring/Touring Special Edition/EX Premium’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 Niro 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, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

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, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Niro its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 54 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 500X was last qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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The Niro 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.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Niro 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.

There are over 84 percent more Kia dealers than there are Fiat dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Niro’s warranty.

Reliability

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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 Niro’s reliability 45 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 Kia vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 123 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 31st.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Niro gets better fuel mileage than the 500X:

MPG

Niro

LX 1.6 DOHC 4-cyl. Hybrid

52 city/49 hwy

LXS/EX 1.6 DOHC 4-cyl. Hybrid

51 city/46 hwy

Touring 1.6 DOHC 4-cyl. Hybrid

46 city/40 hwy

500X

1.3 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

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

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

Environmental Friendliness

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

Transmission

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The Niro offers a standard 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.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Niro stops shorter than the 500X:

Niro

500X

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Niro Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 500X (225/45R18 vs. 215/60R17).

The Niro Touring’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.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Niro’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the 500X (106.3 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Niro is .7 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the 500X.

The Niro Touring Special Edition handles at .82 G’s, while the 500X Trekking pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Niro Touring Special Edition executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the 500X Trekking (27.3 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Niro’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the 500X’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.3 feet).

Chassis

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The design of the Kia Niro amounts to more than styling. The Niro has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is significantly lower than the 500X (.35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Niro get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The Niro has 9.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 500X (100.9 vs. 91.7).

The Niro has 1 inch more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more front hip room, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 2.6 inches more rear legroom and 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the 500X.

The front step up height for the Niro is 3.9 inches lower than the 500X (15.5” vs. 19.4”). The Niro’s rear step up height is 3.4 inches lower than the 500X’s (16.2” vs. 19.6”).

Cargo Capacity

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The Niro has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the 500X with its rear seat up (19.4 vs. 14.1 cubic feet). The Niro has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the 500X with its rear seat folded (54.5 vs. 39.8 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Niro easier. The Niro’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29 inches, while the 500X’s liftover is 31.4 inches.

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

Niro

500X

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

31.8”/64”

n/a

Max Width

48.2”

41.3”

Min Width

41”

37.8”

Height

36”

28.8”

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/01/28

When two different drivers share the Niro (except FE/LX/S Touring), 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 500X doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Niro Touring’s standard 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 500X doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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

The Niro 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.

When the Niro 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 500X’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Niro EX Premium 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 Niro EX Premium’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 Niro LXS/Touring/Touring Special Edition/EX Premium 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 Niro 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 Niro’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 Niro 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 Kia Niro EX Premium has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The 500X doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Niro (except FE/LX/S Touring) offers an optional 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.

Economic Advantages

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IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Niro will be $2916 to $7370 less than for the Fiat 500X.

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 2020/01/28

The Kia Niro outsold the Fiat 500X by almost 8 to one during the 2019 model year.

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