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To maximize occupant safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Kia Soul EV have pretensioners to 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 500e doesn’t offer pretensioners.
For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Kia Soul EV 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 500e doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
The Soul EV has a standard Autonomous Emergency Brake, which uses 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 500e doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.
The Soul EV’s 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 500e doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
To help make backing safer, the Soul EV’s 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 500e doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
The Soul EV’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 500e doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Soul EV and the 500e have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.
The Kia Soul EV weighs 735 pounds more than the Fiat 500e. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.
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 vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Soul EV the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 500e has not been tested, yet.
The Soul EV comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The 500e’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.
Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Soul EV 2 years longer than Fiat covers the 500e. Any repair needed on the motor, transmission, axles, joints or battery is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the 500e ends after only 8 years or 100,000 miles.
There are over 2 times as many Kia dealers as there are Fiat dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Soul EV’s warranty.
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.
The Soul EV’s electric motor produces 90 more horsepower (201 vs. 111) and 144 lbs.-ft. more torque (291 vs. 147) than the 500e’s electric motor.
On the EPA test cycle the Soul EV gets better fuel mileage than the 500e (127 city/101 hwy vs. 121 city/103 hwy MPGe).
The Soul EV’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 243 miles on a full charge, almost three times as far as the 500e’s 84-mile range.
For better stopping power the Soul EV’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 500e:
For better traction, the Soul EV has larger tires than the 500e (215/55R17 vs. 185/55R15).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Soul EV has standard 17-inch wheels. Only 15-inch wheels are available on the 500e.
The Kia Soul EV’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Fiat 500e only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.
For superior ride and handling, the Kia Soul EV 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 500e has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Soul EV’s wheelbase is 11.8 inches longer than on the 500e (102.4 inches vs. 90.6 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Soul EV is 6.2 inches wider in the front and 7 inches wider in the rear than on the 500e.
The Soul EV has standard seating for 5 passengers; the 500e can only carry 4.
The Soul EV has 26.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 500e (98 vs. 71.6).
The Soul EV has 1 inch more front headroom, .4 inches more front legroom, 5.7 inches more front hip room, 6.1 inches more front shoulder room, 4 inches more rear headroom, 8.4 inches more rear legroom, 10.2 inches more rear hip room and 8.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the 500e.
The Soul EV has a much larger cargo volume than the 500e (23 vs. 7 cubic feet).
To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Soul EV 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 500e doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.
The Soul EV’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 500e 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 Soul EV’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower all of them with the lock engaged. Fiat does not offer a locking feature on the 500e’s standard power windows.
The Soul EV’s standard driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The 500e’s power windows’ switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully. The Soul EV Designer Collection’s front power windows both open or close with one touch of the switches.
The Soul EV’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The 500e’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.
The Smart Key standard on the Soul EV 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 500e doesn’t offer an advanced key system.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Soul EV has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the 500e only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
The Soul EV 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 500e 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 Soul EV has standard extendable sun visors. The 500e doesn’t offer extendable visors.
On extremely cold winter days, the Soul EV Designer Collection’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The 500e doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The Soul EV Designer Collection has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The 500e doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.
The Soul EV’s 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. The 500e doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
For greater rear passenger comfort, the Soul EV has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The 500e doesn’t offer rear vents.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Soul EV has a standard Smart 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 500e doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
The Kia Soul outsold the Fiat 500 by over 30 to one during 2019.
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