2020 Toyota Corolla Hatchback vs. 2020 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 2019/10/16

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Corolla Hatchback 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 Corolla Hatchback has standard Pre-Collision System, 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.

The Corolla Hatchback has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The 500L 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.

The Corolla Hatchback’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 500L doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Corolla Hatchback’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 500L doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Corolla Hatchback has standard Safety Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 Corolla Hatchback 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.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Toyota Corolla Hatchback is safer than the 500L:

Corolla Hatchback

500L

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

203

228

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

4 cm

14 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Femur Force R/L

.9/.5 kN

10.1/3.9 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

63%/1%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Tibia index R/L

.54/.46

.88/.82

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard 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 Corolla Hatchback the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 106 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 500L was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

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Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Corolla Hatchback 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.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla Hatchback for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Fiat doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 500L.

There are almost 3 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Fiat dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Corolla Hatchback’s warranty.

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Corolla Hatchback’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.

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 Corolla Hatchback’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 Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 141 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 31st.

Engine

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The Corolla Hatchback’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 8 more horsepower (168 vs. 160) than the 500L’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Corolla Hatchback is faster than the Fiat 500L (automatics tested):

Corolla Hatchback

500L

Zero to 60 MPH

8.6 sec

8.8 sec

Quarter Mile

16.5 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

85.9 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 2019/10/16

On the EPA test cycle the Corolla Hatchback SE CVT gets better fuel mileage than the 500L (32 city/41 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).

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

Environmental Friendliness

© 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 2019/10/16

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Toyota Corolla Hatchback higher (6 out of 10) than the Fiat 500L (3). This means the Corolla Hatchback produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 500L every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The Corolla Hatchback offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The 500L doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The Corolla Hatchback offers an optional 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 500L doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Corolla Hatchback stops shorter than the 500L:

Corolla Hatchback

500L

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

132 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

133 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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The Corolla Hatchback XSE/Nightshade’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 500L Trekking/Lounge’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Corolla Hatchback XSE/Nightshade has standard 18-inch wheels. The 500L’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback’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.

Suspension and Handling

© 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 2019/10/16

For superior ride and handling, the Toyota Corolla Hatchback 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 Corolla Hatchback has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Corolla Hatchback flat and controlled during cornering. The 500L’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Corolla Hatchback’s wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the 500L (103.9 inches vs. 102.8 inches).

The Corolla Hatchback SE handles at .80 G’s, while the 500L Lounge pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

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The Corolla Hatchback is 8.2 inches shorter in height than the 500L, making the Corolla Hatchback much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Ergonomics

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The Corolla Hatchback’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.

If the windows are left open on the Corolla Hatchback the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the 500L can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Smart Key System standard on the Corolla Hatchback allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk 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 Corolla Hatchback 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 500L doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Corolla Hatchback 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 see further while navigating curves, the Corolla Hatchback XSE offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The 500L doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Both the Corolla Hatchback and the 500L offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Corolla Hatchback XSE 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 Corolla Hatchback has a standard Dynamic Radar 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Corolla XSE Auto offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The 500L doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

© 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 2019/10/16

The Toyota Corolla comes in sedan and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Fiat 500L isn’t available as a sedan or four door hatchback.

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 2019/10/16

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Corolla Hatchback, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Fiat 500L isn't recommended.

The Toyota Corolla outsold the Fiat 500L by over 384 to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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