2021 Hyundai Kona vs. 2020 Fiat 500L

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/10/29

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Hyundai Kona 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 Kona has standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, 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 Kona offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The 500L doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Kona’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.

To help make backing safer, the Kona SEL/Night/Limited/Ultimate’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 500L doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Kona’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 Kona SEL Plus/Night/Limited/Ultimate has standard Blue Link, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, 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 Kona and the 500L have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, available blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

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 Hyundai Kona is safer than the 500L:

Kona

500L

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

210

228

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

3 cm

14 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Femur Force R/L

2.9/1.2 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

.46/.55

.88/.82

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, its standard 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 Kona the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 500L is not a “Top Pick.”

Warranty

© 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 2020/10/29

The Kona comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The 500L’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Kona 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than Fiat covers the 500L. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the 500L ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Kona’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the 500L’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Hyundai pays for scheduled maintenance on the Kona for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Hyundai will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Fiat doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 500L.

There are over 2 times as many Hyundai dealers as there are Fiat dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Kona’s warranty.

Reliability

© 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 2020/10/29

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Kona’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 start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Kona has a standard 640-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 Kona’s reliability 77 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 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.

Engine

© 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 2020/10/29

The Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate’s standard 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder produces 15 more horsepower (175 vs. 160) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 184) than the 500L’s 1.4 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Hyundai Kona is faster than the Fiat 500L:

Kona 4 cyl.

Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate

500L

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

6.4 sec

8.8 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

15.1 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.6 MPH

91.7 MPH

84.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/10/29

On the EPA test cycle the Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate FWD Auto turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the 500L (28 city/32 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Kona uses regular unleaded gasoline. The 500L 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 Hyundai Kona higher (5 out of 10) than the Fiat 500L (3). This means the Kona produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 500L every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Hyundai Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the 500L.

The Kona 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 500L doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/10/29

The Kona stops shorter than the 500L:

Kona

500L

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

131 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 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 2020/10/29

For better traction, the Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 500L (235/45R18 vs. 225/45R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate has standard 18-inch wheels. The 500L’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

The Hyundai Kona’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 - 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 2020/10/29

For superior ride and handling, the Kona 4x4 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 solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

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

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Kona is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the 500L.

The Kona SEL 4x4 handles at .88 G’s, while the 500L Lounge pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Kona Ultimate executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the 500L Lounge (26.9 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

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The Hyundai Kona may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 350 pounds less than the Fiat 500L.

The Kona is 3 inches shorter than the 500L, making the Kona easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces. The Kona is 4.3 inches shorter than the 500L Trekking.

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

Kona

500L

At idle

34 dB

45 dB

Full-Throttle

77 dB

79 dB

70 MPH Cruising

70 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space

© 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 2020/10/29

The Kona has 1.5 inches more front legroom and 2.8 inches more rear hip room than the 500L.

Ergonomics

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The Kona SEL Plus/Limited/Ultimate has a standard 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.

The Kona Ultimate has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The 500L doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Proximity Key standard on the Kona SEL/Night/Limited/Ultimate 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 Kona Ultimate’s standard 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.

The Kona 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 Kona Ultimate 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 Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The 500L doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Kona Ultimate 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 500L doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Hyundai Kona SEL Plus/Limited/Ultimate has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The 500L doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Kona owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Kona will cost $620 less than the 500L over a five-year period.

The Kona will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Kona will retain 44.01% to 46.2% of its original price after five years, while the 500L only retains 35.47% to 39.94%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Hyundai Kona will be $750 to $7022 less than for the Fiat 500L.

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 2020/10/29

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

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Kona third among small suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The 500L isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Kona was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2019. The 500L has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Hyundai Kona outsold the Fiat 500L by over 95 to one during 2019.

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

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