2021 Kia Seltos 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 2020/08/05

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Kia Seltos 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.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Seltos are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The 500L doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Seltos S/EX/SX has standard Autonomous Emergency Braking, 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 Seltos S Turbo/EX/SX has standard Rear Cross-Traffic Avoidance Assist 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 Seltos offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The 500L doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Seltos S/EX/SX’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 Seltos S Turbo/EX/SX’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 Seltos S/EX/SX’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 Seltos SX has standard 911 Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 Seltos and the 500L have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available daytime running lights and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

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The Seltos 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.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Seltos 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.

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 Seltos’ 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 2020/08/05

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

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.

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 2020/08/05

The Seltos S 1.6T/SX’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.

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Seltos’ 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.

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

Transmission

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A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Kia Seltos S 1.6T/SX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the 500L.

The Seltos has a standard 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.

The Seltos 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.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Seltos has larger standard tires than the 500L (215/55R17 vs. 205/55R16). The Seltos Turbo’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 Seltos 2.0L has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the 500L Pop. The Seltos Turbo’s 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the 500L Trekking/Lounge.

The Kia Seltos’ 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

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For superior ride and handling, the Seltos AWD 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.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Seltos is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 2.6 inches wider in the rear than on the 500L.

Chassis

© 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 2020/08/05

The Kia Seltos may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 300 pounds less than the Fiat 500L.

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 2020/08/05

The Seltos has 1.4 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more rear legroom, 3.4 inches more rear hip room and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the 500L.

Cargo Capacity

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The Seltos has a much larger cargo volume than the 500L with its rear seat up (26.6 vs. 22.4 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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The Seltos EX/SX 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 Smart Key standard on the Seltos EX/SX 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 Seltos 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 Seltos S/EX/SX detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 500L doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Both the Seltos and the 500L offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Seltos S/EX/SX 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 Seltos SX 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 Kia Seltos EX/SX has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The 500L doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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