Jones Ford Buckeye Compares 2016 Ford Fiesta VS 2016 Fiat 500L Near Goodyear, AZ

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2016 Ford Fiesta

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2016 Fiat 500L

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Ford Fiesta 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 Fiesta SE/Titanium has standard SYNC, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions 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 Fiesta 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 and available rearview cameras.

Warranty Comparison

Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Fiesta 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.

The Fiesta’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the 500L runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 23 times as many Ford dealers as there are Fiat dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Fiesta’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Fiesta’s reliability will be 9% better than the 500L.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 54 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 33rd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 24th in reliability. With 85 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 30th.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Fiesta SFE 3 cyl. Manual gets better fuel mileage than the 500L Manual (31 city/43 hwy vs. 25 city/33 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Fiesta gets better fuel mileage than the 500L:



1.6 4 cyl./5-spd. Manual

28 city/36 hwy

25 city/33 hwy

1.4 turbo 4 cyl./Manual

1.6 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

27 city/37 hwy

22 city/30 hwy

1.4 turbo 4 cyl./Auto


24 city/33 hwy

1.4 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Fiesta stops shorter than the 500L:



60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Fiesta SE/Titanium Sedan has a standard full size spare tire so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare isn’t available on the 500L, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which has mileage and speed limitations, or roadside assistance and a tow-truck.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Fiesta’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The 500L doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Fiesta Titanium Five-Door Hatchback handles at .83 G’s, while the 500L Lounge pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Fiesta Titanium Five-Door Hatchback executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the 500L Lounge (28 seconds @ .58 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Ford Fiesta may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 700 pounds less than the Fiat 500L.

The Fiesta Five-Door Hatchback is 7.6 inches shorter than the 500L, making the Fiesta easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Fiesta is 7.6 inches shorter in height than the 500L, making the Fiesta much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Fiesta Titanium Five-Door Hatchback is quieter than the 500L Lounge (75 vs. 79 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Fiesta Five-Door Hatchback is rated a Compact car by the EPA, while the 500L is rated a Small Station Wagon.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Fiesta Automatic offers a 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 500L doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Fiesta’s available exterior PIN entry system. The 500L doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

Intelligent Access Key standard on the Fiesta Titanium 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 Fiesta SE/Titanium 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.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Fiesta will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the Fiesta will retain 43.98% to 46.16% of its original price after five years, while the 500L only retains 40.52% to 42.8%.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Fiesta will be $6388 to $6884 less than for the Fiat 500L.

Recommendations Comparison

Both the Ford Fiesta and Fiat 500L won an award in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Fiesta third among small cars 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.

The Ford Fiesta outsold the Fiat 500L by over six to one during the 2015 model year.

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