North Georgia Ford Compares 2017 Ford Escape VS 2017 Fiat 500L Near Calhoun, GA

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2017 Ford Escape

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VS

2017 Fiat 500L

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Ford Escape 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 Escape Titanium offers optional Active 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.

The Escape offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The 500L doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Escape Titanium’s optional 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 Escape (except S) offers optional parking sensors to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The 500L doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

To help make backing safer, the Escape (except S)’s optional 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 Escape Titanium’s optional 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 Escape 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 Escape 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 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 Ford Escape is safer than the 500L:

 

Escape

500L

Overall Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

POOR

Restraints

ACCEPTABLE

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

113

228

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

2 cm

14 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.5/1.1 kN

10.1/3.9 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

63%/1%

Tibia index R/L

.47/.43

.88/.82

Warranty Comparison

Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Escape 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.

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 Escape’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 Escape’s reliability will be 252% better than the 500L.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Escape third among compact suvs in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The 500L isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 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 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 72 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 31st, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The Escape’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 8 more horsepower (168 vs. 160) than the 500L’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The Escape’s optional 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 19 more horsepower (179 vs. 160) than the 500L’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The Escape’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 85 more horsepower (245 vs. 160) and 91 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. 184) than the 500L’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Escape turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Fiat 500L:

 

Escape

500L

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

8.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88.8 MPH

84.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Escape FWD 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. gets better city fuel mileage than the 500L (23 city/30 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Escape EcoBoost’s 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.

The Escape has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the 500L (15.7 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Escape EcoBoost’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 500L:

 

Escape EcoBoost

500L

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

11 inches

10.4 inches

The Escape stops shorter than the 500L:

 

Escape

500L

 

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Escape has larger tires than the 500L (235/55R17 vs. 205/55R16). The Escape’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 500L (235/55R17 vs. 225/45R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Escape has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the 500L. The Escape’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels optional on the 500L.

The Ford Escape’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 Comparison

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

The Escape’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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Escape’s wheelbase is 3.1 inches longer than on the 500L (105.9 inches vs. 102.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escape is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than on the 500L.

The Escape’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57.8% to 42.2%) than the 500L’s (60% to 40%). This gives the Escape more stable handling and braking.

The Escape Titanium AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the 500L Lounge pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Escape Titanium AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the 500L Lounge (27.3 seconds @ .6 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the Escape (except 2.0L ECOBoost) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The 500L doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Escape Titanium is quieter than the 500L Lounge:

 

Escape

500L

At idle

39 dB

45 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

79 dB

70 MPH Cruising

69 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Escape has 3.1 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more rear headroom, .6 inches more rear legroom, 3 inches more rear hip room and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the 500L.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Escape has a much larger cargo area than the 500L with its rear seat up (34 vs. 22.4 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Escape’s cargo door can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Escape also (except S) offers an optional power cargo door, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper. The 500L doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Escape 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 climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 500L doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When three different drivers share the Escape Titanium, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The 500L doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Escape Titanium’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 500L doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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

Intelligent Access standard on the Escape Titanium 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 Escape Titanium’s optional 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.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Escape has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the 500L only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Escape has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The 500L doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Escape Titanium detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 500L doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Escape Titanium’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The 500L doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the Escape and the 500L offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Escape 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 Escape Titanium offers an optional Adaptive 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.

The Escape Titanium’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The 500L doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Escape owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Escape will cost $330 less than the 500L over a five-year period.

The Escape will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Escape will retain 45.64% to 48.88% of its original price after five years, while the 500L only retains 40.52% to 42.8%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Escape is less expensive to operate than the 500L because typical repairs cost much less on the Escape than the 500L, including $238 less for a water pump, $22 less for front brake pads, $84 less for a starter, $345 less for fuel injection and $189 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Escape second among compact 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.

The Ford Escape outsold the Fiat 500L by almost 85 to one during the 2016 model year.

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