North Georgia Ford Compares 2017 Ford Fiesta VS 2017 Fiat 500 Near Chatsworth, GA

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2017 Ford Fiesta

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2017 Fiat 500

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 500 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Fiesta (except S) offers optional 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 500 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 500 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.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Fiesta is safer than the Fiat 500:







5 Stars

4 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

246 lbs.

406 lbs.

Neck Compression

45 lbs.

152 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

415/349 lbs.

436/571 lbs.




4 Stars

3 Stars




Chest Compression

.4 inches

.6 inches

Neck Stress

156 lbs.

256 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

544/408 lbs.

479/866 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Fiesta is safer than the Fiat 500:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Hip Force

413 lbs.

684 lbs.


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars





Into Pole


5 Stars

3 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

14 inches




Spine Acceleration

53 G’s

54 G’s

Hip Force

717 lbs.

1103 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Fiesta 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Fiat covers the 500. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 500 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 19 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

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

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Fiesta 4 cyl. is faster than the Fiat 500 4 cyl. (manual transmissions tested):




Zero to 60 MPH

9 sec

10.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.7 sec

17.5 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Fiesta SFE 3 cyl. Manual gets better highway fuel mileage than the 500 Manual with its standard engine (31 city/41 hwy vs. 31 city/38 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Fiesta Auto 4 cyl. gets better highway fuel mileage than the 500 Auto with its standard engine (27 city/37 hwy vs. 27 city/33 hwy).

The Fiesta has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the 500 (12.4 vs. 10.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Fiesta has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The 500 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Fiesta stops much shorter than the 500:





80 to 0 MPH

138 feet

237 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

175 feet

195 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

135 feet

Road and Track

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 500 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Fiesta’s wheelbase is 7.4 inches longer than on the 500 (98 inches vs. 90.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Fiesta is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than on the 500.

The Fiesta’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (59.4% to 40.6%) than the 500’s (63% to 37%). This gives the Fiesta more stable handling and braking.

The Fiesta Titanium Five-Door Hatchback handles at .83 G’s, while the 500 pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Ford Fiesta amounts to more than styling. The Fiesta has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the 500 (.332 to .359) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Fiesta get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Fiesta has standard seating for 5 passengers; the 500 can only carry 4.

The Fiesta has 9.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 500 (85.1 vs. 75.5).

The Fiesta Sedan has .2 inches more front headroom, 2.9 inches more front legroom, 2.7 inches more front hip room, 3.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 6.6 inches more rear hip room and 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the 500.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Fiesta Sedan has a much larger trunk than the 500 with its rear seat up (12.8 vs. 9.5 cubic feet).

The Fiesta Five-Door Hatchback has a much larger cargo area than the 500 with its rear seat up (14.9 vs. 9.5 cubic feet).

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 500 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Fiesta has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The 500 doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

The Fiesta’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them. Fiat does not offer a locking feature on the 500’s power windows.

The Fiesta SE/Titanium’s available driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The 500’s power windows’ switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

The Fiesta’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The 500’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

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 500 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 500 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 500 doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Fiesta has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The 500 doesn’t offer rear vents.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Fiesta owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Fiesta with a number “1” insurance rate while the 500 is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Fiesta is less expensive to operate than the 500 because typical repairs cost much less on the Fiesta than the 500, including $132 less for a water pump, $40 less for front brake pads, $290 less for fuel injection, $44 less for a fuel pump and $117 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Fiesta will be $3065 to $4625 less than for the Fiat 500.

Recommendations Comparison

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 500 isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Ford Fiesta outsold the Fiat 500 by over three to one during the 2016 model year.

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