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Is Fiat’s safety rating on small SUVs better than Jeep’s?

Things to remember...

  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests vehicles’ safety through real-life assessments
  • Fiat 500X received good scores for crashworthiness, an advanced rating for crash prevention, but lacked in the headlights and LATCH categories
  • Jeep Compass did very well in the crashworthiness and crash prevention categories but struggled in the headlight and anchor review

SUVs are famous for many things including their prominent size, powerful engines, and convenience.

These cars, however, also have issues that arise as a consequence of their size and those can be as basic as difficulty maneuvering all the way to an inability to control during poor driving conditions.

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Table of Contents

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit organization that tests new car models on a variety of criteria.

These ratings help keep drivers safe and prospective buyers understand certain elements of a model that isn’t immediately evident.

The following categories are tested and rated by the IIHS:

  • Crashworthiness – How does the vehicle perform during collisions.
  • Crash Prevention – Can a vehicle detect and stop an accident from happening?
  • Child Anchors – Do the latches make it easy to connect the child seat?

Fiat 500X Versus Jeep Compass


  • Passenger-side small overlap test – Neither model had a score for this test as they were evaluated before the Institute came up with this assessment in October of 2017.
  • Driver-side small & Moderate Overlap Test – Both vehicles demonstrated a good ability to maintain the survival space during this test. Fiat provides reasonably good protection with their airbag and intrusion prevention abilities, while Jeep Compass was a little above that with its near-perfect capabilities.
  • Side Impact – Both cars received all good scores available for the side impact test that showcased very good abilities of the side curtains. These absorbed the impact and lowered the risks of injury to the driver.
  • Roof Strength – For Fiat 500X, the roof’s strength-to-weight ratio was 4.26 while Jeep’s ratio was 4.94. To get the highest rating, vehicles had to get above the threshold of four which has been done successfully.
  • Head Restraints & Seats – Both automobiles had good restraint geometry which enabled the dummy to be preserved during the collisions, and the exposure to head and neck injuries was minimized.

Overall, Fiat and Jeep both achieved very notable results for the first category and the current standing of the comparison is a tie.

Crash Prevention & Mitigation

  • Forward collision warning – Thanks to modernization that all newer vehicles are exposed to, these two cars had forward collision warning systems that helped them get the first point for this category.
  • Low-speed auto brake – This test was done through a 12 miles per hour scenario where the cars had to slow done once the danger was detected. Fortunately, both manufacturers did well on this test and avoided a collision.
  • High-speed auto brake – The speed was increased to 25 miles per hour. Fiat 500X, unfortunately, only reduced its speed by five mph which was not enough to avoid a collision. Jeep Compass achieved another high rating as the collision was avoided.

Because of the last test, Jeep Compass took the victory with its superior rating that overpowered Fiat’s advanced performance.

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Both vehicles showed multiple areas of deficiencies during the headlight review. Fiat was worse as it got a poor score due to the issues with almost every single headlight test it underwent.

Jeep did perform a little better, although it was not significantly better. Compass received a marginal score due to its issues with inadequate visibility of low beams on the gradual left curve and inadequate high-beam visibility on both sides of the road during a straightaway test.

Therefore, Jeep got its victory by a small margin that still points to some areas that the manufacturers will have to work on.

Child Seat Anchors (LATCH)

The situation was flipped in this category as opposed to the crash prevention results.

Fiat got a marginal grade that beat Jeep’s poor latches. The reasons why the American model did so bad was for the following reasons:

  • latches too deep in the seat
  • difficult to maneuver around
  • too hard to utilize

Fiat was a little better but it has ways to go before its latches are deemed above-average. The issues it faced were latches being too hard to find and difficult to maneuver around. Still, the marginal score was better and Fiat won this category.

2017 Top Safety Pick and/or 2017 Top Safety Pick+

Both vehicles were selected as a Top Safety Pick, one of the two awards that the Institute gives to cars that score well in their crashworthiness and crash prevention tests.

Insurance Implications

In order to ensure a new vehicle or find better quotes for an existing car, drivers must pay attention to almost every insurance company available. To avoid researching them one-by-one, websites that compare these insurance providers should be reviewed.

These sites have already completed the review of multiple providers and generated information on one single page that makes drivers’ research fairly easy.

Is Fiat safer than Jeep?

This comparison was a great example of two good vehicles battling through every category. The first tests related to crashworthiness were all handled well by both SUVs.

Crash prevention assessments were won by Jeep that received all six points while Fiat 500X only got four. The major differences occurred in the headlight and LATCH review.

Jeep won the headlight review by the same margin that Fiat won the latch review. One could consider these two to offset each other, at which point Jeep still has the crash prevention category victory.

Thus, Jeep won the comparison.

The importance of the safety features discussed throughout this comparison is undeniable. Going back to the insurance premiums, rates will be greatly affected by the safety performance of a vehicle as the insurance companies will deem cars that are not as safe as a liability.

Besides these, insurance companies will also analyze other factors such as driving and accident history, age, location, total vehicles owned, and so on.

By taking advantage of the aforementioned quote-comparison websites, the new buyers will be able to see how these safety rankings affect insurance offers. Compare quotes right here by entering your ZIP code below.

This will facilitate for the investment to be a fruitful long-term decision, rather than a one-time payment made just to get the car from the dealership!


  1. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/about-us
  2. https://www.fiatusa.com/500x.html
  3. https://www.jeep.com/compass.html
  4. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/crash-testing-and-crashworthiness/topicoverview
  5. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/ratings-info/front-crash-prevention-tests
  6. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/ratings-info/LATCH-evaluation
  7. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/ratings-info/headlight-evaluation
  8. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/TSP-List
  9. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/fiat/500x-4-door-suv/2017?print-view
  10. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/jeep/compass-4-door-suv/2018?print-view

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