It’s safe to say the Fiat 500 is one of the most iconic and recognisable cars on UK roads, bringing a sense of Italian flair and city car practicality to our rainy shores.
While production of the original Fiat 500 ended in 1975, it was reborn in 2007 bringing with it a mix of retro style albeit with modern sizing which proved to be a big hit. Selling well over 1.5 million units, the city car was refreshed in 2015 to offer numerous updates and features both inside and out and ensure it continued to be the go-to car for a section of motorists.
The Fiat 500 was replaced in the Italian manufacturers range with the all-electric Fiat 500e in 2020, but with plenty of used models on the market motorists have a wide range of choice available still. With this in mind, we’ve put together some comparable city cars which you might also want to consider.
We recently put the 2015 Fiat 500 head to head with the 2018 Toyota Aygo to find out which was the best used city car to lease, and while the Fiat 500 just edged a victory the Aygo deserves your consideration.
With its distinctive 3D X-styled front-end setting it apart from its competitors, the Aygo’s styling is characterised by how modern it is. While the interior might not be as bright and lively as the Fiat 500, it feels less plasticy and there’s plenty of storage space throughout the cabin too and seven-inch infotainment as standard.
On the road, the Aygo is more than capable. While there is only one engine on offer (a 1.0-litre petrol unit offering 71hp) the driving experience easily deals with the many speed bumps and potholes common on city streets. Add to that its light steering with an excellent 9m turning circle and inner city driving is a breeze. With a manufacturer five year warranty, it makes the Aygo one of the safest bets on the used car market too.
Speaking of manufacturer warranties, few can beat Kia’s seven-year warranty and that makes it a popular and safe choice on the used car market and one of the many reasons the Kia Picanto is often voted best in the city car segment.
The others? The third generation model, released in 2017 and refreshed in 2020, is famed for its sporty styling and handling prowess. Add to that the fact that, even with the basic spec ‘1’ model, the Picanto offers electric windows, USB ports, automatic headlights and hill-start assist as standard and you quickly see why so many drivers both young and old gravitate towards the car.
But perhaps the biggest selling point is its running costs. With a claimed WLTP figure of 61.4mpg, drivers should be able to get more than enough from a fuel tank of fuel.
While it might not have the flair of the Fiat, we’d argue that when you factor in the whole car the Picanto is undoubtedly the complete package.
Volkswagen’s up! city car is one of the more desirable in the segment, with a comprehensive petrol line-up as well as the e-up! small electric car which offers a zero emission range of around 100 miles.
Looking on a like-for-like basis with our vehicles on this list, the up! which was in production between 2016-20 offers a smooth ride, responsive handling and excellent refinement throughout. Like other Volkswagen vehicles, the up! interior also offers a general level of quality throughout the cabin that few competitors can match.
Unfortunately, where it falters, especially when compared to every other vehicle on this list, is the lack of an infotainment unit. Instead the Volkswagen up! features a cradle for your smartphone with a basic DAB radio unit underneath. This could prove to be the models downfall in current times, with more and more importance placed on what mod cons a car comes with as opposed to performance.