Fiat 500 vs Toyota Aygo: when it comes to city cars, few models can beat these two for drivability, parkability and general every day practicality. But which is the best used city car to lease?
We’ve picked out the previous generation models of both the Fiat 500 (2015 refresh) and Toyota Aygo (2018 refresh) to compare everything about them – from styling and comfort to engines and efficiency – so you can make a decision on which city car is right for you.
Fiat 500 vs Toyota Aygo: Exterior
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 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. The 2015 refresh continued that theme by adding a chrome bumper, redesigned grille and new lighting.
Whereas the Fiat 500 exterior is categorised by its Italiante retro charm, the Toyota Aygo instead relies on a range of contrasting colour combos and its distinctive 3D X-styled front to set it apart. The 2018 refresh added new LED light signatures to the mix alongside alloy wheels and is slightly larger than its rival city car.
Winner: Draw (personal preference)
Fiat 500 vs Toyota Aygo: Interior and storage
With over 500,000 personalisation combination options and a varying level of trims, it’s safe to say no two Fiat 500’s are alike on the used car leasing market. On the inside the retro-modern theme of the Fiat 500’s exterior continues by offering a five-inch infotainment unit and digital instrument panel. The steering also merges retro with the modern by featuring audio buttons on its slimline 70s-style wheel.
Despite it’s famously compact exterior, the Fiat 500 offers a surprising 185-litres of bootspace. This comes with some compromises though as the boot lip is quite high and the rear seats can’t be split-folded. As one of the few three-door models still on the market, the 500 isn’t the best for rear passengers for getting in and out of either. However the cabin has been designed to maximise passenger space as much as possible and it achieves that.
Comparatively, the Toyota Aygo is very modern and offers a bit more space for front occupants. While the interior might not be as bright and lively as the Fiat 500, it feels less plasticy. There’s plenty of storage space throughout the cabin too, with the infotainment unit looking a bit like a Cyberman from Dr Who albeit with a small screen on its forehead.
Although it’s a five-door model, rear passengers aren’t likely to be comfy in the Aygo as it’s neither spacious or well-cushioned. The bootspace also leaves a lot to be desired offering a meagre 168-litres of space and a high boot lip which makes loading potentially bothersome.
Winner: Fiat 500
Fiat 500 vs Toyota Aygo: Infotainment
The Fiat 500 arrived with the five-inch Uconnect infotainment system as standard when it was revised in 2015 and featured Bluetooth, aux and USB plugs. On the top of the range Lounge trim, Uconnect offered touchscreen capability as well as smartphone mirroring via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Sitting slightly lower on the dashboard, the infotainment unit was easier to use while on the move than the previous generation of Fiat 500.
Slightly more recent than the Fiat 500, the Toyota Aygo naturally features a more modern infotainment unit. The seven-inch touchscreen is perfectly placed on the centre console and the big and bright menu icons make it much easier to navigate than the 500s Uconnect. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also feature as standard.
Winner: Toyota Aygo
Fiat 500 vs Toyota Aygo: Engines and efficiency
Whereas the Fiat 500 received a facelift in 2015, the engines remained largely unchanged from the previous generation albeit with some tweaks to aid efficiency and meet the Euro6 regulations.
These included a 0.9-litre TwinAir turbocharged petrol engine which offered either 84 or 104hp. Unfortunately the 1.2-litre engine is not turbocharged and as a result offers a measly 68hp. While the Fiat 500 is low on power and needs to work hard to get up to speed (0-62mph takes nearly 13 seconds), we must remember it’s built for zipping around the crowded towns and city streets and here it excels with its soft suspension and turning circle of 9.3m.
Unfortunately the Toyota Aygo doesn’t offer the same level of variety in its engine range, with every model utilising the same 1.0-litre petrol engine offering 71hp. Where the Aygo offers something different to the 500 is in its choice of manual and automatic gearbox. This does come with severe compromise though: the manual goes from 0-62 in a comparatively sluggish 13.8 seconds but the automatic takes even longer at 15.2 seconds. Again, this is fine for inner city driving and it does offer a slightly better turning circle of 9m over the Fiat 500.
Winner: Fiat 500
Fiat 500 vs Toyota Aygo: Which is the best used city car to lease?
While some aspects of the comparison fall to personal taste and needs of the car, in our opinion the Fiat 500 just beats the Toyota Aygo as our choice for city car based on the above criteria.
Unfortunately, the Fiat 500 does falter when it comes to reliability. CarBuyer’s 2021 Driver Power survey placed it as 67 out of 75 cars for reliability.
The Toyota Aygo on the other hand scored slightly better, placing 60 out of 75 cars, which is pretty good for a 4+ year old used car. This should come as no surprise given Toyota’s reputation for building solid and reliable vehicles.