Fiat 500 TwinAir vs Toyota iQ

Retro comes face-to-face with modern with two-cylinder 500 vs Toyota iQ battle

Fiat 500 TwinAir vs. Toyota iQ

The Fiat 500 is taking its retro appeal to a whole new level. From its familiar name to its distinctive styling, the source of the city car’s inspiration is obvious – it has all the charm of the Fifties original. 

Now it bears an even closer resemblance to its famous ancestor, thanks to the introduction of an unusual two-cylinder engine – but that’s where the similarities end. While the original had a simple air-cooled powerplant, the 500 TwinAir’s new 85bhp 875cc unit features advanced technology such as variable valve timing and a turbocharger. It’s also a lot more eco-friendly, with CO2 emissions of 95g/km and claimed fuel returns of 68.9mpg.


Not all city cars take their cues from the past. The cleverly packaged Toyota iQ is a true 21st century urban runaround. It squeezes four seats into a body that measures only three metres long. And as with the Fiat, it promises CO2 emissions of below 100g/km and a diesel-like appetite for unleaded.

Better still, a recent round of mechanical and interior tweaks, and the addition of Toyota’s new five-year warranty, mean the iQ represents a stern test for the chic 500.


This test highlights the different approaches these models take to city motoring. With its compact dimensions and clever cabin, the Toyota is the cutting-edge choice, while the retro-inspired Fiat is fun and fashionable.

For many town-bound motorists, the iQ is the perfect companion. Thanks to its size, agility and well equipped cabin, it’s an excellent option, while strong refinement means cruising is comfortable when you break free of the city limits. But there’s no getting away from its compromised seating layout and tiny boot. There are no such issues with the Fiat. While it stands out with its cheeky looks and array of options, it’s the new TwinAir engine that steals the show. Punchy, clean and full of character, the two-cylinder suits the car perfectly. The 500 is worth the £827 premium over the iQ, and it takes a well earned victory.

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