Fiat 500 vs VW Polo Vivo – A budget-friendly comparison – TopAuto
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Wednesday / 10 August 2022
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Fiat 500 vs VW Polo Vivo – A budget-friendly comparison

The new Fiat 500 was recently released and made headlines for being more affordable than many of its competitors.

At a starting price of R260,000, the “mid-range” 500 Connect competes against the Polo Vivo 1.6 Highline in South Africa.

We compare their features and specifications to see which one offers better value for money, below.


It’s hard to ignore the fact that the Fiat 500 is a newer car boasting a modern and competitive feature-set, whereas the Polo Vivo still has its 2018 equipment list.

On the 500 Connect, high-end features such as climate control, rain-sensing wipers, rear parking sensors, and cruise control are standard.

Only cruise control and parking sensors are available in the Vivo, but this will cost you an extra R4,900 to add.

Both hatchbacks then offer a multifunction steering wheel, central locking, front electric windows, five fabric seats, six speakers, and a 7-inch infotainment display with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The VW makes up for lost ground with a manual air conditioner and We Connect Go functionalities, however.

We Connect Go works in conjunction with a VW data plug that can be bought from a dealership, and lets the owner of the Vivo keep a digital logbook, track fuel usage, analyse driving styles, schedule service appointments, contact emergency services, and find their vehicle in a parking lot.

This is one ability that the Fiat can’t match.

The Polo Vivo has another advantage over the 500 in the form of physical size, resulting in a much larger maximum cargo capacity.

In five-seater mode, the VW carries up to 280 litres of cargo, while the Fiat manages 185 litres.

This ratio continues when all the rear seats are folded flat, as the VW’s maximum cargo capacity grows to 952 litres, while the Fiat’s comes in at 688 litres.

The Polo also supports a maximum braked towing capacity of 1,000kg, with the 500 allowing a maximum capacity of 800kg.

However, the 500 regains its lead with safety systems by offering seven airbags, a speed limiter, ABS, and hill hold assist – as well as a 3-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

The Polo Vivo Highline receives two airbags, ABS, and a tyre pressure monitor – alongside a 3-star Global NCAP safety rating.


Powering the new Fiat 500 range is an 875cc, two-cylinder, turbo-petrol motor that connects to a five-speed manual gearbox in the Connect specification.

This engine generates 62.5kW and 145Nm, sending the 930kg hatchback to 100km/h in 11 seconds and to a top speed of 173km/h.

Combined fuel consumption for this small motor then comes in at 4.0l/100km.

The VW Polo Vivo Highline is driven by a 1.6-litre, petrol engine that pairs to a five-speed manual transmission.

This puts out 77kW and 153Nm, allowing the 1,081kg VW to accelerate to 100km/h in 10.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 188km/h.

The hatchback also returns a low combined fuel consumption figure of 6.2l/100km.


The new Fiat 500 TwinAir Connect has a South African price of R260,900.

Each purchase includes a 5-year/100,000km warranty.

The VW Polo Vivo 1.6 Highline has a South African price of R267,500.

Along with this, you get a 3-year/120,00km warranty.

Fiat 500 Connect

VW Polo Vivo

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