- Quirky dashboard is attractive
- Awkward driving position for some
- Good visibility all-round
The appealing look of the 500’s exterior extends to the inside, with a distinctive dashboard, retro touches and plenty of character. Buyers can choose from a selection of trims and fabrics for the interior, with a dashboard panel to match the exterior colour, black or ivory details such as the climate control and steering wheel, and a choice of seat options depending on the model you go for.
A small set of dials sits behind the steering wheel in a neat pod, while higher-spec models come with a digital instrument cluster and a sunroof to brighten up the interior even more.Some may struggle to find a comfortable driving position, though. You sit quite high in the car and the seat itself doesn’t adjust as much as you might like.
The base tilts up and down, lifting or tilting your thighs rather than actually moving your whole body up or down. Couple that with a steering wheel that only adjusts up and down and some may struggle to find the perfect driving position. There’s also very little room to place your left foot while driving, giving you little choice but to place it flat on the floor of the footwell.
On a brighter note, the gearlever is dashboard-mounted, meaning even smaller drivers will find it falls very easily to hand, which is great for manoeuvres and also frees up some foot room lower down. Visibility is also very good. Proportionally, there’s a lot of glass, small pillars and flat sides – plus large door mirrors – so it’s very easy to see where you’re going.
Is it comfortable?
- Comfortable seats for short journeys
- Ride can be fidgety over rough surfaces
- Motorway refinement could be better
How comfortable the Fiat 500 is can vary depending on the model you go for – in particular what size wheels are fitted. That’s because the car’s short wheelbase can mean it fidgets and feels unsettled when travelling over rougher surfaces and bumps in the road, but it’s not as pronounced on models with smaller wheels compared with higher-spec cars.
It’s not too bad though, and it’s perfectly fine around town. However, a longer journey may prove a little more tiring, due to the awkward driving position (for some) and lack of support in the seats for longer stints behind the wheel. Space-wise, the 500 is adequate for two adults undertaking a longer journey, but anyone in the back will feel the squeeze for anything longer than around-town drives.