Parkers overall rating: 3.8 out of 5 3.8
  • Interesting interior looks the part
  • Quality is a bit patchy in places
  • Ergonomics much better than 500 hatch

Jumping into the 500L Cross is easy thanks to its higher ride height. Once in, you’re met with a quirky design to the dashboard with lots of different shapes, textures and cubbyholes, but it’s not quite as effective as the regular 500 and its retro look.

It’s easy to get comfortable, though, with a good amount of adjustment in the driver’s seat and a commanding view of the road ahead. Changes made to the car in 2017 mean the gearlever and heating controls are raised slightly higher than on the 500L Trekking that superseded the Cross, making life a little easier.

There’s also a more up-to-date steering wheel that’s more pleasant to hold, and the view through it to the instrument panel is different thanks to a new set-up with clearer dials and a slick digital display in between the two.

The plastics used in the 500L Cross are disappointing, though. It all feels solid enough, but it’s a sea of black, all in different textures, and not all of them are appealing to touch. Some injection of colour like you find in the regular 500 would be very welcome, but at least there are all kinds of shapes on offer to keep things a little more interesting.

The infotainment system is a bit of a mixed bag. It’s easy enough to operate the touchscreen, but it’s quite small so you’ll need to be accurate with where you’re prodding on the move – which can be distracting when driving.

  • Good seats and settled ride
  • Seats are supportive and comfy
  • Panoramic roof causes some issues

One of the first things you notice about the 500L Cross when you jump inside is the squishy driver’s seat. It feels comfortable and supportive at the same time, so it should be a comfy long-distance cruiser.

Bad bumps in the road are soaked up fairly well, even on fairly low-profile tyres, and overall it’s a civilised driving experience, despite the firmer-than-normal ride. It helps the car feel controlled.

Wind and road noise are both well suppressed, although the impact of driving on harsher surfaces can’t be isolated from the cabin altogether.

As in the regular 500L, if you opt for the panoramic roof option you’ll find taller rear-seat passengers will be complaining about headroom. It eats into the roofspace noticeably.