Parkers overall rating: 3.8 out of 5 3.8
  • Stylish interior with plenty of space up front
  • Quality levels are reasonable if not class-leading
  • Accomplished ergonomics complete the package

Fiat has done a mostly sound job at making a stylish yet practical cabin for the 500L Urban. The seats are comfortable and easy to access, while the elevated (and impressively adjustable) driving position is markedly better than the car’s Fiat 500 cousin.

Worth noting is the oddly large gearlever which may prove awkward to grasp for those with smaller hands. Helpfully, though, it’s been raised up to a convenient height meaning those behind the wheel don’t have to reach down at an awkward angle to change gear.

The unusual double windscreen-pillar design takes a bit of getting used to, but once you’ve been driving around for a few minutes it barely registers.

Most of the switches and dials look premium enough even if there are a few hard plastics on show. The 3.5-inch digital dashboard display is a nice touch – as are the clear and attractive dials either side of it.

Unfortunately, though, the 7.0-inch infotainment screen lets the side down. Its display is responsive enough, yet the software is slow to respond and unintuitive, making it tricky to carry out even the simplest of operations.

  • Well-judged overall ride quality
  • Comfy and supportive seats
  • Panoramic sunroof severely restricts rear headroom

As we outlined in the handling section, Fiat’s 500L Urban is very much focused on comfort rather than cornering. Admittedly, the ride is a touch firmer than expected but stops short of making the car overly stiff.

The 500L Urban traverses the majority of surface imperfections well, isolating the worst of the impact from the cabin. Sharper, more substantial bumps can catch that softer suspension unawares, yet not to the extent of spoiling an otherwise well-judged ride quality.

The seats also do their bit for overall comfort, with their firm but supportive design meaning long journeys shouldn’t be an uncomfortable chore.

Things are just as practical and comfortable in the back, too – so long as you don’t spec the optional fixed glass roof. If you do, then rear headroom is severely restricted to the point where anyone over 5ft 9in would struggle to sit upright.

It’s not an issue if you only plan to put young children in the second-row seats, bur represents a serious design flaw in most other circumstances. Aside from this there’s a good amount of rear legroom on offer, plus the base of the seats is raised up meaning younger passengers can see out of the windscreen more easily.