Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
Although the front seats are mounted fairly high up, you’re only likely to have issues with head room if you’re very tall. Likewise, the seats slide back far enough to just about accommodate long-legged drivers. Somewhat less impressive is the cramped pedal area, and the lack of a proper footrest; an omission that’s particularly annoying on longer motorway journeys. It's also easy to bash your left knee on the bulbous centre console.
Also, while undoubtedly good-looking, the 500’s interior is a fine example of style over function: that body-coloured dashboard looks great but the glovebox that sits below it is very pokey, and the door bins are even smaller. At least there are two good-sized cupholders below the dash-mounted gearlever.
To start with, getting into the back isn’t as easy as in many rivals because the 500 has only three doors. As with many of the Fiat’s city car rivals, there are only two seats in the back, but although two adults will fit, there isn’t as much head or legroom as there is in a Volkswagen Up, let alone a Hyundai i10.
It’s also very disappointing that Fiat charges extra for rear head restraints (they're available as part of a package with folding rear seats) on the entry-level Pop – you shouldn’t even consider carrying anyone in the back without paying extra for these crucial safety aids.
Given the 500’s dinky dimensions, it’s hardly surprising that storage in the rear isn’t great, although all but entry-level Pop have pockets in the front seatbacks.
Seat folding and flexibility
The rear seatback folds in one big lump on entry-level Pop trim, but all other 500s give you a more practical 50/50 split-folding seatback. It’s easy to use: simply push a button on the top of the backrest, pull the seatback towards you and down it folds.
That’s your lot, though; the rear seats don’t do anything else clever and, disappointingly, there's no option of a height-adjustable front passenger seat on any model.
The 185-litre boot gives you enough room for a few shopping bags. However, rivals such as the Kia Picanto and VW Up have considerably bigger load areas, with wider boot openings and smaller lips at the entrance.
Fold down the rear seats and the space grows considerably. The seats don't fold totally flush with the floor, though, and instead sit at a slight angle above it. This places a pronounced step in the extended load area, and it’s a shame that there’s no false floor to iron it out.
A luggage compartment organiser is available as a dealer-fit option if you want to keep fragile items from flying about when you go around corners.