Fiat 500 hatchback - Interior & comfort
Funky colours and a new infotainment system mean the Fiat 500 has a stylish and modern-looking interior
Unlike some models, the Fiat 500 looks as funky on the inside as it does on the outside. Its designers have provided just enough nods to the original 500 of the fifties, but packed it full of modern kit.
The seats are soft, and in most models you get two-tone upholstery. This features fabric on the seat bases and lower half of the seat backs, while the upper part is finished in soft leather-effect materials. If you want a greater sensation of space, pick a model with a panoramic glass roof, which lets plenty of light into the cabin.
Fiat 500 dashboard
The dashboard is logically laid out, and features lots of glossy plastic buttons, which gives the 500 a classy feel. However, this gloss finish can show up scratches easily if you’re not careful and light dashboard colours can be reflected in the windows when the sun is low. It's also starting to feel somewhat dated, which is all the more noticeable now the latest 500 has been released.
The gearlever is mounted high on the dashboard, so it’s easy to grasp, and the steering wheel and column stalks are available in a light cream finish if you’ve gone for a light body colour, although any light colours will show up dirty marks far quicker than black plastic. The steering wheel is thinner than the old model's and has flashes of chrome and higher-quality materials than before, too.
As the Fiat 500 is all about style, it’s not surprising there are some delightful touches, such as an all-digital instrument cluster that changes to reflect which mode the car is in. The Uconnect infotainment screen means you can connect your smartphone, but it doesn't feel like the latest technology.
The entry-level model is well-equipped as Fiat has simplified the range and removed previously available models such as Pop and Dolcevita. It’s now simply called the 500 and comes with alloy wheels, climate control, cruise control, split-folding rear seats, heated mirrors and plenty of tech. It gets a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, USB and DAB radio.
The ‘Top’ model has a different look including upgraded alloy wheels but the equipment you get is largely the same as the base version.
The (RED) special edition gets a cabin air filter and sanitiser dispenser, and the interior surfaces of the car are treated with an antibacterial substance to defend against bacteria and viruses for a prolonged period of time. There are also red and black seats which use a special plastic material derived from recycled plastic and display the (RED) logo, a red dashboard, and 15-inch alloys with red centre caps.
There's a wide range of customisation options available, including several eye-catching body graphic packages. There are also a number of interior trim colours and alloy wheel designs available. Even the key can be customised in one of 11 different colours and themes. More practical options include a space-saver spare wheel for £200, parking sensors for £200 or a bike rack for £300.
The Fiat 500’s sat nav uses TomTom software to provide its mapping, so you get clear guidance and setting your destination is easy. It’s a shame that the infotainment screen is a little on the small side, but this is offset somewhat by the secondary dashboard display, which makes navigating a fairly straightforward process.