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. The 500 Mild Hybrid Launch Edition gets seats made from weaving a material derived from recycled plastic. If you want a greater sensation of space, then the Lounge model comes 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 Pop model does without the Uconnect infotainment system, but features a radio with a colour display, USB connection and steering-wheel mounted controls. You also get ‘halo-effect’ LED daytime running lights, but we reckon it’s worth spending the extra money Fiat asks for the Lounge trim. This adds air-conditioning, heated door mirrors, alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, a seven-inch Uconnect touchscreen and 50:50 split-folding rear seats.
The other current trims are Star, Rockstar and Sport. The first two add larger alloy wheels, sat nav, a fixed glass roof and a digital instrument cluster, while Sport adds a sporty body kit, graphite mirror covers and a chrome exhaust tip in addition to the standard Lounge equipment. The Mild Hybrid Launch Edition comes in a unique Dew Green paint colour, and along with its unique upholstery, the infotainment screen now gets a display with eco driving data.
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 £100, dual-zone climate control for £300 and sat nav for £325.
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.