Car trim reviews

Fiat 500 Lounge

The Fiat 500 Lounge is generously equipped and is available with both the Multijet and TwinAir engines. There is also huge scope for personalisation.

With Bluetooth phone connectivity, a leather steering wheel, air-conditioning, a glass roof, split-folding rear seats and 15-inch alloy wheels as standard, the Fiat 500 Lounge boasts equipment usually found on much larger and more expensive cars. Just like the entry-level Pop, the Lounge has electric front windows, electric door mirrors and stop-start, too.

Its retro styling means that the Fiat 500 is one of the most fashionable small cars around, and there is a huge range of personalisation options so that owners can make their cars unique. The Lounge is available with all three engines: the 1.2-litre petrol, the 900cc petrol and the 1.3-litre Multijet diesel. The Multijet is the most efficient engine in the line-up, and is capable of an impressive 76mpg. The Fiat 500 TwinAir is slightly less economical, but with lower emissions – meaning it qualifies for free road tax. It also provides excellent performance when compared to its rivals, the Ford Ka Zetec and Volkswagen Up! High Up!.

The Lounge also gets 50/50 split folding seats as standard, allowing owners extra boot space, and making it a much more practical prospect than the Pop.

Good points

We love the Fiat 500’s stylish retro looks, and its range of nippy and efficient engines, light steering and forgiving suspension make it an ideal city car. It also feels well built, and the generous equipment offered in Lounge trim makes the 500 feel much more upmarket than the basic Pop model. It is also much more practical thanks to the 50/50 split-folding rear seats, which significantly increases the size of the 185-litre boot. The huge amount of personalisation means you'll struggle to find two cars that look identical. There’s a good range of engines, which offer decent performance and excellent fuel economy – keeping tax and fuel costs to a minimum.

Bad points

At the end of the day the Fiat 500 is a small three-door hatchback, and there is no five door model on offer. Headroom in the rear is poor, so taller passengers will find the interior a little cramped. Despite the folding seats, the Lounge still lags behind its rivals, such as the Volkswagen Up!, when it comes to boot space. As is often the case with small hatchbacks, the noise on motorway journeys can be intrusive. There is also no getting away from the fact that it is relatively expensive, and there are concerns about reliability.

What you get

  • Alloy wheels
  • Metallic paint
  • Folding rear seats
  • Panoramic roof
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Front electric windows
  • Single CD player
  • Stop/Start
  • Bluetooth

Recommended optional extras

  • Fog lights
  • Rear parking sensors

Our choice

Both the 900cc TwinAir and the 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel offer around 70mpg fuel economy. The TwinAir is perfect for short distances, while the MultiJet is better suited to motorway driving.

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