Open the door and it’s immediately obvious that you're inside an Abarth rather than a regular Fiat. The general interior layout is like a regular 500, of course, but it’s the small detailing that is pure Abarth. Everything within the 595 has been finished exquisitely.
The pedals have been replaced by alloy ‘racing’ pieces, the steering wheel has the now-obligatory flat spot at the bottom and you get an Abarth-specific 7.0in digital instrument cluster. Just don’t expect these touches to transform the interior; the hard plastics and flimsy controls feel cheap.
However, despite its sporty styling, the 595 is still cursed with the Fiat 500’s sit-up-and-beg driving position (even if it does provide good forward visibility). Compared with a Volkswagen Up GTI, you feel like you’re sitting on the 595’s seat rather than in it and you have to contort your left foot to feather the clutch, with all right-hand-drive models blighted by a cramped pedal area. Meanwhile, the lack of a proper footrest is particularly annoying on longer motorway journeys.
On country roads, sitting that bit lower would help you feel like a more intrinsic part of the package. And, to make matters worse, the lack of telescopic steering adjustment means that you’re never quite in the right driving position, being either too close or too far away from the steering wheel.
Counting in the car’s favour are supportive seats, a high-mounted aluminium alloy gearlever that is a tactile highlight and a boost-gauge-cum-shift-indicator that adds a welcome bit of theatre.