Driving position and dashboard
There’s no height-adjustable driver’s seat on entry-level Pop trim, and although Fiat claims you'll find one on pricier trims, in reality the lever on the side of your chair merely changes the angle of the base, not how high it sits.
There's more compromise in a steering wheel that adjusts for height but not reach, and this will prevent many people finding the ideal driving position. In fairness, though, this is an issue that also affects most of the 500’s rivals, including the Hyundai i10 and Volkswagen Up.
Still, at least the 500’s heater controls are relatively straightforward to use, in spite of the dashboard’s retro styling. The gearlever is also mounted conveniently high up on the centre console.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The 500 isn’t as easy to see out of as its boxier Panda sibling, nor the Hyundai i10 or VW Up for that matter. However, at least the extremities of the car are easy enough to judge.
Lounge and S editions have standard rear parking sensors, which make it easier to park in tight parking spaces. These are also available as an option on entry-level Pop trim.
Sat nav and infotainment
Go for Pop trim and you get an extremely basic radio/CD player that consists of a small screen surrounded by a handful of buttons. A multifunction steering wheel and a USB socket are also included.
Standard on pricier trims, and optional on Pop, is a 5.0in colour touchscreen with Bluetooth. DAB radio costs extra, though. You can also have a built-in sat-nav if you're prepared to shall out extra, but we wouldn't bother; you're better off just using an app on your phone.
The touchscreen can be upgraded on Lounge trim to a larger 7.0in version (standard on the range-topping S), but irrespective of size, bright sunlight can hinder the screen’s visibility. Meanwhile, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring is optional on all trims apart from S, on which it comes as standard.
Most of the plastics and fabrics used in the 500’s interior suit its retro image. Even the cheapest Pop model has the face of its dashboard finished the same colour as the outside of the car, which really livens things up.
You won’t find any soft-touch plastics elsewhere on the dash (or anywhere else for the matter) and build quality isn’t quite on a par with the rival Kia Picanto or VW Up, but the 500’s cabin doesn’t feel too cheap or shoddily assembled, and the switchgear is robust enough.