Although the front seats are mounted fairly high in the cabin, you’re only likely to have issues with head room if you’re very tall. Likewise, the seats slide back far enough to just about accommodate long-legged drivers. Somewhat less impressive is the cramped pedal area that blights all right-hand drive models, and the lack of a proper footrest, which is particularly annoying on longer motorway journeys. The bulbous centre console is also very easy to bash your left knee on.
The 500’s interior is a fine example of style over function; that body-coloured face on the dashboard looks great but means the glovebox that sits below it is very pokey, and the door bins are even smaller. At least there are two good-sized cupholders below the dash-mounted gearlever.
Fiat 500 rear space
Getting into the back to start with isn’t as easy as in many rivals because the 500 has only three doors. As with many of the Fiat’s city car rivals, there are only two seats in the back, but although two adults will fit, there isn’t as much head- or legroom as there is in a VW Up, let alone a Hyundai i10.
It’s also very disappointing that Fiat charges extra for rear head restraints (as a package with folding rear seats) on the entry-level Pop – you shouldn’t even consider carrying anyone in the back without paying extra for these crucial safety aids.
Given the 500’s dinky dimensions it’s hardly surprising that storage in the rear cabin isn’t great, although all versions apart from the entry-level Pop have pockets in the front seatbacks.
Fiat 500 seating flexibility
You have to pay extra for split-folding rear seats on entry-level Pop trim, but all other 500s get these as standard. You push a button on the top of the backrest from inside the rear cabin, pull the 50/50 split seatback towards you and down it folds.
That’s your lot, though, because the rear seats don’t do anything else clever and, disappointingly, no version is available with a height-adjustable front passenger seat.
Fiat 500 boot space
There’s enough room for a few shopping bags in the 185-litre boot. However, rivals such as the Hyundai i10 and VW Up have considerably bigger load areas, with smaller lips at the entrance and wider boot openings.
Fold down the rear seats and the space grows considerably. The seats lie at a slight angle, but not enough to cause any real headaches, although it’s a shame there’s no false floor to iron out the annoying step in the extended load area when the seats are down.
A luggage compartment organiser is available as a dealer-fit option if you want to keep fragile items from flying about when you go round corners.