Fiat 500 Hybrid - Practicality, comfort and boot space
The 500 Hybrid is a very small car, so don’t expect any wizardry when it comes to practicality
Buyers of the cute Fiat 500 Hybrid are unlikely to have practicality at the top of their wish list. This is a good thing, because they won’t really find it.
If you need more room, particularly for family use, Fiat also offers the petrol-powered Tipo hatchback and the electric 600e SUV, but these are much more expensive than the little 500 Hybrid. If you’d rather stick with a city car, the Hyundai i10 offers much more outright space.
The dinky exterior size hinders outright passenger space, but it’s a bonus around town where these cars spend most of their life. For starters, the 500 Hybrid is extremely easy to see out of and park, helped by a high driving position and big windows.
Leg room, head room and passenger space
Step inside and, up front at least, you’ll find excellent headroom that belies the Fiat’s tiny size. Legroom is adequate, although the narrow pedal box is a bit of an issue for big feet. Things take a bit of a downturn, too, when you find there’s limited height adjustment on the steering wheel and no reach adjustment at all. And while the high-set seat offers a great view out, it’s certainly not to all tastes. Also, beware of the optional sunroof which eats a big chunk of the headroom.
Car group tests
- Toyota Aygo X vs Hyundai i10 vs Fiat 500: 2022 group test review
- Fiat 500 vs MINI Electric vs Honda e
The rear seats are certainly not a place you’d want to make adults sit for more than a few minutes. Legroom is pretty poor, while that curvy roofline means heads will be squashed like in a coupe. If you’ve got young children, however, it’s a perfectly usable space and rear access is easy enough as the doors open wide and the front seats slide forward by a decent amount.
The dashboard-mounted gearlever should free up some extra room, but storage in the cabin isn’t much to write home about. Sure, there are handy compartments below the seats, but the glovebox is small. The few cupholders and door bins Fiat provides aren’t much use, either.
Don’t expect too much from the 500’s boot and you’ll find it just about big enough for the odd shopping spree. The 185-litre load space isn’t great when you consider that the Toyota Aygo X has 231-litres, while the Hyundai i10 has even more room at 252-litres.
This space does increase to a full 550 litres with the seats down, but there’s no underfloor storage to be found on the little Fiat. The high load lip and narrow opening also mean you won’t be carrying much home from your local DIY store. But you could argue that’s not necessary in a small car like this.
In this review
- 1Fiat 500 Hybrid reviewThe older Fiat 500 is feeling its age, but it's still a charming runabout
- 2Engines, performance and driveIt’s easy to drive and fun in the right conditions, but the 500 Hybrid lacks the refinement and dynamic ability of newer city cars
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe 500 Hybrid offers plenty of style, with useful fuel-savings and lower emissions
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe 500 offers retro-styling in a small package, along with a reasonable level of standard kit
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingThe 500 Hybrid is a very small car, so don’t expect any wizardry when it comes to practicality
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe 500 Hybrid remains rather popular with customers, but it’s not the safest city car