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

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Practicality, comfort and boot space Rating

3.0 out of 5

Price
£15,719 to £18,275
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​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.

Size

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.

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.

Boot

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.

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 Pop 3dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £11,461

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.2 Pop 3dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £11,461

Fastest

  • Name
    0.9 TwinAir 105 Lounge 3dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £14,371

Shane is responsible for looking after the day-to-day running of the Auto Express website and social media channels. Prior to joining Auto Express in 2021, he worked as a radio producer and presenter for outlets such as the BBC.

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