In-depth reviews

Fiat 500 review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

If it fits with your lifestyle, then the 500 city car should offer more than enough comfort and flexibility

The 500 retains its three-door, four-seat set-up, which suits its urban focus. Interior storage is good, with decent cubby holes and storage bins, while the glove box is bigger than you’ll find in a MINI.

There are useful practical touches even in the base Action versions, including rear parking sensors, two USB ports and electrically-adjustable door mirrors. Moving up the range adds cruise control, keyless entry and go, and rain-sensing wipers.

You’ll find the driver’s seat quite high-set which may be off-putting for some, but it does help with visibility, and the steering wheel is fully adjustable, so the driver should be able to find a comfortable position.

Size

Fiat was able to design the all-electric 500 using an all-new platform, with the result being a slight increase in dimensions over the standard petrol model. Overall length is now 3,632mm, width 1,900mm and height 1,527mm, although the 500 is still smaller than a MINI or Honda e, which means parking should be a doddle. Interior space (particularly in the rear) is tighter, which is the obvious trade-off.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

As mentioned above, while space for the front two in the 500 is decent, adult passengers in the rear will find things less comfortable. Sitting behind a driver, even of average height, will mean that your knees are right up against the front seat backrest, so you can rule out longer journeys with taller passengers as the headroom isn’t great, either.

Boot

The 500’s boot is predictably small, but at 185 litres it trumps the 171 litres of loadspace offered in the Honda e. There is a high boot lip to contend with, which makes things more awkward when loading heavier items, although there is a false floor to store charging cables. Fiat has injected a little practicality by designing the rear seats to fold in a 50:50 configuration, but they don’t go all the way flat.

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