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The Top Gear car review:Fiat 500
On the inside
Layout, finish and space
Be warned, the 500 isn’t big inside. Best to consider it a two-seater with plenty of shopping space. Try to use the rear seats and 185-litre boot at the same time and you’ll realise the limitations. But who cares about practicality where the 500 is concerned anyway? Fiat has the Panda if you want a really well packaged small car.
No, you care about style, so you prefer the fact there are glossy boiled sweet buttons up front and a decent screen on the dash. It is a fun environment and such are the spec options that you can play with colours and textures to your heart’s content. And that’s good, because it’ll distract you from the more challenging aspects of the 500.
The seat, for instance, which is over-stuffed and feels as if there’s a rolled-up towel under your thighs. Or the steering wheel which won’t pull further out of the dash, so your hands often clip the tops of your thighs when turning. The off-clutch rest is about big enough for the end two toes of your left foot and although the gearbox is nicely positioned up high, the stowage is shallow and low down, so putting cups into cupholders is awkward and they’ll only fly out at the first corner.
The Uconnect touchscreen information system is good though. The graphics are a little fussy, but the system is simple and responsive to use and the speakers are good enough to overcome road noise at speed. It has DAB, TomTom sat nav and enough connectivity via USB and Bluetooth to keep the emoji-generation smiling.