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#35

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $16,745 - $26,595
Invoice: $16,448 - $25,693
MPG: 31 City / 40 Hwy
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FIAT 500 Interior

Some reviewers report that the 2015 Fiat 500’s audio and climate controls can be difficult to use, and most are let down by its cheap cabin materials. However, a few test drivers report that the 500’s materials are impressive considering its price, and they agree that the cabin has a stylish and innovative design.

  • "The 500's quirky instrument panel has been improved for 2015 with a larger digital display and the center console has a better design, but the interior still is outfitted with mostly low-quality materials and almost laughably tight rear seats." -- Edmunds 
  • "The interior style lives up to the promise of the quirky but fashionable exterior, and we found the materials, build quality and seat comfort impressive for a car with a starting price around $17,000." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "Inventive styling remains a hallmark of the car, with enough creativity to help you overlook stretches of old-school, subcompact-grade materials." -- Cars.com (2013)
  • "… the little Fiat's interior design is attractive, the control layout doesn't require consultations with the owner's manual, and of course, its style is almost off the charts." -- Car and Driver (2012)

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Seating

The Fiat 500 seats four and is available with front sport seats, leather upholstery and heated front seats. Auto writers agree that the 2015 500 is surprisingly spacious up front, but they note that the rear seats are particularly cramped, with space that’s only suitable for small children. A few reviewers also report that the driver’s visibility to the rear left is somewhat limited by the position of the headrest and roof pillars.

  • "The 2015 Fiat 500 subcompact is roomier up front than you might expect, and just as tight in back as it looks." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "There's ample room in the front seats for taller occupants, thanks somewhat to the noticeably upright design of the seats. ... The rear seats for any 500 are pretty much what you'd expect: torture for those older than preschool age." -- Edmunds 
  • "The shelflike dashboard leaves plenty of room to stretch out, and there are strategic portions of door padding where knees come to rest." -- Cars.com (2013)
  • "Visibility over the driver's left shoulder is almost completely blocked by the roof pillars and the headrest." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Interior Features

The 2015 Fiat 500 comes standard with a six-speaker audio system, an auxiliary jack and USB and Bluetooth connectivity. Optional features include satellite radio, Alpine or Beats audio systems, automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, a sunroof and a TomTom navigation system.

Critics note that the 500’s audio and climate systems are adjusted with tiny buttons instead of knobs, which makes them difficult to use. 

See 2015 Fiat 500 specs »

  • "The knobless radio remains a frustration, and we still find other aspects of this high-style interior less than ideal, including the controls for the standard (non-automatic) climate system." -- Edmunds 
  • "The radio has tiny buttons instead of simpler dials to surf stations and change volume. ..." -- Cars.com (2013)
  • "The climate controls have a more-traditional layout, though we vastly prefer rotary knobs to the push-button arrangement found here." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Cargo

The 2015 Fiat 500 has 9.5 cubic feet of cargo space, which expands to 30.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Convertible 500c models have 5.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats. A few test drivers say that the 500 has a decent amount of cargo space behind the rear seats. However, others write that the 500’s small cargo hold only offers enough space for a few shopping bags. Critics also note that competitors like the Mini Cooper and Honda Fit offer more overall space with their second rows folded.

  • "With the rear seatbacks up, the hatchback presents a reasonable 9.5 cubic feet of luggage space; drop the seatbacks and you open up a total of 30.2 cubic feet. That's not bad, but the newest Mini Cooper hatchback gives you more (38 cubes), and four-door hatchbacks like the Sonic and Fit are even roomier." -- Edmunds
  • "The tiny backseat sits ahead of an afterthought of a cargo area." -- Cars.com (2013)
  • "Trunk space with the back seats in place is 9.5 cubic feet -- the Mazda2 has 13.3 -- enough for a few bags of groceries, and maybe a gym bag, but that's it." -- Motor Trend (2012)
Review Last Updated: 10/21/14

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