$10,292 - $16,286

2016 FIAT 500 Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 FIAT 500 was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 6.5

According to test drivers, the 2016 Fiat 500 has creative styling, but some say its materials are low in quality. Critics appreciate the new standard touch-screen system and say it's responsive. However, they find the 500's climate controls to be hard to use. Front seats are roomy, most reviewers say, but others would like better rearward visibility for the driver. The back seats are also too cramped for adults. 

  • [W]hile we welcome the arrival of a standard 5-inch touchscreen infotainment interface for 2016, the interior is still outfitted with mostly low-quality materials." -- 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 (2015)
  • 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)
  • "[T]he 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)

Seating

The Fiat 500 seats four and is available with front sport seats, leather upholstery and heated front seats. Most reviewers agree that the Fiat 500's front seats are surprisingly roomy for a subcompact car. Still, others think taller front-seat occupants in models that have the sunroof will want more headroom. A few also think rear visibility over the driver's left shoulder is compromised by the headrest and thick roof pillars. Some critics also mention that the back seats are best left to kids for brief rides.

  • "Unfortunately, the 2016 500 carries on with some disappointing traits that have been around since the car's introduction. Taller front occupants in the 500 have to deal with limited headroom if the sunroof is specified, while the rear seats are best suited to small children on short trips." -- Edmunds
  • 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 (2015)
  • "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 2016 Fiat 500 comes standard with a six-speaker audio system, a Uconnect 5-inch touch-screen system and Bluetooth. Available features include satellite radio, Alpine or Beats audio systems, automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, a sunroof and navigation.

Some reviewers are pleased with the new touch screen, noting it has simple menus and large fonts. Still, critics aren’t fond of the 500's push-button climate controls.

See 2016 Fiat 500 specs »

  • The 500's small, dim gauge cluster used to be an issue, but it was recently replaced by a bright digital display with large fonts and more easily deciphered menu logic. … The 500's control layout is still a bit of a mishmash, including the odd controls for the standard (non-automatic) climate system, but there's no doubt that this is the most user-friendly iteration yet." -- Edmunds
  • "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 2016 Fiat 500 has 9.5 cubic feet of cargo space. That space expands to 30.2 cubic feet with the back seats folded. That's well below average for the class. Convertible 500c models have 5.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, and electric 500e models have 7 cubic feet. Reviewers are disappointed by the Fiat 500's storage area and note that rivals offer more.

  • "Cargo capacity is also modest, especially in the convertible." -- 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)

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