Whether you choose the standard car or convertible, the inside of the Fiat 500 has been just as thoughtfully designed as its outside. A swage of body-coloured plastic sweeps across the centre of the dash, bordered by Bakelite-style switch panels for the ventilation and stereo controls.
Fabrics and colours could all be from the 1950s, but the quality of the construction is not. Fit and finish are very good, although some switches lack the bespoke feel of, say, a Mini's. This is unsurprising; the dash layouts of a Panda and a 500 are virtually the same because they share so much mechanically and electrically.
There's no shortage of space in the front, but the 500’s design gave engineers a bigger challenge in making room for rear passengers. The 1957 car's roof curved towards the rear to intentionally reduce space behind the front seats, to help differentiate it from the four-seat 600. Even later 500s had rear seats that were only fit for children.
Yet today's car, which is only 3.5 metres long, was designed as a full four-seater from the off, so you sit low in the 500's back pair of chairs, on thin but dense padding, and headroom is still tight. That said, legroom is surprisingly good for a car this short and it's certainly more accommodating than some rivals. Beneath a very small parcel shelf there is a 185-litre boot.