Here is a picture. Same kind of armrest you will find in many econoboxes (though with panache).
Coming from experience, the "oh ****" bars are way better in keeping you steady than the armrest. I think the armrest should only be there for comfort and not a means to keep you in place. Some cars have the bar built into the door.In the picture, you see three red objects. Two of them are seats, and the third is the passenger side armrest, below the door handle.
Now imagine you are sitting in the passenger seat, and the car is traveling around a hairpin turn, to the left. What would you grab onto? The door handle is probably not a good option.
My point is that the only way you could grip the door, is to stick four fingers into the "ashtray-shaped" hole in the armrest. Hopefully if you did that, someone has not been using it as an ashtray!
This is okay, I still want the car, but I am comparing this feature to my current VW, which has a handle molded into the ends of the armrests, which is even more important for the driver.
Thanks for the help. I think possibly some people were resisting what seemed like a negative comment about the 500. Not so- I am a big fan already, and I have never actually seen one in the sheet metal. I just hope we don't overestimate what we are going to get, that has happened before (remember the Dodge Neon?).Click to see the armrest...
Let me add my 2¢...As it stands now, I would not be willing to shell out extra dollars for an Abarth version. I am not wealthy, and I don't believe *yet* that it is really a high performance car. So I look at certain features to decide what is the design narrative of a car. Like when the Lexus IS300 first came out, they did not offer a manual transmission. That was case closed, I don't believe it's a serious sports car.