Fiat 500 Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took a little bit to get used to but I like driving straight armed. Plus it keeps my Brooks Brothers starched white shirts from getting wrinkles by the elbows on my drive to work each morning... :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts
It definately takes getting used to. For me I'd rather sit back and be comfortable and reach for the wheel a bit rather than feel like I' driving a school bus. My ex used to do that.... seat back straight up and down and close to the wheel. It felt rediculous and I made fun of her every single time. We're divorced now... for much more legitimate reasons. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
It is a little different, but it almost reminds me of what it's like to drive an original Mini, only the steering wheel placement is more normal on the 500.

Regardless, still much more enjoyable seating position that say a 365 GTB/4! Unfortunately, it doesn't make the same noise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
606 Posts
Hi

To be honest, I don't really understand what people mean by "straight armed". To me, my driving position doesn't really feel any different from when driving my previous car, a Toyota Matrix. In both cars the stick shift is in a similar location and the seating was a bit higher than it was in some of my previous cars (like my old Hyundai Accent or my old Mazda 323). In general in my Fiat (and my old Matrix) I sit fairly upright with both my arms and legs comfortably bent.

Regards

Pat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,059 Posts
To be honest, I don't really understand what people mean by "straight armed". To me, my driving position doesn't really feel any different from when driving my previous car, a Toyota Matrix. In both cars the stick shift is in a similar location and the seating was a bit higher than it was in some of my previous cars (like my old Hyundai Accent or my old Mazda 323). In general in my Fiat (and my old Matrix) I sit fairly upright with both my arms and legs comfortably bent.

Regards

Pat
It depends greatly on your prefered seating position. In my case I sit a bit farther back and more reclined than my father, and hes a bit taller than me. My legs happen to be longer than his. So in order for me to sit where I want to I'm a bit further from the wheel - causing the straight arm situation. In all reality they aren't straight, just barely bent at the elbow when in the 10 and 2 position. You mention you sit upright - that woud eliminate some of the distance from shoulder to steering wheel. For me sitting straight up and down is just not comfortable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I don't mind it, once you get accustomed to the position.

What I am really greatful for, is the digital speed readout in the center cluster. When I have the steering wheel adjusted to a comfortable position, the 50/60/70 mph markings are hidden in the speedometer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To be honest, I don't really understand what people mean by "straight armed". To me, my driving position doesn't really feel any different from when driving my previous car, a Toyota Matrix. In both cars the stick shift is in a similar location and the seating was a bit higher than it was in some of my previous cars (like my old Hyundai Accent or my old Mazda 323). In general in my Fiat (and my old Matrix) I sit fairly upright with both my arms and legs comfortably bent.
Here is what Auto week said about the 500 drive "Comfortable in an Italian sense, that is. Somehow, despite all the advances in interior ergonomics and control adjustability, the result is arms-outstretched, legs-bent just like in any vintage Alfa Romeo."

I find the drive very different from my previous Toyotas. But I have the seat postioned as far back as it can go. That seems to be the most comfortable. I like to sit up high and back. I guess it's personal preference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
453 Posts
Preference and body. I used to sit up much more straight in my Caravan. It had s-tons of room, of course. I felt like I was reclining in my wife's Matrix, and more sporty because of it. When I got my 500, I chose the sunroof and lost some headroom. I put my seat in a comfortable position, and found myself hitting my forehead on the ceiling when I would lean to the left, or turn to check for traffic. I ended up reclining the seat considerably, even with the seat at it's lowest position, to get the headroom I liked. When I hold the wheel at 9+3 or 10+2, my arms are only slightly bent. I feel more in control and ready to take any road. But, I can also put it in cruise and hold the wheel steady at 6, comfortably relaxed.

I'd love to get the seats a little lower, especially the passenger side. It's amazing what a small difference can do to headroom, eh?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,466 Posts
It been fine with me. Just had to get use to it. Still don't know what it would be like, on a long trip. Maybe just move the seat forward a little.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I own three classic Alfa Romeos, and none of them make me stretch like my new 500 Sport does; good for the Alfas, bad for the FIAT (or me).

From a sporting driver's/racer's standpoint, the best distance to the steering wheel is when one holds the wheel at the 3-9 position, the elbows are bent to near-90 degrees; this is so as to be able to comfortably wield full control of the wheel at all degrees of turning, without the driver's back having to lift from the seat-back (and it couldn't if he/she were cinched down with a 5-point harness). To me that's also the most comfortable position, one that would be possible if the 500 had a telescoping steering column.

Despite the above, the 500 handles nearly as well as my Alfas due to very similar curb weight and horsepower rating, in addition to a comparable wheelbase; I'm very happy with the little car's handling dynamics. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
I don't like it. I like to be a lot closer to the wheel, with 90-degree bent arms like the previous poster said. But I dislike being bolt upright in the seat. No telescoping wheel FTL.

That said, I have a pretty comfy driving position for long highways slogs dialed in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
One of our cars is a 1993 SAAB 900 Turbo. It has high seats and a non-telescoping/non-adjustable steering wheel. I tried to find a position where I was comfortable with my standard 10-2 driving position. Wasn't happening.

I then read somewhere about the "Italian" driving position (or the VW microbus position if you prefer) that apparently the Swede's considered mandatory. This consists of you changing your 10-2 position to a 4-8 position and shuffle the wheel between your hands. It felt strange but I adapted and now I find it very relaxing. A 9-3 position is also possible but the 4-8 is the way the SAAB steering wheel is designed. YMMV:D

Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,580 Posts
Never noticed at all, meaning I'm comfortable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
I was raised on sports cars and Formula 1 from the time I was very small. My uncle and my father used to talk about guys like Fangio, Moss, Clark, Hawthorn, etc. I can remember them talking about Fangio's straight arm style compared to other drivers that would hunch right up on the wheel.
Fast forward to when I learned to drive. Being an ate-up teenager, I actively emulated that straight arm style that I'd seen in pictures of my racing heroes. I've always driven that way since.
No, the straight arm style of the FIAT doesn't bother me in the least.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
582 Posts
I'm 6'3" I find it very comfortable. My seat is not all the way back, I have plenty of leg room and the center console doesn't get in the way. I like to lean back on the seat and even with that I don't have a straight arm driving style. Of course if I was to track the car everything would change as casual driving positions and track driving positions are different.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top