Fiat’s third generation Panda is bigger and more efficient but can it still fend of rivals like it used to?
What is it? A funky little five door, the Panda has been a huge success for Fiat and over 6.4 million have been bought over the years.
Who is it aimed at? Single people and young families are the target buyers for the Panda but with five doors and a very spacious interior it is a flexible enough car to suit a range of tastes and needs.
Styling? Instantly recognizable as a Panda, this version is less boxy and curvier. All the windows have rounded-off corners and it is now less angular, more retro.
Under the Bonnet? Our test car was powered by the entry-level 52kW (69bhp) 1.2-litre engine. Fiat also offer an 63kW(85hp) TwinAir Turbo engine and a 60kW(75hp) 1.3-litre MultiJet II diesel engine.
What’s it like inside? Inside the Panda there is plenty of space and loads of headroom making it feel like a much bigger car. Longer, wider and taller than the car it replaces, every extra centimeter has been put to good use. The five doors make the back particularly useful and accessible.
On the Road? The 1.2 petrol is such fun to drive, in the city it is cheeky and lively while on the motorway it is surprisingly refined, solid and relaxed. It is not long behind the wheel before you are completely seduced by the charms of the Panda.
And Safety? Unlike many of its rivals the Panda only achieved a four star rating when assessed by the Euro NCAP. The main reason for not getting a full five star rating was the fact that ESP stability control is not offered as standard but offered at an additional €400. Anyone considering buying a new Panda would be well advised to factor in this cost and have ESP added.
Options? Prices start at €11,995 for the entry level 1.2 Pop model which features central locking, electric front windows and mirrors. Easy is the higher spec option and starts at €12,995. For the extra cost you get air conditioning, remote locking and an upgraded audio system. Additional Options include Blue&Me Tom-tom, parking sensors, metallic paint and alloy wheels.
How about Fuel Economy? Fuel economy is good, as we would expect for such a dinky car, it manages 5.2 litres per 100km (54.3 mpg) on average and in town 6.7 litres per 100km (42.2mpg).
Okay so the verdict? It is fun to drive, sophisticated yet practical, well equipped and built.
Why you’ll buy one? It’s the most fun you will have in a small car
Why you won’t? VW’s UP is biting at its heels
Hyundai i10 Deluxe €12,245
Kia Picanto 1.0 EX (5dr) € 12,810
Volkswagen UP! (High UP) €12,895
Fiat Panda 1.2 Easy
Engine: 1242 cc putting out 52kW @ 5500 rpm and 102Nm @ 3000 rpm
Max speed: 164 km/h
0-100km/h: 14.2 seconds
Emissions (motor tax): 120g/km (€160)
Starting price: € 11,995
Model price range: € 11,995 – € 15,545 ( Test car €13,995*)
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP: 4 stars
Fuel type: Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 5.2 litres per 100 km
Boot Capacity Seats up (seats down): 225 (870 litres)
Car Seats: Two isofix points in the back and easy to access due to the five doors
Length: 3653 mm
*Options included Blue&Me TomTom, parking sensors, metallic paint and alloy wheels
29th May 2012