I've had this car for 2 years and I've yet to be let down by it. Being a small car, it is economical. I drive 2000 miles a month, mostly on motorways and usually get 350 miles out of a tank. It's been very reliable for me considering how much I drive it, it hasn't had any real problems yet. The most I've spent on it at any time was £100 for two tyres. It sometimes feels lacking in power on the motorway when trying to overtake, but it's designed to be a city car and wasn't really meant for that sort of driving in the first place. For driving around town it is brilliant. It's small size and city steering function make it a doddle to park in even the tightest spaces.
I feel that the biggest drawback is the size of the boot. I can just about squeeze a buggy in there, but most people who choose a car like this don't need much boot space.
The car itself is rather basic, it didn't even come with an electrical socket as standard, though it has the wiring and it's easy enough to install one yourself. I spent more time noticing the things it didn't have than what it did. There is no rev counter or electric mirrors, and although it has central locking, you can't get a remote key for it which I find a great inconvenience when I have my three month old daughter in one hand and a bag in my other hand.
Overall, I'd recommend this car to anyone who just needs a cheap car that is reliable and comfortable, but not for anybody who wants to race subarus or to fit a lot of shopping in the back.
I've just recently sold my 2nd Panda and I'm sad to see it go as it has always done whatever I asked of it, from daily commuter car to carrying loads in the back with the seat folded down.
The Active model comes with power steering (including the City button, which to be honest is a bit overkill!), front electric windows and quite a funky interior colour scheme.
The 1108cc engine is quite "revvy" and needs to be driven quite hard to get a decent pace going, but it can toddle along at motorway speed, although is probably best suited as a city car.
Fuel economy worked out for me to be an average of 45mpg, with a mix of 40% motorway driving and 60% city.
Reliability was generally good, with just one niggling electrical fault that brought on the oil pressure light randomly and was finally traced to the multi plug connection at the ECU.
All in all, a decent small car that does the job for city driving well (oh, and very easy to park!).
I love this car.
Despite its small engine it is still very nippy and likes being driven in high revs.
suprisingly roomy inside, I have to transport a PA system with a keyboard and guitars and it does that fine.
rarely have to top up oil and tyres.
Excellent visability round all sides.
Easy to clean!
low fuel consumption
Looks quite funky
The full beam lights aren't the brightest in the world.
The boot doesn't have an open button inside the car, this means to open the boot you have to turn the engine off, take out the keys and open the boot using your keys, it's very impractical if you want to drop off a friend or something.
struggles a bit up hills.
it does have quite a strange driving position, you have to have short legs and long arms in order to be perfectly comfy as you cannot adjust how far the steering wheel comes out or in.
Overall, this is a lovely little car that i'd recommend to anybody, it's perfect to learn in, perfect as a run around and always feel as if it loves being out on the road. The main problem is the boot, and having to open it with the key.
I find myself regularly defending the smaller car as a family car against the larger hatchback types. As a mum of two children under the age of 3, I would be lost without my little car.
If you want all the hot gadgets then this car is not for you but if you want a safe, economical, fun , roomy (for its class), run around then this car is ideal.
When I have the buggy in the boot there is not much room for the shopping but the front seat will normally suffice. There is lots of space internally and the car seats have plenty of space between them.
When I am darting around from nursery to work or home to shopping the 5 doors are fantastic in getting my young family safely in and out. The child locks on both doors gives me great piece of mind.
The only thing I would change is that I would have opted for the remote central locking as I only have central locking and can only lock the door from the drivers side. Whilst this is a manageable issue its not something I thought about on purchase and I would have definitely paid the extra to make my life that little bit easier especially when getting the children out on main roads.
Overall this car is a fantastic drive and great around the city.
The UK car industry has transformed in recent decades in response to the uncontrollable growth in demand for the everyday car. The market has expanded into new sectors (including previously absent age ranges) and the general cost of purchasing a vehicle has lowered, whilst the cost of running one has increased substantially. With manufacturers moving abroad, and new companies cropping up in developing nations, the variety of cars and car availability (shipped daily to the UK) has become unbearably impressive.
Our Peugeot 806 (people carrier) died a few weeks back, and understanding the impending financial pressure we are currently facing, the conclusion was made that circumstances would improve if we were to keep our 'run around' Fiat Punto going, and add a Panda to the catalogue in replace of the diesel guzzling 806 tanker.
So, after browsing down a list of 'popular' trade-ins and picking out our favourites, we bided on and won a three year old Panda from the local vehicle auction centre in Netherfield, Nottingham. With a guide price of £3,900, paying £2,700 was rightfully justifiable, and the purchase seemed a dream come true.
Then we took a good look at the thing, and issues suddenly arose...
The first problem we encountered after shuffling the vehicle home regarded its seating arrangement (which had been mis-advertised at the auction house). Yes, the car did have FIVE seats, but it only had FOUR seat belts - and with both the law and the safety of several healthy young children to consider, this was met with a fair amount of un-published rage at the company from the family.
Surely we'd be able to rise above such a simple misunderstanding? Well yes, and we did, but that was before we'd had a good look around the car's interior, and let me tell you, three year old Fiat Panda's are severely out dated aesthetically.
The quickly assembled, cheap, plastic dashboard contained basic knobs and levers to control heating, hazards, music and air-con (...and I was extremely amazed to see AC present within such an out-dated design). It was mind-boggling to see 'MP3 connectivity' etched into the 1990's themed stereo body - I couldn't get my head around the reoccurring oddities of the car's interior looks.
The car did have electric windows in the front however, with the controls placed on the centre console, similar to my trusty Punto. But the ones in the Panda were far less pleasing to operate and look at (despite the Punto being 7-years older!).
The seats, despite being reasonably comfortable for a small car, were designed poorly. The headrest of the driver's seat presented anyone attempting to reverse the contraption with an inherent difficulty of sighting where they were going - not good! Similarly, the back seats seemed to impede too selfishly into the boot space of the vehicle, meaning there was only a small (roughly 50cm deep) space to store and transport items on the move.
When driving the car, you are made to feel quite high up in comparison with other small cars. And despite having the ability to modify the driver's seating position, the layout of the dash and vehicle instruments (including the non-adjustable, out-dated looking steering wheel) force you to sit upright - the punishment being lack of sufficient sight if you do not comply.
The car isn't particularly bad/hard to drive, though the angle and intensity of the pedals does make it quite uncomfortable at first. But once you're past that the feel of the general drive is good. Similarly, the 'nippy-ness' of the engine (helped along by a relatively low weight car body) makes for good city driving. The size of the car also helps you to nip around town and into spaces some cars can only dream of conquering - however, the size of the car is quite substantial in relation to other 'small' car models (like the Fiesta, Corsa and Punto).
I feel the Panda lacks in many ways, especially for us with regards to the seating issue (more relative to a large family)and that's why I was forced to let it go. For a vehicle so out-dated in interior looks, with only four seat belts and a small boot, I wonder why everyone didn't by-pass this model. The things that do redeem the Panda slightly are its good features (I.E. AC and MP3 connectivity to the CD-player), but these are not enough for me to recommend this vehicle!
Having read a few of the reviews on here having a slight dig at the Fiat Panda I would like to defend the lovely little Panda. I have had it for about 4 months and I have not been happier. It is quiet and smooth. the interior is simple but stylish.... if you want a car with all of the lastest gizmos and gadgets the Panda is not for you, it has radio and cd player, electric windows at the front and driver and passenger air bags. the panda a small and compact but not cramped and stuffy. the boot is a good size (can easily fit a pram and shopping bags in). the back of the car is pretty small but can fit two people in comfortably (three people in the back would be a squeeze i think) i manage to fit two childrens car seat in the back of the car with plenty of room either side. some of the models have an eco freindly engine too.... which is great for the planet and so cheap in road tax.
I have the priviledge of owning a lime green Panda. 2004 model. Bit disappointed that it only has a tape deck and no cd player, you wouldnt expect this of a 6 yr old car.This is the perfect car for small families. Children seem to sit a little higher on the back seat hence being able to see a little more out the window. Seats can be a little hard for long distance drives. Leg space very limited if you are taller than 6ft. The boot may seem small, but you can easily get a weekly shop in there. Most collapsabile buggies dont fit in the boot, but seem to fit by the feet in rear seat area. Tyres are fairly cheap (under £100 ) for 2, for named tyres. Insurance is group 1. The fuel tank also never seems to empty. Overall this car is extremely economical to run.
Would definitely buy another.
I had my Fiat Panda 1.1 Active for 2 years and although it was a bargain at under £6,000 on the road when I bought it, I am only 37 years old and felt that I should be at least 50 to drive this car!
I got a great deal on a pre-registed car when I bought this and the only colour that was left was metallic orange. But for the price for a brand new car I couldnt really complain.
The inside is very basic with a CD/Radio and a very plain and unstylish dashboard. There is no rev counter, no gauge to tell you what mileage was left in the tank, no blue tooth, no MP3 player, no electric windows or wing mirrors.
Having said all that, the ride was very comfortable as the seats are quite high and again this is probably another reason that this car is suitable for older people as my parents who are pensioners found it easier to get in and out of than most other cars.
The car was great on fuel and I have never got so many miles to the gallon out of a car. Road tax was cheap at £110 for 12 months and the newer models from 2010 were even cheaper than my 08 model.
I bought my 04 Panda a couple of years ago and have never looked back since! It is one of the best cars I have ever driven, and I have driven a few (including well-thought-of, more popular makes and models).
Yes, your first impression is that it is small. But don't let that put you off. It can fit five people in it easily and with 5 doors there's no having to get out, put seats down, climb over people, etc. This really appealed to me. I hate having to spend 5 minutes getting everybody in and out of a car! The boot is the scariest prospect upon first viewing. It's very square and looks very small. However, I've managed to fit two decent sized suitcases in this boot and have never been short of space. And there are advantages to the car being small; Christmas shopping becomes a lot easier when you can fit into a parking space of any size.
Maintenance for my Panda has been like a dream. I've never had any major problems with it. The only time I've had to take it to a garage to be fixed was when the front washers no longer worked. This was quickly and cheaply resolved.
Now to the most important bit: How does it drive? I love road users who think they can mess small car drivers around by cutting them up on roundabouts etc, this car proves them all wrong! The acceleration in this small-engine car is amazing! And for that reason, I would definitely buy this car again. My husband drives a Ford and always wants to borrow my Panda because he feels that it drives better. Grip on the road is great and the brakes are the best I've ever had, which makes driving in bad conditions a little more reassuring.
The only down side I can see to this car is the fact that you can feel the car being pushed slightly when it's windy, due to it's shape and lightweight body. Before I purchased this car I drove a car that also had this problem, but it was worse than the Panda, so this doesn't bother me. It's unnoticeable most days and when it is noticeable, it's easily controlled.
One up side which I totally love is the fact that the lights turn off automatically when you switch the engine off. No more flat battery!
I bought my Panda 1.1 Active Eco brand new in May 2010 to replace an old Corsa which blew up. I had got sick of constantly fixing second hand cars to my high standards so thought going brand new was the only way. My first impressions was just how much room there is inside considering how big it is on the outside. I also started to love the way the doors clunked rather than tinged when closing.
I paid £6500 for my Panda, I choose the metallic blue paint option which bumped up the price by £400 but since this will hopefully be my car for the next few years it made sense to pay a little more for the right colour. I was able to get a loan from FIAT at a good rate despite being self employed and having no chartered accounts.
My Panda is the most basic being the Active specification. It still comes with a CD player, RDS, central locking, power steering, ABS, twin airbags and electric windows. It also has a few clever features such as the rear windscreen wiper coming on automatically if the front ones are on and you put into reverse. For a cheap basic city car the specification is great.
The city car sector is highly competitive and many of its rivals are too basic and over priced. The Aygo/C1/107 are examples of great cars but simply cannot compete with the Panda on equipment or price. The Kia Picanto is about the same price but lacks some basics on the cheaper models such as central locking and doesn't feel as well made but it does have a seven year warranty. In my mind the Pandas biggest threat is the Hyundai i10 which is better equipped than the Panda for not much more money. The Panda was just the better package for me.
The Panda is slow at 54bhp and around 15 seconds to 60 but like all small FIATs it loves to be revved and providing you use creative gear changes it feels a lot faster than it actually is. In the city you can steer round things you would normally need to stop for in a bigger car. The controls all have a really nice well damped feel to them. The steering is nice and light and there is a city mode which lightens it further if you're a wimp. The gear change is mounted on the centre console and is not quite as smooth as some Fords I have driven but is a lot sweeter than the French cars I have had the displeasure of driving.
The brakes don't feel that sharp initially but I have done one emergency stop and had to brake sharply on two occasions now and the brakes are much stronger than they initially feel. The handling is extremely sharp and its a lot of fun on country lanes but it can roll about a bit on steeper corners.
The ride quality is very good for a small car, it doesn't fidget about like some smaller cars and it copes with pot holes brilliantly. The high profile tyres probably help a lot with this.
Boring mechanical bits
This Panda is powered by an ancient FIAT FIRE engine which is a single over head camshaft design with multipoint fuel injection. The MPG and emission figures are impressive, tax is just £35 a year. This is quite staggering when you consider this engine has been around since 1985!. The clutch is hydraulic (so smoother than cable operated ones) and the power steering works of an electric motor in order to save fuel.
The car feels like a grown up city cars, the interior looks like it belongs in a slightly more expensive car and doesn't try to be funky like many city cars do. The seats offer great support and its surprisingly comfortable on long distances.
The door cards are made out of a solid plastic material which is cost cutting but it is also highly practical as it can be wiped down easily. Other plastics can feel a little cheap when compared to the Fiesta or Corsa but those cars cost thousands of pounds more.
The boot is quite small but is also very tall can hold a lot more than you would expect. The back seats fold down but sadly are not split fold on this basic version.
The Panda is not the best looking car in the world but it is some how rather cute. It is designed for practicality rather than looks. The bumpers are now colour coded over all of the range.
Conclusion - The Panda is fantastic fun to drive and for many people will make a far better buy than a second hand Fiesta. It is too early to tell about reliability yet as I have done less than 1000 miles in it but there has been no issues so far. It has used a little bit of oil but this is normal for type of engine.
The lack of remote central locking can be annoying and my version doesn't have air conditioning but all it ever seems to do is rain anyway so the blowers do just fine.
I really love driving my Panda as it is just so much fun in the city but also amazingly practical considering its tiny size. The model is due to replaced next year but it will be a lot more expensive than the £5995 the current model sells for.
Myself and my partner bought a fiat panda 1.1 active Panda 5 months ago, and i think its one of the best buys i have ever made.
The main reason for the purchase was the price. We managed to get money off for the government scrappage scheme. However Fiat were giving a larger amount of money off, so that was extemely tempting. We actually got £2800 off of the book price, so paid £4975, for a brand new car.
The standard Panda only comes in white, if you want another colour it costs a couple of hundred more.
You do get a choice of two interior colurs.
It is a 5 door, although the boot may look very small it actually fits quite a large amount of shopping in it.
It has electric windows, but no air conditioning. Th stereo has a cd player and is a good quality.
To fill up the car costs about £40-45, and does about 50miles to the gallon.Its a great little run around.
A good featur of the car is that if you leave the lights on , when you switch the engine off, it automatically turns the lights off too, so little chance of a flat battery.
If its raining and you reverse, the back window wipers automatically come on, something which impressed me.
The only two draw backs that i have found with this car is the fact that there are only 2 seatbelts in the back, however i do think that a third could be fitted as there is enough room for 3 people.
Secondly when switching off the engine the stereo does not turn off automatically and will stay on for an hour until it will turn itself off. Also it is easy to mistake turning the stereo off, as you hold the same button to mute it.If you do not hold it down long enough it will mute but not trn off.
All in all I think this is a good little car, ideal for 1st time buyers and small familys who do alot of running around. You definately get your moneys worth. I would buy one again.
I should start by saying I'm no car expert, just an ordinary driver who's driven quite a few different models over the years.
I'm currently driving an 05 reg Fiat Panda, and am very happy with it. First of all, this car is exceptionally good value even new and if buying a second hand one you can find them for really good prices, around 3000 - 4000 for a 5 year old car through a fiat approved dealer, probably less for a private sale.
The Panda is small obviously, but from the inside it doesn't feel small. There is plenty of head and foot room in the front and even in the back seat there is a decent amount of space, although there is no middle seatbelt so the car only seats 4. The boot seems small at first but because of the high roof you can store a surprising amount of stuff by stacking it high. I used this car to move a piano once!
The size is great for manoeuvrability, I have trouble parallel parking bigger cars so I love this one! You can also fit in tiny spaces and squeeze through little gaps along with the smart car drivers.
The only downside of the car's size to me is that on a windy day the car gets buffeted about a bit as it is so light, especially on bridges or the tops of hills.
The heating/cooling is great, it warms up quickly in winter and cools down quickly in summer. The dashboard controls are very user friendly and easy to figure out quickly on your first drive. I particularly like the fact that the lights switch off with the engine so there's no danger of leaving them on all night and flattening the battery, which I've done with other cars!
The radio is easy to programme and use although its a shame that there is only a cassette deck as opposed to a CD player. I use a special tape from Tesco that means I can play my iPod through it, as like most people these days I don't own any other tapes or a tape recorder.
I'm pretty sure my next car will also be a Fiat Panda.
I have a 6 year old Panda Dualogic auto model that started out okay, But has rapidly become nothing but a problem. This is annoying as i chose the model because i liked the look of it along with the level of standard equipment that it came with. Sadly now knowing what i have learnt about it's poor build quality issues and the recent recall notification i have had regarding a potentially dangerous design fault in the abs brake electronic control module casing, Being vulnerable to road salt corrosion of the protective seal thus allowing water to penetrate it and cause possible short circuiting of the abs capabilities of the car it has eroded my confidence in the vehicles manufacturer for not finding this six years ago. Other than this it has been a sterling little vehicle on economy, comfort, load capacity equipment levels and ease of maintenance. just not on overall build quality or ride quality. Their is too much body roll and not enough traction at the front end in wet conditions i also feel let down that there is no torque convertor in the transmission or shift light for the manual sequential gear change mode. It is for this reason that i couldn't recommend one to any member of my family or to my friends not without seeing an effort to improve newer versions significantly.
I have recently purchased a new Fiat Panda, I have to say that the whole design of the car is a lot more impressive and comfortable my previous experience with this car.
The great thing for me about this car is it's fuel economy, it is ideal for nipping round town and handles well on the motorway too. You can squeeze this little car into most parking spaces which is handy.
The car stereo is mainly standard but can be upgraded.
The car comes in a wide range of colours, I like the metallic ones personally.
Despite the smallness of the car, I find it is surprisingly spacious for transporting large items, the back seats collapse down easily and the parcel shelve is easy to remove.
My only bad thing about this car is this:it doesnt like cold winter starts..it will start after a few trys though, i have a friend whoo has experienced this with this car too.
This car is incredibly cheap, with prices starting at £6,295.
To be honest, the old panda was awful, so I wasn't expecting much from this one either but the moment I stepped into it I realised this wasn't going to be the same. This is the hottest of the hot hatches and is great fun to drive.
The reliability of this car isn't fantastic but when it does break down the parts are easy and cheap to replace.
The panda is far better than the punto which is drives like a brick and is as reliable as a central heating system made of chocolate.
The options list is impressive, it comes with electric windows, central locking, 2 air bags and a decent stereo as standard.
Overall I think this is an excellent car for younger drivers and people looking to buy a smaller car. It is cheap and cheerful and is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.