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Fiat Panda

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    22 Reviews
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      12.11.2013 00:17

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      Depends what you're looking for

      Good:

      This little car has so many pluses!

      Driving around town it's great. It's small, compact, easy to drive, manoeuvre and park. I find it absolutely perfect for shopping centres and supermarkets.

      It's also really cheap to run, and doesn't guzzle half the fuel my previous cars did! Furthermore, I don't panic when I see the car tax reminder come through the letterbox - tax is only around £30 for six months!

      Not so good
      Unfortunately, it's not so good for longer journeys. It's really not for motor way driving at all. If you're in the outside lane and have to break quickly, by the time it takes you to get back up to speed you need to pull into the inside lane.

      Also, did I mention it's compact? Great for when you want to fit it into a tiny supermarket parking space, not so great when you have to spend more than 2 hours in it with slightly longer than average legs!
      And if you are using it to get away for a couple of days - you better be a light packer. Unfortunately the Panda offers only minimal boot space.

      So all in all, it depends what you want it for. A small run around to get you round town that doesn't cost too much? Perfect! A family car that you can use for longer journeys? Keep looking!

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      06.10.2013 23:09

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      I would definitely buy again if and when space is no longer an issue.

      Having owned this car for over three years now, I can say that it is a great runner and reasonably reliable. During the winter when most of the neighbours' expensive cars struggle to get anywhere, our little panda takes us everywhere with no bother. I think the biggest downside of this car is the boot space and that it seats only four while most cars seat five. If you don't have any baby then it is not a problem at all but if you do, getting a reasonable size pram or even a medium size (length when folded) is a struggle. After having a baby, we had to have a roof box fitted just to fit in a pram. Now that we changed into a stroller, we have to put the stroller in the front passenger seat as it is too long to fit in the boot. For whole time we had it, we had to have spark plugs and brake pads replaced on its third year service. And I know this is trivial but, the exhaust have rusted after having it for a year though we have been told that it is just surface rust.

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      03.11.2010 21:33
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      two thumbs up from me

      The Fiat Panda has recently undergone a makeover over the past few years. It is much more shapely now and has many more gadgets and features. I, however, had the older version much like the picture above and that will be the car I review.

      I bought my Fiat Panda 'special' for £150 from a person in the villiage. It was one of my 1st cars and not only was it cheap to buy but it was also cheap on insurance with it only being a group 3. It was midnight blue with grey cloth interior and a rather fetching rubber nobbly floor! It also had 2 coloured stripes down the side - a feature of the 'Special'!

      Driving the car was easy enough apart from the fact there was no power steering (normal for students in my day). The windscreen I remember was huge so vision was great and the rear screen was also a good size. The gear stick was interesting and kind of came out of the floor like a walking stick - It was massive. I have never seen another like it.

      The car handled reasonably apart from left hand corners when it would whistle. I think the whistling was coming from under the wheels. We never did get to the reason why.

      This car was so reliable and thats what made it a winner for me above all else. Every morning it would start 1st time. Even in the wind and rain. It also saved many people when their cars wouldnt start or were in the garage.

      Overall this car is a great 1st buy for anyone looking for a bargain. It won't win awards for style or make you look cool infront of your friends but it will take you anywhere you want to go. Two thumbs up!

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      03.06.2010 20:25
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      This car gives you all the advantages of a compact city car with the added bonus of a great boot

      I've owned this car for nearly two years now and in that time, I'm happy to say that it's become the love of my life. I own a 2009 1.2 Dynamic ECO and I don't really have a bad word to say about it. It's small, cute, compact, fuel efficient. Despite that, it's still really spacious inside, there are 5 proper seats with seat-belts and a spacious boot. I had enough room to move house in one trip using my panda.

      The quality of the fittings is much higher than expected for a car within this price range. Even with the air conditioning on, this car is shockingly fuel efficient. I have the petrol version but I average 50-60mpg driving almost exclusively in urban areas. It's also cheap to maintain and service. I've had no problems at all to speak of and my first service cost in the region of £100 which isn't bad at all.

      I'd recommend a panda to anyone looking for a compact run around car that has the flexibility to be used for more people or luggage when required. I love this car.

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      29.10.2009 14:50
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      a must have for commuters who want a bit of pace

      I have a 2008 58 reg Fiat Panda 100hp 1.4 liter engine, i have had a number of different cars in the four years i have been driving but this has to be one of the best for quite a low price.

      The pandas are small and quite boxy giving them a retro eighties feel, however their is nothing old feeling inside with a grey curvy dashboard and large dials it look really cool the seats are black and grey and very comfortable although might feel a bit restrictive for a larger person, one downside is they are only a four seater, with plenty of leg room in the front but not that great in the back okay for kids but not 6ft tall men.

      as well as the retro exterior shape they have tinted rear windows and lovely alloy wheels .

      Inside theare are all of the mod cons, climate control, bluetooth for your phone it tells you if you have a light out no seatbelt on or a door open as well as your mpg and all of the other information you never really look at.

      The main benefit of this car is that its light body with 1.4 litre petrol engine equals a lot of fun it corners magnificently sticking to the road like glue even when you know you are taking it a bit hard. it is nippy and small enough to fit through any gap in the traffic ideal for the daily commute. It is cheap to run i get about 40mpg, and cheap to insure £210 a year fully comp for me yet still can keep up with at least some of the big boys you often see people react and can picture them thinking "how am i being overtaken by a panda".

      The downsides are tyres are quite expensive and either i am unlucky or the car seems to go through them i have had 3 in the past 6 months puncture and at about £80 each theay are not cheap. Servicing is EXPENSIVE my car is i for its second service 24000 miles and i thought it would be a bit cheaper after the first one was £150 but no this one is £185 even worse.

      The only problem i have had with the car is the drivers seat has had to be replaced 4 times as the back rest keeps collapsing and fabric rips because of a sharp bar in the lumbar region of the back rest however that should be fixed once and for all after today.

      The parcel shelf has 2 rubber plugs on the fixings which often work their way loose resulting in an awful squeaking noise but superglue fixed that one.
      A definite car to consider if you are looking for something to commute in but do not want to lose out on power and speed.

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      14.05.2009 16:01
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      SO GLAD I BOUGHT THIS CAR

      The fiat Panda is a brilliant buy for disabled people. I have problems using my arms and the power steering and city park features are brilliant and so easy to use. I would suggest care when first using the city park feature as I managed to scrape my cars left wing not realising how near to a gatepost I had managed to park! The seat height is perfect for people with back/hip and knee problems as you are able to 'sit' into the car. No climbing up or slouching down is necessary. My husband is well over six foot and there is plenty of headroom in the Fiat Panda. The electic window and remote lock system is also of great help for people with poor grip and hand function problems. I use my car a great deal for short journeys and was delighted to find that I the car is averaging nearly 40mpg. There are drawbacks - the car is quite narrow so larger people may have a problem with seat space and the boot is small although I have managed to fit a wheelchair in without letting the back seats down. Leg room in the back is limited but children would be quite comfortable.

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        19.03.2009 23:01
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        My favourite car ever

        I have a yellow Fiat Eleganza 1.2 and I love it. My grandson calls it Luigi after the little yellow Fiat in the Disney film Cars and now everyone I know calls my car Luigi.

        I love my Fiat, it has everything I want at a price I can afford; electric windows, air conditioning, CD player. It is also economical to run, about 50 mpg, servicing has also been cheap and it is very reliable.

        Don't like small cars? Well maybe you need to think again, my son is 6'3" and he reckons the Panda has better headroom than most cars. The boot is small but the back seats fold down very easily, either one or both, and so you can use it like a van.

        I have saved the best bit for last, it practically parks itself. I've never been the most confident parker in the world but with citypark on I will attempt spaces that would have scared me to death in the past and I park easily and safely. Turning on Citypark is like switching on power assisted steering plus, makes the car easy to manoeuvre but remember to switch it back to normal when you have finished or it will drink your petrol with quite a thirst

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          09.06.2008 15:38

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          am from Aruba. i bought a panda 1988, 750c. at first didi't like it but now i love that car. its very economic, its drive good, very handy to maintain, very easy to fix too, very good in gasolin, comfortable. i have it over a year already. the only negative that i can say is that it doesn't run fast but overall very good car. i fall in love that i bought another panda 1990, 1000cc. its very hard to find those car here.

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          22.10.2006 12:59

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          I test drove the diesel this week and was very impressed. so much so that I ordered one and if you shop around you can find one at an almost 'disposable price'. Even Clarkson rated it highly.Seems like a great value for money 'green' package (70mpg) unless you're image conscious.The time will come when it will frowned upon to drive anything less economical.(Reliability rating is obviously a guess)

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          21.09.2006 18:48

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          Cheap and fun.

          An excellent little car that is exceptionally reliable and easy to maintain. I am 6' tall and was still comfortable after a 10 hour drive as there is suprisingly plenty of space inside.

          They were manufactured up to 2003 in Italy and on a recent visit to Florence I saw them everywhere, both as cars and vans.

          Doors rust but that's it, all of the parts are inexpensive. Just avoid the official dealers as they are not interested in ordering them for you, despite still be available from Italy.

          A fab little inexpensive and safe car to drive.

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          05.12.2005 21:29
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          Yes, it really could be all the car that you ever need!

          I am going to start this review by saying right up front that we are not Fiat Panda owners. However, I am fortunate enough during the course of the average year to get my hands on between 12 and 30 different cars to try, all types and sizes, from Fiat Panda's to V12 VW Pheaton's. I was born with a steering wheel in my hands and you could say, perhaps, that I am something of an amateur test driver!

          This review is based on our experiences at the Company Car in Action event at Millbrook Testing Ground in Bedfordshire last summer. The beauty of this event is that you have the opportunity to drive a huge range of cars, all on the same day, back to back on the two routes open at this superb test facility.

          It is also highly relevant to mention that this particular day saw the worst storms of the summer in southern England, we had torrential rain on and off throughout the day and very high winds constantly.

          To put our experieces in the diminutive Fiat Panda into perspective, the last two cars sampled were very expensive; the Phaeton, VW's W12 engined £70,000 flagship and a V10 diesel VW Touareg retailing at a mere £10,000 less. Obviously both of these extremely large and heavy cars had shaken off the elements with distain, now it was time to come down to earth, to a car that I could actually afford to buy and more importantly run.

          If there is a motoring equivalent of the sublime and the ridiculous, then the two massive VW's and the baby Fiat are it!

          And do you know which of these three cars was most fun to drive?

          Yes the Fiat Panda, 2004 Car of the Year - costing less than one sixth of the price!

          The Volkswagens are big and impart a tremendous feeling of safety certainly. My own car, the Honda Accord Diesel in which we had travelled up from the south coast too has a genuinely reassuring feel of integrity about the way it drives, it too feels like a very safe car. Again however it is no lightweight, around 1500kg, when it comes to perceived safety there is no substitute for weight, or is there?

          My wife has a particular aversion to very small cars. Coming from Poland, where driving standards are abysmal, roads dangerous and the average car a mobile wreck (Polish translation "grat" - a banger!). She knows many quite young people now in the graveyard, the result of horrific road accidents. In the south east of Poland, a relatively poor area - one of the poorest in the enlarged EEC, the staple motorised transport is the Polski Fiat 126. My wife, as do many Poles, associates small cars with danger and death on the road, the more metal around her, the more she feels protected and safe.

          Poles also have something of a tradition for regarding their own home produced products as somehow inferior to imported goods, the Fiat Panda of course is manufactured in a large modern Fiat plant on the outskirts of Warsaw, Poland's capital city!

          We were offered a choice of two Pandas' to try, a base 1.2 and a top of the range Eleganza. Following the last two test drives, my wife did not want to go out in either of them! Even though we chose to go in comfort - the pale metallic blue Eleganza looked much nicer too with its smart alloy wheels - this car was almost £10,000 less than any other driven on the day and it was a very long way from being the least capable. The slowest yes, but I am jumping the gun.

          First things first, how could this possibly be a basic Fiat? There is no bare paintwork inside, everything is neatly trimmed and surprisingly well finished. The equipment tally is staggering, climate control (with individual settings for left and right occupants), electric windows and a trip computer - all standard. For goodness sake my Honda was more than twice the price and it does not have a trip computer!

          Even after the superb seats in the two Volkswagens, these were certainly not uncomfortable. Being honest the driving position in the Panda was probably better too, aided by superb all round visibility. Sitting in the front we were far from short of room, two people could have sat behind us comfortably enough too. The huge Volkswagen Phaeton only had seats for four.

          Obviously in a car so small the boot space is going to be restricted, but being so upright if there were only two occupants, the back seat folds easily to create a small van of very useful and square proportions inside. To gain more useable interior space you would need to spend a lot more money than this to step up to something like the equally impressive, although less well equipped, Vauxhall Meriva.

          I have always been a fan of baby Fiats; if the need arose for a small car I would look no further than this. The gearlever sprouting from the centre of the dash feels initially a little rubbery as it engages, but clutch and gear action are faultless on the move. Remember too that this is the first manual gearbox car driven here on this day too. The steep hills and very tight hairpins require literally hundreds of gear changes; I certainly did not find making them in the Panda a chore.

          Probably the most impressive aspect of this very small car is that there is incredibly little wind or road noise filtering through into the cabin. Look at it without actually driving, or travelling in, it and you would be inclined to dismiss it as a city car, I'm here to tell you that in doing so you would be making a big mistake, on open roads, even climbing mountains in a gale (as here today) it is a remarkably refined car.

          Yes after the very quiet Volkswagens the engine does seem noisy, after all it is only a humble 4 cylinder petrol unit. Being used now to big lazy diesel or multi-cylinder petrol engines it is remarkable just how hard you have to work the little 1.2 engine to keep up with other normally driven cars. However, just like several years ago in the Cinquecento Sport, I can honestly say that I held up nobody else whilst driving this car.

          Fiat have since launched a more powerful diesel engine in the Panda, which according to those who have driven it, makes this car quite a spirited drive. The 1.2 litre petrol one we tried here produces a fairly humble power figure of 60bhp at 5000rpm and a torque rating of 75lbs ft at 2500rpm. Whilst ten years ago those figures would have looked quite impressive in a small hatchback, during the intervening years these cars have piled on a lot of weight due to having to carry heavy air bags, ABS systems and much more advanced crash protection - crumple zones - built into the actual metal structure of the car. Therefore at 935kgs in weight, the Panda at only 3.5m long, could not exactly be called lightweight; 60bhp really is only just enough motive force, especially on a test track such as this. Tellingly, Fiat did not have a version of the "base model" 1.1 litre Panda here, it weighs almost as much and only has 54bhp to pull it along.

          Driving away from the Fiat stand, apart from the engine noise, you cannot help but remark on just how refined this car feels. Primarily this is due to the outstanding ride, unlike the VW Touareg, there are no tricks here, just a thoroughly well engineered chassis. Having already discovered that a car rides well, it is never a surprise to find the handling thoroughly agreeable too.

          The superb test track facility at Millbrook is just the place to enjoy a good chassis, and enjoy the Panda's I did. On the hill route the only criticism I had was the sheer lack of torque causing you to change gear all the time in order to extract the best from the chassis. Get it right though and the little Fiat was quick enough. Brakes, ABS now a legal requirement even on baby cars, were more than man enough for the job. This had proved to be impressive car before we took to the speed bowl.

          At Millbrook there is a circular banked track of approximately 2.5 miles in diameter. Five lanes wide, the top one, lane 5, where professional drivers carry out maximum speed testing is out of bounds, however in lane 4 you are allowed to drive perfectly legally at 100mph. None of the roads here, I would hasten to add are public roads - it is a "closed facility".

          Remembering that this was an extremely windy day, the Phaeton and Touareg had been unaffected due to sheer weight, the Fiat Panda proved to be completely stable. Obviously it took a while to accelerate to 80mph, it was only on the second lap that I managed to wind it up to a wind assisted 100mph, but once there it happily held it. On getting home, my wife telephoned her Polish (Fiat 126 driving) father, and informed him that the Panda was a great little car, and proved more stable at speed than the new Astra, as well as other cars costing more than twice as much. Coming from someone who, for safety reasons, has an intense dislike of small cars that is high praise indeed!

          Would I drive to Poland in a Fiat Panda? The answer - providing there was no hurry - is YES!

          Fiat Panda 1.1 Active (base) model: £6595
          Fiat Panda 1.2 Eleganza (as described) £8195
          Fiat Panda 1.3 TD Dynamic (diesel) £7895

          Insurance groups range from cheap (group 3) to dirt cheap (group 1).

          Fuel economy ranges from about 50mpg for the petrol versions to an impressive 61mpg for the diesel.

          They even do a 1.2 (Petrol) 4x4 version for £9195 - the cheapest 4x4 by far!!!!!!!!

          In terms of running cost you are not going to find a new car that is cheaper than one of these to run either. Fiat offer discounts on them when new and depreciation is tiny compared to larger cars.

          My recommendation would be for the new 1.3 Multijet diesel version. Other Fiat and Alfa products that I have driven with diesel engines lately have been impressive and I can only imagine this new state of the art engine enhancing an already super all round package.

          Don't tell my wife but I'm thinking of asking Fiat for an extended test drive in one - maybe three weeks in July / August, 3000 miles to Poland and back! Then I could write you a much more interesting review!

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            22.09.2005 21:38
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            The Panda has been brought back to life

            I didn't think the day would come when I would gleefully write about the death of my Punto. But alas, two months ago while passing a Fiat garage with a large 0% finance sign gleaming in the sun, the idea of a new car sprung into my mind. 0%, can I possibly go wrong I mussed?

            So in I popped with all intentions to upgrade my x reg Punto for a brand new sparkly Punto. At least that was until I spotted the reincarnated Panda sat beside what then appeared to be a rather clumsy big brother Punto!

            A small amount of sales chat and a couple of forms later, I became the proud owner of a bright blue Panda. I know what you are all thinking, wasn't the Panda the poor cousin of the Uno of the old Fiat empire of the pre Punto era? Well yes it was, but things have changed, the rackety little tin box of bygone years has been brought back from the dead with a new shape, a new spec, a new set of colours but most importantly a new engine capacity that for a car that size is hard to resist!


            Price

            In any car decision this has to be the most important factor, after all I can want an E type Jag as much as I like, but if the money doesn't stack up then I'm not having one. Well if you are looking for a bargain car that will nip around town, this has to be in the running. For £6,500 you can buy a basic Panda with a rather respectable base spec. Once you start to add on any of the extras the price can shoot up pretty quickly, I think just to have metallic paint would straight away add an extra £500. There are some little benefits that come with the car as standard, AA cover for a year and a 3 year warrantee (two years provided by Fiat then an extra year on top). But as I have said before if you do find yourself in any garage at the mercy of a car salesman make sure you strike a bargain, try for some money off and failing that ask for something else to be thrown in, in the past I have had anything from car mats, free insurance, additional spec added for no cost, etc. If they won't budge on the price, go at them with another request for something you might want. Just one other point regarding the price, if you are thinking of buying one and are not too concerned about the colour and spec, then ask around the garages to see if they have any which have been pre registered. My car had been a showroom car prior to me buying it, as I didnt mind the fact that it had been sat in a room doing nothing the garage I brought it from gave me a discount of £800. As an added bonus it also had a lot of features which are not part of the basic model, including Cd player, roof rack thrown in, metallic paint etc. So worth asking, at certain times of the year garages are more likely to have cars like this to others, so if you dont mind waiting, dont mind the colour etc then ask around and get your car even cheaper!

            My bartering was somewhat restricted this time around due mainly to the fact that Fiat are running a pretty good finance deal that I wanted to take them up on. I'm not sure how much longer it is going to run for, but Fiat running a promotion of 0% finance for 3 years, with no deposit. And although it appears as if quite a few makes of cars are running similar, they actually all have more catches than Fiat, some request half of the cost of the car paid upfront then provide the rest of the money at 0%, some let you pay 0% for 3 years but somewhere hidden in the small print are details stating that after 3 years the car will only be half paid. So slightly at a tangent, but I think a useful one, be careful of the 0% deals, make sure you understand what they are really offering you.


            Choice

            If you are buying brand new then there is a basic range of colours, some of which are unique to the year that you buy the car. It seems to be the pattern that every year there are 5 colours are the standard non metallic colours all pretty bright and cheerful as Fiats generally are, then a more subdued selection of 5 metallic colours. As I said earlier, if you want the metallic then Fiat do charge extra. There are an equal number of interior colours to choose from, which can be combined with any of the range of paints.


            Performance

            Now obviously I'm not going to pretend that a Fiat Panda is a match for any of the super cars or in fact a high spec Golf but baring in mind the size and lightness of the car the engine is more than ample to let the Panda hold its own on any motorway. Infact, the Panda's base engine is actually the exact engine used in the basic Puntos. So baring in mind that the Panda is substantially smaller and lighter, it is more than capable of outperforming a run of the mill Punto! With a 1.2 engine I have found that the Panda is a nippy little rascal, brilliant for jumping in and out around town, and more than capable of keeping the pace on A roads and motorways. So far I have been pretty gentle on the car, but it seems more than happy to chug along at 80mph on the motorway with room to accelerate up for a short burst of overtaking. The top speed I've probably sat comfortably at is about 85mph, but I did still feel a bit of acceleration still in there.

            Around town, its size is its advantage, easy to park, easy to manoeuvre and fast to accelerate away from traffic lights. But if you do fancy a Panda but want something faster then there is quite a range to choose from, including believe it or not a rather sweet 4 x 4!


            What features does it come with

            As a standard, every Panda comes as a 5 door, 3 door cars just don't exist with Pandas. Probably due to the size of the car, it would be pretty uncomfortable climbing into the back of the car if it were to have 3 doors. A base Panda also comes with front electric windows (wind your own in the back) that as a nice little touch allows for the driver side to whip straight up and down in one fair swoop with a slightly different press of the button. It also has driver and passenger airbags, which the passengers can be switched off if you wish to have a baby chair in the front. Also a height adjustable steering wheel which comes in very handy, central locking, a remote door locking key, Blupoint stereo (cassette for the real base model but for little extra or a good barter this can be changed for CD) and Fiats version of ABS breaking which seem to do the job very nicely!.

            Now the best feature of all, which I am so pleased has been brought over from the Punto is the power steering. I know that power steering is pretty much standard for all cars these days, but Fiat have devised a very useful variation on this, called 'Dueldrive'. Basically Fiat have realised that there are two types of requirements for steering, firstly steering when driving, and secondly when parking and have basically devised a two part power steering which allows for both to be carried out at ease.

            On the dashboard of both the Panda and Punto is a button marked 'city', now this button is the answer to everyone's dreams in getting into difficult parking spaces. By pressing this button a whole new world of parallel parking opens up! This switches off the normal power steering which is your run of the mill drive around town light steering, and turns on the ultra light steering for parking, accessed through the 'City' button. 'City' only works when you are travelling at 5mph or less, so even if you switch it on and forget (very hard to do as it is so light), it will automatically switch itself off. No one can mange to park badly with this feature, like a feather the steering releases to a level that you can get a full lock with the movement of a finger. Brilliant, I would even go so far as to say go to a Fiat garage and try this feature on a test drive even if you have no intention of ever buying one!


            Fuel Consumption

            Another all important part of the car especially when considering the continual hike in fuel costs. The Panda is fantastic, although a petrol car (diesel version is possible) the petrol really does go a long way! I think approximately 39 miles per gallon in town conditions, 58 miles per gallon when on a motorway. To fill the tank it seems to cost between £35-36.


            Insurance

            If you aren't convinced by the fuel consumption, then consider the other largest expense linked to cars, which is the insurance. Pandas fall into Group 3, which is one up from the lowest bracket. Obviously, if you do opt by one of the Pandas further up the range then it will vary and could be in the higher insurance brackets, but all 1.2 Pandas are in Group 3.
            To give you an idea what this means in regards to cost I've been driving for 10 years, without making any claims and have just insured my Panda for £250 fully comp with protected no claims. Obviously this varies according to where you live and whether it is garaged or not. But I think this is as cheap as you are going to get for a new car.


            Comfort and Trimmings

            With regards to internal features I haven't found a reason to complain so far. Fiat don't appear to have cut back in many areas from the spec of a Punto, although the one thing I did notice (which I found a weird place to save money) was on the mirrors. Either have to be positioned externally, without any internal levers, not really a huge problem or reason not to buy the car, but it does mean that moving them while driving is pretty inconvenient. The seats are padded, comfortable and clad in a plain but modern material. Both front seats can be contorted into a huge variety of positions, although as the car is small if you do wish to have the front seats at their furthest back position, it does tighten up the space in the rear considerably.

            The radio is high in the middle of the dashboard, and forms part of the molded dash. Underneath that is the heating system, which consists of a dial to choose hot or cold or whichever setting in between and a lever to choose which location you would like hot or cold to blow out of at any one of four speeds. The gear stick also forms part of the dash as apose to the more common position coming up from the floor. Fiat have chosen to position the gear stick on the dash in order to give maximum elbow room to both passenger and driver, and I've found that it does the trick and really does give the illusion of a spacious interior. There is a mirror over the passenger seat for those who want to do their make up in the car and a large storage space. All cars come with a car lighter, removable cup like ash tray that if you wish can sit in any of the cup holders (in the dash and central to the rear) The trims on the doors come in the same fabric as the seats, and again are padded with pockets the perfect size for an A-Z and some sweets!

            Standard on some of the higher spec Pandas or an extra with the basic model is the roof rack. As a rule I would never suggest that a roof rack could be a must have car accessory, but on the Panda it really does look sweet, and sort of finishes it off. As it isn't a sporty looking small car, the roof rack seems to add a robust healthiness to the car, and gives it almost the image of a baby range rover. Have a look at the ones on the road, with and without the roof rack and you might see what I mean!


            The awards

            So if I haven't convinced you maybe the plethora of awards the Panda has managed to bag in its two years since re-launch will. Since 2004 it has picked up award after award from Auto express (car of the year, in 2004 and 2005), won best city car from What Car, and best budget car from Top Gear, there are some others too, but these should convince you to at least consider the car!


            Reliability

            Well this one is hard to test so far, as I've only had the car a couple of months, but so far so good, and having spoken to people who have had the car since its launch you can safely say that 2 years and you should have no problems.



            So I think that about sums it up really, a good reliable, cheap run around with an engine that can cope with a motorway. They are available from all Fiat dealers, as they have only been around for less than 2 years, second hand Pandas are still pretty rare and are holding their price.

            If you want to have a look at the car Fiat have dedicated a site to the new Panda at http://www.newpanda.co.uk go and have a look, see if you agree with me!

            Ive just noticed, ignore the picture on Dooyoo as this is the old Panda photo rather than the new Panda!

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              25.11.2003 08:15
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              • "Generally Ugly Car
              • but sweet in it's own way!!"

              One thing people have to remember. Panda's are like Marmite. You either Love em, or hate em. I LOVE MINE!! Car: Fiat Panda 750 L Year: 1987 Interior:- The deckchair seats are the funniest things to look at, but there's more than enough leg room for me and i'm 6'2". The completely removable back seats are an added bonus because of pets! I love the height of the car, enough headroom for any 8ft men out there!!The Dashboard lights up nicely at night, the heaters are excellent as is the rear screen heater. The Stereo (yes, i have the stereo too) is really crappy with a nasty sound, but nothin a couple of 6x9's and a 500watt Amp won't sort out! There's something about this Panda that I absolutely love to pieces and i intend on buying the new model out in Jan 2004!! Exterior:- The most UN aerodynamic car on the road, completely square headlights and dodgy door buttons make this one of the ugliest cars to look at on the road today. But my Panda, compared to others, has NO rust on the doors, underneath the car or anywhere else for that matter!! Shocking I know, but it's the cleanest Panda I've ever seen! Thought it was too good to be true when I bought it for £270 that there was NO rust, even pulled up the rubber mat to check the floor. Totally clean!! Engine:- The engine is nice and quiet on tickover, and any speed below 35mph at low revs. At 60mph, it's a little louder, but not v.loud as some people complain about!! To be honest, the Fiat Panda to me, is a cheap and extremely reliable car! I think the people that complain about it are exaggerating a little, it's not a bad car at all! I've never had a single problem with it since i bought it apart from a set of exhaust rubbers. As long as it's serviced regularly, these cars can go for miles! I do nearly 450miles a week and not once has it conked out, overheated or not started first ti
              me. Handling:- Cornering at low speed is excellent, the steering is responsive, and because of how slim the car is, gettin through gaps is a breeze! Reversing is ok, the view out the back is more than satisfactory. At higher speeds, cornering can be a bit nerve racking as the body leans due to a slim wheel base and a high centre of gravity. Lock-to-lock is excellent, better than any fiesta or corsa. It's the simplest car to work on and parts are extremely cheap. I recently bought two windows, rear screen and a front drivers side window for £20 out a scrappy!! 750cc does about 50mpg, and just over £20 to fill up, perfect town car!! There is a new Model Fiat Panda coming out in January 2004 and i have every intention on buying one for myself. It's the European Car of the Year 2004 so it MUST be good. starting prices from £6500 for a brand new one isn't bad at all!!!!! Sad I know, but i named mine Cherry!! :-)

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                13.10.2003 02:08

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                • "not very powerful"

                my very first car...just happened to be a panda!!! - Advantages: econimical, wont get stolen!, good to park - Disadvantages: not exactly an aston martin, it has green seats!, not very powerful

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                07.08.2003 01:50
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                • "Street cred"

                I've been driving a G reg Fiat Panda 1000CL for about a year now and thought i'd put my thoughts down about it. It belonged to my sister in law who decided that she didn't want to drive anymore after she had a 5 MPH tap with a taxi. The car was repaired and bundled off to me as my Metro decided to conk out. I knew that this particular car had a problem with starting in the mornings, which was just when i needed it to work! So, off i trotted to an out of town private garage and he had a look for me. Most of the engine was sound and just needed a tweak here and there to help the mixture in the carb to start up first time. This must have done the trick as since then, it's only failed to start first time once. Mechanically, i can't fault it, apart from cosmetic issues with the doors (the famous Fiat Panda rust problem!) i have not had any trouble whatsoever at all. I've even rescued my brother who got a brand new Fiat Brava, and when driving past RAF Fylingdales, his engine conked out, something to do with the giant radars at the base interfering with the systems. It's a basic car, a box with wheels that gets you from A to B in the minimum of fuss and hassle. Handling.... Straight line speed is good, but when you get near 95 mph, you have to hold on for dear life as the car gets a little twitchy and any movements on the steering are amplified. Cornering is good, but avoid going quicker than 35 mph as you then get understeer and miss the corner you wanted. Brakes are great, especially when used with engine braking, you can stop quicker than the distances in the highway code! Inside, all the basic functions are there, heating, lights, dashboard and a radio if you're lucky, although i had trouble replacing the radio aerial when that broke only for somebody to nick it a week later! :-( Seating is basic but comfortable, and you have room for rear passeng
                ers legs which is a novelty in some small cars, and you have acres of headroom. All in all, it's a basic runaround, as designed, although i think the engine needs a little boost. Having just cleaned her out with Redex, the engine starts easier and runs smoother. People in other cars seem to hate pulling up behind me as all they see is the '1000CL' badge on the back. I soon show them what i'm capable of when i take off! One guy had to pick his jaw off the floor!

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