Contact us for full library access on: 0330 0020 227 or click here

Fiat Panda

The independent definitive Fiat Panda video review

This is a sample, showing 30 seconds of each section.

    ANIMAL MAGIC (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    In third generation form, Fiat's Panda is not only cuter but more sensible than ever. Jonathan Crouch reports.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 66

    In third generation form, Fiat's Panda aims at being all the car some buyers will ever need. It's larger where it matters, yet still small enough for its urban purpose. It's more efficient, yet can offer surprising reserves of performance. And you can make it high-tech - or specify one that's super-affordable. The Italians have always done this kind of thing very well. They still do.

    Backgroundword count: 219

    Almost every car you can think of on the market can be pigeonholed into a specific market segment. And even if it can't be, it's likely to appeal to a very specific group of customers. The Panda's different. Though sized and priced as a little citycar, it's so versatile and class-less that it can really function as.... well, almost anything you want. Depending on the flavour you choose, it's a design as suited to city living as it is to the needs of a mountaintop farmer. It can be a hot hatch - or eco-conscious transport for Friends of the Earth. It can be a second vehicle for older empty-nesters. Or the sole car for a rural family. Less a citycar. More an 'essential' car, it is, in the words of one top Fiat executive 'the official car for doing whatever the hell you like'. This is the Italian brand at its very best. This MK2 design dates back to 2003, but other small cars are only just getting round to matching its astonishing efficiency of space. And just as they do, along comes this MK3 model, longer, wider, taller, more efficient and in every way cleverer than before. Functional, solid, intelligent and free spirited, it's still, we're told, a car that thinks outside the box. Let's try it.

    Driving Experienceword count: 308

    There are three main engine choices for Panda people, an entry-level 69bhp petrol 1.2-litre unit, an 85bhp 0.9-litre petrol TwinAir powerplant and, on the top 4x4 variants, a 1.3-litre 95bhp Multijet diesel. Aside from engines and performance, there's plenty else for previous Panda people to appreciate in this third generation design. For a start, there's much more of a 'big car' feel to the way that it drives, thanks to suspension tweaks, greater torsional stiffness and a wider track. The result is that it turns into corners more sharply, rounding them with far less bodyroll than before, an experience aided by greater sensitivity from the electric power steering. It's a great deal quieter than before on major routes at cruising speeds too - in fact, Fiat says that cabin noise has been halved so you can have a proper conversation with someone while cruising at the legal limit. And that's something that makes you far more likely to want to take on a longer journey. As for the rest, well as before, many of the underpinnings are shared with those of Fiat's other, more fashion-conscious citycar offering, the 500 - which is no bad thing as that car is a pretty fun steer, especially in an urban environment. Somewhere this Panda is just as at home. True, the five-speed gearbox could be a little more precise, but you'll appreciate the way this car now takes even the nastier small urban bumps in its stride. And delivers neat little touches like the steering's 'City' mode option to increase the assistance it gives at parking speeds so that you can use the tight 9.3m turning circle more easily. Urban-friendly through and through you see. Mind you, country types can also consider a Panda by looking at the endearing 4x4 version, offered with 0.9-litre petrol TwinAir or 1.3-litre Multijet diesel power.

    To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227

    Pictures (high res disabled)

    Statistics (subset of data only)

    Min

    Max

    Combined mpg:

    54.3

    72.4

    CO2 (g/km):

    95

    Extra urban mpg:

    61.4

    80.7

    Insurance group:

    3

    7

    Price:

    8945

    14995

    Urban mpg:

    42.2

    60.1

    Weight (kg):

    975

    1115

    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Small Runabouts

    Performance
    70%
    Handling
    70%
    Comfort
    90%
    Space
    80%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

    Subscriber? Login here

    Mobile
    Narrow
    Narrower
    Normal
    Wide