Fiat Panda review
A record breaking Fiat Panda completed a 10,300 mile journey from Cape Town to London, so this car is clearly capable of handling some serious stretches of road. Since then, a new and improved version has been released. Let’s take a look!
The Fiat Panda is the ultimate 5-door city car. It’s tough enough to survive on the streets, and has plenty of character to back it up.
Fiat has designed the Panda with the ‘squircle’ in mind. No, that’s not a Pokémon – it means squares with rounded edges. This improves the aerodynamic efficiency of the car and creates a memorable and distinctive design.
The squircle concept is carried through to the slightly curved bonnet with its elegant horizontal grille and the rounded ‘jewel’ headlights that have been placed higher to improve illumination and reduce risk of breakages.
The Fiat Panda is a very comfortable car for city driving, and this is certainly reflected in the interior. The cabin itself is extremely spacious and airy, and the raised driving position gives you additional visibility around the side of the car.
This car has 14 storage areas hidden around it, and if you go for the ‘comfort kit’ option you’ll get even more – we particularly liked the space above the driver’s seat for your sunglasses. The Fiat Panda has a massive 870 litres of boot space, so even if you’re nipping around the city you’ll be able to fit the kitchen sink (and more) in the back!
The Fiat Panda even has a compact handbrake that leaves space in front and behind the leaver so you can stash your phone, your notebook, or a nice cup of coffee to wake you up in the morning!
The Pop model has a simple radio and CD/MP3 player system, but you can opt for the BLUE&ME TomTom feature in other models. This will let you play music, make phone calls and access driving information at the touch of a button. Control it by using either the handy steering wheel buttons or voice display, so your eyes don’t have to go off the road for a second.
On the road
The Fiat Panda comes in four models, Pop, Easy, Lounge and Trekking. All are good, but here’s a quick rundown of each of them:
Pop: The standard model, which includes four airbags, Daytime running lights, 14” wheels and a radio with CD and MP3 player as well as Dualdrive power steering.
Easy: Adds a bit of extra comfort and practicality with roof bars, remote central locking, a six speaker radio with CD & MP3 and air conditioning.
Lounge: As the name suggests, the Lounge Fiat Panda is a tad more luxurious than the other models, but has all the features of the Easy, plus fog lights, body coloured and electrically heated door handles, new side mouldings and 15” alloy wheels.
Trekking: The Trekking Fiat Panda is for the explorer in you. Available in bold, yet practical colours, it has an all-terrain urban trim. The 15” Alloys sit on Mud&Snow tyres, and the car itself has ESP with Hill Holder Traction. This model also includes the BLUE&ME multimedia system to make your adventures even more interesting.
Whichever model you opt for, all vehicles in the Fiat Panda range are eco-friendly. You have three engines to choose from (two petrol, one diesel) and all of them focus on low fuel consumption whilst delivering high performance.
The engines are the Turbocharged 875cc 85hp TwinAir engine (our favourite), the nippy 1.2 69hp engine or the 13.95 hp MultiJet II diesel engine. These all include the Start & Stop system to maintain fuel efficiency.
Safety is a primary concern of the Fiat Panda; it features ABS, next generation seatbelts and airbags, ESC, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (so you know when to get new tyres), Isofix points for the kids and even anti-whiplash head restraints!
With a starting price tag of £6,995, the Fiat Panda is very well priced and it’s even better when you consider how low the running costs will be when you own it.
We like that this car comes with the option of four-wheel drive as it gives you more stability if you want to escape the city for the weekend. And here’s a fun fact for you – the Fiat Panda won Towcar of the year 2014 so you can even use it on your holidays if you want!
The Fiat Panda is a great car, filled to the brim with character and is a great drive. The airy cabin and practical boot put it near the top of its class – a couple more gadgets and it would nab the top-spot in a second!