The Panda name has been with us since 1980 and both the first and second generation models hold fond memories for many. If there is one thing that Fiat does well it is small cars so the latest Panda has a reputation to uphold.
Externally there are clear visual linkages between the previous Panda and the latest version, which to our eye is no bad thing; it is certainly distinctive. It’s also a functional design with good visibility and short overhangs making it easy to manoeuvre.
With lots of headroom on offer and some light coloured interior options, the Panda has a bright and airy feel that belies its compact exterior dimensions. There is equally good news for rear occupants with the squared-off roof line resulting in good head room here too. If you’re looking to downsize but don’t want to feel cramped, the little Fiat is the car for you.
The award winning TwinAir engine is once again the key to excellent (official) fuel economy. You do have to drive very, very carefully to get near the official figures but if you are willing to make the effort the rewards at the pump are great. The rest of the time it offers good performance with excellent torque delivery and a characterful off beat tune.
To get the best fuel economy you need to specify the dim-witted dualogic semi-automatic gearbox but if you want a manual it gets very close in terms of economy and is a good chunk cheaper. The TwinAir engine isn’t available in entry-level trim so it is relatively expensive but the Panda is a characterful and capable city car.