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 Panda shares the 1.3-litre diesel engine with the 500. As a result, fuel economy is terrific but the extra weight of the larger Panda means that it is slightly slower and a touch thirstier. The MultiJet unit produces 95 bhp at 3,750 rpm and 148 lb.ft of torque at 1,500 rpm which makes it great at nipping through gaps in urban traffic.
The Panda has heaps of character and is even decent fun to hustle along. The material quality is better than before and there are few cars of this size that are capable of carrying four adults in relative comfort. With keen pricing and intergalactic 21,000 mile service intervals, the Panda has to be on your short list.