Fiat Panda Road Test (2012)

Fiat Panda Interior (2012)
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Fiat Panda Review

Fiat Panda ReviewFiat Panda Review  | Part Two

This is a budget car, and it is not overly endowed with creature comforts. Even so, it is pleasantly kitted out to be a pleasant environment for the driver and passengers.

Comfort and Refinement

This is a budget car, and it is not overly endowed with creature comforts. Even so, it is pleasantly kitted out to be a pleasant environment for the driver and passengers. In particular, there is surprisingly good headroom all round, and tall people may be surprised to find that they have more space overhead than in many much more expensive cars.

Safety and Security

A four star score in the Euro NCAP crash test programme tells you that safety is properly catered for in the Panda, but it is not top notch. This is because it does not come equipped with the electronic stability programme (ESP) that now features on almost all new cars; you have to order it as an option for an extra £315. Choosing not to make it standard kit may have helped to keep the Panda’s price a bit lower, but we reckon it’s an unfortunate omission. The car does come with four airbags and front seatbelt pre-tensioners as standard kit, and its Euro NCAP rating has improved by one star from the previous model.

An immobiliser and central locking are both included in the Panda’s standard equipment list, but not an alarm, although you can opt to have one as a dealer fitment before taking delivery.

Infotainment

The car’s standard provision for entertainment is quite basic. MP3 connectivity is standard, but you have to pay £265 extra for Bluetooth connectivity. Fiat’s infotainment kit Blue&Me is well worth choosing as an option. TomTom2 Live satellite navigation with a colour touch-screen is also available.

Rivals
  • Kia Picanto
  • Hyundai i10
  • Skoda Citigo
  • Volkswagen up!
  • Ford Ka
What We Liked
  • Roomy for its size
  • Easy to park, can see where the edges are
  • Sensibly priced
  • Stylish mini-MPV looks
  • Good to drive
  • Practical, good stowage space with seats folded
What We Disliked
  • Not Euro NCAP 5-star
  • Small boot at 225 litres
  • Pay extra for Bluetooth connectivity
What We Would Like To See
  • A Top-notch crash protection rating
Conclusion

There is an endearing honesty about the Panda. It is a very practical, good-to-drive small car. Fiat has sensibly retained all the best attributes of the previous model, including its cheeky charm, and added some new benefits. This new Panda is just as likeable as its predecessor, and been made even better. It has character and versatility for reasonable money. If we were on the lookout for a new small car, this one would be tempting.

16 April 2012 Sue Baker
Fiat Panda ReviewFiat Panda Review  | Part Two
Fiat Panda Road Test Data
Model ReviewedFiat Panda 1.3 MultiJet 75 Pop
  
Body TypeHatchback
ColourPeaceful White
  
Performance (manufacturers data) 
  
0 - 62 mph12.8 seconds
Top Speed 104 mph
  
Transmission5-Speed Manual
  
Fuel TypeDiesel
  
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
  
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
  
Urban60.1 mpg
Extra Urban80.7 mpg
Combined72.4 mpg
  
Insurance Group8
Euro NCAP Rating4 Star
Warranty3 years / 60,000 miles
Price (when tested on the 16/04/12)£11,100

The information contained within this Fiat Panda review may have changed since publication on the 16 April 2012. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Fiat dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2017