The new Fiat Panda, recently voted Car of the Year 2004, goes on sale here at the end of the week (Saturday 17 January), further reinforcing the company’s 60 year pedigree in the manufacture of small cars.
In securing Car of the Year 2004, the all-new Fiat Panda took the automotive industry’s most prestigious award by a handsome 40 point margin from its nearest rival, impressing the jury of 58 senior automotive journalists from 22 European countries with a combination of design flair, interior space, flexibility, practicality, refinement and driving dynamics unprecedented in the sub-£7000 city car class.
Fiat Auto has now won the coveted Car of the Year title no less than 11 times, a record unmatched by any other manufacturer. First winning the award in the year of its inception, 1964, with the 124, Fiat achieved further success with the 128 and 127 in the 1970s, the Uno and Tipo in the 1980s, and with the Punto and Bravo/Brava in the 1990s.
Attesting to the car buying public’s unanimity with the 2004 Car of the Year jury, initial sales of the new Fiat Panda are buoyant and well above expectations. Orders had already exceeded 95,000 units by the end of November 2003.
Six versions of the new Panda, priced from £6295-£8095 on-the-road, go on sale in the UK at launch, embracing three trim levels – Active, Dynamic and Eleganza – and a choice of two refined and economical petrol engines, (1.1 litre 8-valve, 54 bhp, and 1.2 litre 8-valve, 60 bhp). Both these proven, reliable power plants are mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, whilst Fiat’s innovative, Dualogic gearbox with sequential or fully automatic operation is also available with the 1.2 litre FIRE engine.
Fiat Auto’s new, state-of-the-art, 1.3 litre 16-valve MultiJet turbodiesel will further augment the UK’s new Panda range this summer, and a 4x4 version, set to become the UK’s most affordable off-roader, will follow nearer the end of the year.
New Panda enters the UK car market with notably advantageous insurance group ratings – 1.1 Active:1; 1.2 Dynamic:2; and 1.2 Eleganza:3.