At a glance
- New price: £9,510 - £16,610
- Used price: £2,775 - £13,225
- Insurance group: 3 - 12 Get quotes
Cute exterior design, improved interior finish, excellent TwinAir engine
Large A-pillars compromise visibility, not as fun to drive as some of its rivals
This third-generation Fiat Panda certainly means business. The first generation was launched back in 1980, and to date the two generations prior to this model have sold more than 6.4 million units worldwide. In this time it has cemented a reputation as one of the best small cars on the market. On first inspection this model certainly is more attractive than its predecessors. It has a more rounded look to the exterior while the interior feels much more grown-up with an improved finish. It has also grown in size meaning that there is more luggage space than before. Then there’s the choice of the excellent TwinAir petrol or MultiJet diesel engines. Both offer low running costs with surprisingly good performance.
The Fiat Panda is all about practicality and in the past it has left the style and charm to its more glamorous sister, the 500. Now, however, the Panda has more than dash of style and appeal itself thanks to a cabin that is not only roomy but slickly designed. The main dials in the dash have a hint of retro look, whole the rest of the dash has a clear-cut, more grown up feel about it. It’s also made from sturdy plastics and materials that are pleasing to the eye and touch. With all of this as well as the Panda’s generous space for passengers and luggage, it makes the Fiat one of the leaders in the city car sector.
Rivals are better to drive
As a city car, the compact Panda is fairly good to drive thanks to its light steering and controls. However, the Ford Ka and Volkswagen up! are both more entertaining and handle corners with greater agility and enthusiasm than the Fiat, though the Panda exhibits very little body roll in bends. Approaching corners, the Panda doesn’t nip into them with the same alacrity as the Ford or VW, which is what holds the Panda back from being considered in the same breath as these models for driving pleasure. Has the Panda still got what it takes to tackle newcomers like the SEAT Mii or Volkswagen up!? Read the full Fiat Panda review to find out if this is still one of the best small cars you can buy…