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Fiat Panda 100HP engines, drive and performance

2006 - 2010 (change model)
Performance rating: 3 out of 53.0

Written by David Ross Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

The 100HP is a feisty performer. It might not trouble a real hot hatch, but it can maintain a good pace along country roads and more importantly it’s quick enough to raise a grin. The 1.4-litre 16-valve engine needs to be revved hard to deliver its performance (and Fiat has given it a six-speed gearbox to help make the most of what it has), but it still has enough low-down pull to be reasonably relaxed on a motorway cruise.

Flat out it can manage 115mph and accelerates from 0 to 62mph in 9.5 seconds.

Compared to the standard Panda, the 100HP has a wider track and lower, firmer suspension, making it more stable in corners. The larger and wider tyres, with their low profile tyres, mean there is plenty of grip and the little Fiat feels surefooted, even when thrown into tight corners. The precise steering combined with the Panda’s agile and nimble road holding make it hugely enjoyable to drive – and you don’t have to go very fast to have fun.

The City button that lightens the steering in the standard Panda has been replaced by a Sport switch that gives the steering more weight. Minimal body roll and strong stopping power from uprated brakes inspire further confidence in the Panda.