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Fiat Panda review

2012 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 2.1 out of 52.1
” Cute and quirky, but the Panda’s long been overtaken by younger rivals “

At a glance

Price new £14,750 - £16,250
Used prices £1,309 - £15,447
Road tax cost £0 - £190
Insurance group 3 - 12
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Fuel economy 44.1 - 58.9 mpg
Range 370 - 586 miles
Miles per pound 6.5 - 8.6
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types

Petrol

Diesel

Pros & cons

PROS
  • Practical for its size
  • Attractive design
  • 4x4 model is surprisingly capable
CONS
  • Zero-star Euro NCAP rating
  • Aged interior is awkward to use
  • Rivals are better for long trips

Written by Tom Wiltshire Published: 25 January 2022 Updated: 5 May 2023

Overview

The Fiat Panda is a car that’s known for its longevity. Though the model range was originally introduced in 1980, the current car is only the third generation since launch – the Volkswagen Golf has been through seven iterations in the same time. The current Panda was introduced in 2011 as a practical and fun city car and it has a keen following.

It’s a rival for sensible models such as the Citroen C1, Volkswagen Up and Hyundai i10. Other rivals include the Suzuki Ignis and Fiat 500, the latter of which is mechanically very similar to the Panda but with a smaller, more stylish body.

The Panda remains popular on the continent, regularly topping sales charts in its native Italy, but it has rather fallen out of favour in the UK. Being over a decade old does have its downsides, and while Fiat has done its best to keep the Panda up-to-date with new engines and technology, some cracks are showing.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in its Euro NCAP score, downgraded from four stars to zero in its 2018 retest mainly thanks to its lack of advanced safety equipment but also due to the shifting sands of test procedures.

However its boxy, practical body and super-light and easy driving dynamics mean the Panda could still be worthy of shortlisting if it suits your requirements. Especially as it’s one of the cheapest cars you can buy.

The Panda’s curious model range is worthy of note, too. While base models follow a pretty standard city car template, they do have mild hybrid engines. Until recently, Fiat offered the Panda 4x4 – which has its own separate review – but that has been dropped from the range. It offered four-wheel drive, a turbocharged engine and a surprising amount of off-road capability.

Continue reading for our full assessment of the Fiat Panda’s driving experience, interior, practicality and running costs, plus detailed ratings of each.