3 out of 5 3.0
Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

Spacious, practical city car is feeling its age

Fiat Panda (12 on) - rated 3 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £10,580 - £14,830
Lease from new From £151 p/m View lease deals
Used price £1,345 - £12,140
Fuel Economy 36.7 - 52.3 mpg
Road tax cost £0 - £150
Insurance group 3 - 12 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Bold exterior design
  • Improved interior finish
  • Frugal hybrid engine

CONS

  • Lowest possible Euro NCAP score in 2018 re-test
  • Thick windscreen pillars compromise visibility
  • Not as fun to drive as some of its rivals

Fiat Panda rivals

Ford
Ka
3.5 out of 5 3.5
SEAT
Mii
4 out of 5 4.0
Volkswagen
Up
4.4 out of 5 4.4

Written by Adam Binnie on

Distinctive styling and a spacious, practical interior set aside the third-generation Fiat Panda from its key rivals such as the Citroen C1, Skoda Citigo, and even Fiat 500, but it lags significantly behind its rivals in terms of safety.

Those with long memories will recall the two cars that came before this one, and it’s even more attractive the third time around - the 2012-vintage Panda has a more rounded look to the exterior than its predecessor, while the interior feels much more grown-up with an improved finish.

It has also grown in size, meaning there is more luggage space than before. Engine-wise there’s the choice of the venerable 1.2-litre petrol or 1.0-litre mild-hybrid petrol. Both offer low running costs with surprisingly good performance, aided by the fact that the Panda doesn't weigh very much.

For those who want even greater ability, the four-wheel drive Panda 4x4 joined the range later in 2012, joined by a similar looking version with front-wheel drive called Panda Trekking, which was discontinued in 2016.

Seemingly adding to the potential confusion was the Panda Cross in 2014, featuring an even beefier bodywork makeover with the four-wheel drive model's underpinning, with the visually identical front-wheel drive Panda City Cross arriving in 2017.

Improved Fiat Panda interior

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.

With the Mk3 cabin, Fiat injected a dose of fun and the 'squircles' theme of the exterior continues inside. The main dials in the dash have a hint of retro look, while 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.

Although it might look unusual, that wide, flat handbrake is a bit of a faff to use - it's style over substance. Still, it's decently built and as you progress through the Panda trim levels, it becomes even better equipped.

Euro NCAP

When it was first crash-tested by the experts at Euro NCAP in 2011, the Fiat Panda scored four stars, and even received a safety award from the organisation in 2013.

In its 2018 re-assessment, Euro NCAP judged the Fiat Panda to be a zero-star car. The times have moved on and the Panda has not, and so it now lags behind its newer rivals.

Should that put you off buying a Fiat Panda? Read the full Parkers review to find out.

Fiat Panda rivals

Ford
Ka
3.5 out of 5 3.5
SEAT
Mii
4 out of 5 4.0
Volkswagen
Up
4.4 out of 5 4.4

Other Fiat Panda models: