Reviews > Car Reviews > Fiat > Fiat Panda (2003-12) Road Test

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Fiat Panda (2003-12)

Overall Rating

4 stars

This modern Panda is the best new Fiat for years, and whilst it shares much of its earlier namesake's no-nonsense budget practicality, it's much more refined and pleasant to drive.

For
  • Stylish city car with good space inside
  • Lively engines and nimble handling
  • Refined, practical and comfortable
Against
  • 1.1 needs to be worked hard at higher speeds
  • Driving position could offer more adjustment
  • Base models have limited load flexibility
Road Test

The Panda can be bought for well under 6000 new if you shop around. For that, you get a competent, well-engineered, safely-built and versatile runabout that seats four in comfort and five at a push. Equipment levels are good on all but the cheapest models, refinement isn't at all bad, and although the 1.1 petrol engine struggles a bit on the motorway, all Pandas are willingly nippy and ideally suited to the cut and thrust of urban driving. It's easy to drive; the high driving position gives a great view of the road, and the cabin is well laid out. First imports are conventional three- and five-door hatchback, but higher-riding four-wheel versions will follow, along with a sporty Abarth model. Panda is fun, well-priced, easy to own and a decent alternative to the increasingly popular Korean and Far Eastern city cars it's just a shame that it lacks visual flair.

Need To Know

Best Models: Lively 1.2 8-valve

Worst Models: 1.1

Replacement: 2012


Alternatives
Fiat Panda (2003-12)
Star Ratings

Handling

4 stars

Comfort

4 stars

Quality & Reliability

4 stars

Performance

3 stars

Roominess

4 stars

Running Costs

5 stars

Value for Money

5 stars

Stereo/Sat Nav

3 stars
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