Our cars: Fiat Panda - November
Week ending November 23
Driven this week: 50 miles
Fiat Panda review
I had the unusual pleasure of filming from the boot of our long-term Panda this week.
Granted, no one else is likely to use the Panda in this way, but from the perspective of a rearward-facing videographer, the suspension felt harsh.
Driving the car to and from our shoot, I couldn't get comfortable, either. There's no seat height adjustment, and when the steering wheel is set to a decent compromise, I couldn't see the speedometer properly.
I didn't have a problem once it crept above 55mph, but I had to crane my neck to see how fast I was going around town.
By Pete Brown
Week ending November 16
Driven this week: 69 miles
I thought the Panda might be a squeeze for a family of four and a trip to John Lewis, but I was pleasantly surprised.
My two boys were more than comfortable in the back, with enough of a gap between them to prevent bickering. There was also enough space to fit a new 5ft roller blind through the middle on our trip home.
We all loved the high seating position, which meant I could see the traffic and they could see out. My only gripe was the fact you had to take the keys out of the ignition to open the boot, which got a little bit annoying.
The Panda isn't as cute as the Fiat 500, but it's small and easy to drive and, despite a rough ride over some speed bumps, it was a good option for a weekend shopping trip.
By Michele Hall
Week ending November 9
Driven this week: 105 miles
I borrowed the Panda to head up to London's West End this week, and it lived up to its city car description perfectly. Dinky and nimble, it came into its own nipping in and out of lanes and slotting neatly into the smallest of gaps.
I found it really easy to drive, too; the feather-light steering and easy-to-reach gearstick mean you keep your movements as tight as the Panda's handling.
Fiat Panda 1.2 Pop
Week ending November 2
Driven this week: 91 miles
Last week we were pleased to report that the Panda’s Blue&Me system links seamlessly with the new iPhone 5. On further investigation, we've now found that Siri – Apple's intelligent personal assistant also works while the phone is connected to the car.
Siri allows the driver to control many functions of their phone using their voice, and it's far more advanced than the Panda's built-in voice control function. Using Siri means the driver can compose emails and texts, dial numbers and even ask about the weather without looking at the phone.
Using Siri means you don't have to transfer contacts to the car, or scroll through multiple screens on the tiny dashboard display.
The Panda is a cheap car, and it is even more impressive that it is able to synch so seamlessly to the newest iPhone when you consider that some high-end cars can't even connect to it.
By Matthew Burrow
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