Fiat Panda (04 - 12) Owner reviews

No longer on sale

This is a great little car. I bought it to save money on running costs and I haven't been disappointed. Considering it cost only seven grand I am really impressed with the general refinement and the smoothness of the engine at all speeds. The Gearbox is a gem, really slick and I love the raised seating position, almost van like. You'll find you'll sit higher than Fiestas, Mondeos etc and gives a great view of the road. You expect because of the high ride that its going to roll over in the bends - but it doesn't - it corners quite flat but the suspension never feels firm? I'm not sure how this have been achieved but I'm not complaining. The steering weights up perfect on faster roads so feels predictable and never jittery. The boot is much better than I expected too. Even though its only the base model, you still get electric windows, airbags all round, decent stereo, traction control, tyre pressure monitoring etc. Everything feels really solid too, no creaks or rattling, feels really well made. To top it off from new, I immediately did a 130 mile trip on country roads and duel carriageways and with a light right foot got 63.8 mpg before the engine has even started wearing in! The only downside, I find the footrest for my left foot is set too far back towards the seat and should be at the same depth as the clutch pedal. I would definitely buy another.

christopher Rust, Northamptonshire, March 29th 2015

Pop 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG54.3 mpg

Just got a new Panda Pop what can I say??? a great little car superb around town, pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it is sure its not the most luxurious of cars but that's part of the appeal. The engine loves to rev and unlike some BBC TV programmes say the 1.2 Euro6 engine can go up hills fine. The only slight negative is the smallish boot but its big enough for me. The comments Ive had are people making fun when I told them what I was getting changing to 2 of the drivers at work now thinking of getting them as well. All in all a great little car

phil holt, wiltshire, November 15th 2014

Pop 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG52 mpg

The engine is superb, with Fiat seeming to adopt the β€˜why mend it if it isn’t broken’ theory, as this unit is actually a re-vamp of the same 750cc, 1.0 and 1.1 litre 8v engines that Fiat used in the old Uno’s and original Panda’s. The current Fiat 1.2 engine & gearbox are now widely used in the Fiat 500, the Chrysler Ypsilon and the new Ford Ka. This engine and gearbox are time proven and a well serviced Panda is unlikely to ever let you down. It has an 8v unit which has the Fiat FIRE engine (Fully Integrated Robotised Engine), which has 30% fewer moving parts and is probably the reason why it is so reliable. It’s quick too, much quicker than any of the 16v competition like the Clio’s, Corsa’s or Fiesta’s, even leaving many bigger cars surprised at the lights and I have never got below 40mpg urban, no matter how I drive, a fuel consumption figure that can’t be applied to any of the aforementioned and in summer, I have found 50mpg urban is achievable if the fuel computer is adhered to. The Panda’s only have one body shape, all of which are 5-door, so they are very versatile, but there are only 4 seats and the boot is quite small, but as a small, economical town car, it is as spacious as it needs to be. It drives like a go-cart in the dry and has impeccable road manners, but it needs careful acceleration in first gear and nursing around corners in the wet, due to the grossly inadequate 155/13 tyres that are standard on Active and Dynamic models, but you do get used to this.

Warren Home, Cheshire, February 1st 2014

Dynamic 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG42 mpg

I have owned the car, diesel version, for 5 months and am delighted with it. I previously owned a Fiat Panda diesel and the new one is far more powerful. According to the car computer I am averaging 60.4 mpg. I live in the countryside and do very little town driving and no motorway driving. The ride is good even on Irish roads in Donegal where pot holes are the norm and the seats comfortable. Equipment levels are good, I have climate control and this works well. My only gripe is the lack of rear electric windows, not even a option on this or my previous Panda. I have yet to experience winter conditions so I can't comment on its road holding efficiency.

Alan Peters, Donegal, November 7th 2013

Multijet 4X4 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG60.1 mpg

I am now into my 3rd month with my Panda, from new, and am absolutely delighted with the comfort, running costs, and general look of the car. I traded in a 1.4 Corsa (which was annoying and boring to drive)and was a bit worried about downsizing the engine. Yes, the Panda is marginally slower when pulling away from stationary, but only by seconds. Apart from that, which I expected anyway, the Panda goes like a dream. She flies along the motorway with no effort. I've just clocked up my first 1000 miles, after doing a round trip of 420 miles on a tank of petrol. She's fun to drive, but if you are carrying valuable china, make sure it's wrapped well! That is part and parcel of the fun part I think! She's a jolly little motor, with easy access. One minor niggle - why is the rev counter SO BIG?? If you are thinking about one - do have a test drive.

Lin Jones, Cornwall, September 5th 2013

Lounge 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG52 mpg

I have owned my Fiat Panda 1.2 POP for four months, I use it to get me to work which involves 25 miles of motorway driving every day. The Panda takes this in its stride, has a good turn of speed and keeps up with the flow of traffic no problem at all. The ride is fine for what the car is, actually better than I thought it would be if I was honest. The engine is willing, the gear change is slick and the comfort and refinement for a small car is great. I paid Β£7000 for mine, brand new from Twickenham Fiat dealers (Parkside, really great dealers), an absolute steal for a new car with red paint and other extra's added for no extra cost. Just coming up to 5000 miles on the clock and very happy with it. I drive the Panda sensibly to get good MPG which is why I bought it in the first place. I have also drive the Panda abroad passing through 3 countries and got out of it feeling great with no back ache, more than could be said for much bigger cars I have owned and driven the exact same journey in (Ford Mondeo). The Panda is so good my parents are buying one as a run-around vehicle so they can leave their gas guzzler at home when making short local journeys. If you want a small reliable car that is cheap as chips to run, the Panda fits the bill perfectly and may well surprise you along the way! Love mine and now my wife wants a Fiat 500 as she loves the way the Panda drives (they both share the same chassis).

Paul Ironmonger, Surrey, August 12th 2013

Pop 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG54 mpg

The new twin air 4x4 is a bit quirky to drive until you get used to it ,On the road and off road it soaks up bumps with ease a little body roll on bends (i live in the Linconshire Wolds) ,In eco its very under powered needing plenty of gear changes switch to normal and it seems very sporty, The eco button dosen't seem to make any difference to fuel econnomey most magazine write ups quote 57mpg ,With 3500mls under its belt driving very moderately Iv'e been getting 45-47 at best ,As an older person i find its very easy to get in and out of.Another bonus road tax Β£30

john ford, Norfolk, June 23rd 2013

TwinAir [85] 4X4 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I purchased my 1.2 Panda Easy two weeks ago and have put over 1,000 miles on it since then. I looked at many superminis before deciding on the Panda as it offered a good spec level plus a good price, certainly cheaper than the equivelant Fiesta. I spec'd the Techno pack with the car as I wanted Bluetooth and a Sat Nav plus a couple of other options such as split rear seat an rear tinted windows, all in all a nice tidy car. I have to say that I am very pleased indeed with the car and the features are spectacular for the price. The voice control is easy to use and works equally as well as my 2012 Mercedes ML. I am so glad I went for this car as it is small on the outside and yet pleasingly spacious on the inside whilst being very frugal (59mpg) and easy to drive for myself and my 18 year old daughter. Well done Fiat but next time, try and make the main beam warning light a little less glaring, it is very distracting when driving at night.

Craig Mansfield-Perry, Staffordshire, December 3rd 2012

Easy 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG54.3 mpg

We have owned a Panda Twin Air Lounge since early May 2012. We feel that the quality is much improved from the previous model, of which we had two, one being a diesel. Our only gripe on delivery was that we had two colour keyed door handles on the driver's side and two black ones on the passenger's side! This suggests poor quality control by Fiat. Fortunately, since this was sorted out by the dealer, the car has run very well. On reflection, we are not sure whether the purchase of the Twin Air Model was wise. The car is certainly very lively when acceleration is really needed, but this inevitably affects petrol consumption and the high gearing means that a considerable amount of gear changing is required in urban areas. Fortunately, the gear box is very good and the car is undoubtedly great fun to drive. It is also at its best on motorways and dual carriages where the need to change gear constantly does not exist. If we bought another Panda we would probably opt for the 1.2 engine version, which we believe would not have the few drawbacks we have encountered.

Michael Wadge, North Somerset, October 12th 2012

Pop 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG44 mpg

Chose this over the Jazz, Fiesta and Up/Citigo. Its such an all round great little car.

Martyn Nash, Carmarthenshire, October 10th 2012

Easy 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG52.5 mpg

I'm a few hundred miles into ownership of my first Panda, and I love it. Although I still think that the last generation Panda was better looking than the one launched in 2011/12, it's a really fun and characterful little car. It looks distinctive and stands out from the crowd. I think I'm actually quite pleased about having chosen a Panda because it's so much more expressive than the VW Up, Skoda Citigo, Ford Ka etc. I chose the mid range Easy, mainly because the top of the range Lounge only seems to add aesthetic extras. The Blue&Me Bluetooth/USB system is excellent (although check whether your phone is compatible with all the features - Microsoft developed the system, so things like SMS message reading don't work with an iPhone). The interior is really well made, a step up from the old Panda, although the "squircles" theme is everywhere, and I'm not convinced the dashboard dials benefit from it (they're actually more legible at night than day in my opinion). I'm about 5'10", and the driving position is good - just. It feels tall, and I'd appreciate a steering wheel that would be adjustable for reach as well as tilt. Glad not to have taken the sunroof option which takes some headroom. I like the layout of the switchgear, especially the steering wheel mounted audio and phone controls. I love the 500, but the Panda is more practical, more characterful and somehow less clichΓ©d than the retro 500. It's in demand too, so you can also negotiate more on the price.

James Brown, October 9th 2012

Easy 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG46 mpg

Only one day old, so early days, but very pleased so far. Looks really good and drives well.

Jeannine Roe, April 3rd 2012

Lounge 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG54 mpg

Ive had this car for one year now and so far has exeeded my expectations. The car is great at overtaking lorries on the motorway and handles very well. There is a slight body roll while using roundabouts but isnt too bad. The fuel usage is very minor going 2 weeks on Β£10 of fuel if i am using to go to work, and if i use the motorway Β£10 of petrol will last a week and a half. This car does have a stigma attached to it though i.e. its a fiat, if anyone says what car are you driving i say a fiat panda and they say things like oh see it got you here without braking down or how did it get through the snow its a fiat, someone even said that bits would start falling off it because its a fiat, so i can honestly say fiat have a very bad repuation, and after 1 year the car has NOT broken down and HASNT had bits falling off it. As for the interior it does have a very plastic feel to it and the stereo could be better the seats however are very comfortable but the gear stick can leave you cramped because its high in the middle of the dash board leaving me less legroom than a ford fiesta (which i took my test in). There is some decent stowage in the side of the doors a glove box (which the sciento didnt have) and a temperature guage amongst the speedometer which some supermini's dont have. T

Alex French, NORTHANTS, February 15th 2009

Dynamic 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I donwsized from a bigger estate car so bought 26k 06 Dynamic 2 weeks ago. The power steering packed up after 1 day. Thank god warranty covered Β£450+ repair. Have had back for a week and so far it is very nippy, easy and fun to drive. The 'City' parking option seems to be unnecessary, the steering is really light already and a doddle to park. It's good on the motorway, easily reaches 70+mph and is much quieter than expected. The ride is very firm! Watch out for 'potholes'. It's too early to comment on fuel consumption. It is showing 38mpg on trip readout and is rising every day. The gear change is smooth, slips from 2nd to 4th really well which saves even more fuel. If buying a used car check that the fuel cap is lockable. It will set you back nearly Β£20. With fuel costs as they are and the ease with which fuel can be stolen it is a shame Fiat feel they have to squeeze more money out of you for something that costs them very little. Also, a boot light wouldn't bankrupt them either! Overall, so far I am happy with the car.

Geri Hayes, February 5th 2009

Dynamic 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I was finding driving around London in a large saloon a pain so was tempted to get a small car as my next company car. My initial choice was the Fiat 500 but I opted for a Panda in the end due to it having 4 doors & being more practical. In June 2008 I collected my fully equiped, brand new 1.3 Multijet & have since done 6000 miles. Quite simply for what it cost & for what it is, the car is brilliant! I was initially concerned that driving around town I was only averaging 250 miles on a full tank of diesel but after a few weeks, this increased to 300 miles + and now I'm getting about 400 miles of urban driving from Β£30 of diesel! The engine has become more quiet & refined & the car is nippy & a joy to drive. On my odd journies up the A1 & around the M25, the car sits with languid ease @ 70+ MPH. For such a small car, it is surprisingly roomy both @ the front & the back yet you can park it in almost any tight space. I cannot praise this little car enough and cannot comprehend how SMART car drivers could prefer those rollerskate type vehicles to a Panda!

Luca Losi, January 16th 2009

Multijet Dynamic 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG60 mpg

After reading numerous reviews I bought this 35K 04 Eleganza a few weeks ago having run a Ford Ka for about 6 months. Fiat dealers seem to come in for quite a lot of stick but I thought Pewsham Motors Chippenham where I bought mine were great - friendly, efficient and reasonable, they did everything they said they would with no fuss. To me the difference between the Ka and the Panda is enormous, It's as if the Ford comes from a bygone era (which to be fair it does) whereas the Panda seems a thoroughly modern car - a real pleasure to drive. Equipment on the Eleganza is first rate, although it's a pity the parcel shelf doesn't lift with the tailgate. Although it never let me down the Ka had numerous niggling faults but so far I can't think of anything I don't like about the Panda, apart from that shelf! With 35k on the clock reliability may be a problem.... I'll let you know!

peter williams, November 8th 2008

Eleganza 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Ibought mine for under Β£5000 brand new in August, love the car but have had a few problems. It's been back with the dealer a few times, and going back toady again. It's great to drive, cheap to run and brilliant for parking. Plenty of space inside and good boot space. Can be sluggish on hills but not a problem. I had to a utility socket and remote locking fitted when I bought it, that blew the electrics and caused a few other faults, not sure Fiat mechanic really knows the car? Now having a problem with water building up all around the four doors and pooling in the door wells. Looks as thought the seal doesn't quite fit. The amount of water settling there will cause major problems in a freeze, the doors won't open! and am worried about rust. Having been on the motorway in wet weather the muddy water got in and half way up the the door frame, definitely not normal. Not sure if that's common to the make or if I got a lemon. Problems aside I do love the car and if I can get the niggles sorted I would buy another. Can't beat it for value

Elizabeth Kenney, November 8th 2008

Active 5dr

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Great little car. Roomy and very refined. It struggles a little on hills, but to be expected for a 1.1 litre. Economical and cheap to run. My only gripe is the angle/position of the accelerator which leads to calf cramp over a long journey. If Fiat can make small cars like this what do they make such a hash of bigger ones??

James Lawler, Cork, September 22nd 2008

Active 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG48 mpg

Collected the car on 29th August from Arnold Clark FIAT Aberdeen who did a terrific in getting me a car within two days. The 40 mile drive home yielded an amazing 65 mpg. So far mixed driving has given an average of 60 mpg over 175 hilly miles. The car is well equipped easy to drive and my best eco 4x4 yet.

CHARLES HOLLAND-KEEN, ABERDEENSHIRE, September 8th 2008

Multijet 4x4 Cross 5dr

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG60 mpg

The Panda is a fantastic car - especially considering the price tag! I bought this for Β£5000 - which proves that if you shop around, you can get a good deal. It is the best car I have ever had - its nippy, well-built, cheap to run (and insure) and looks good inside and out. The interior layout is good - especially the seating position and the dashboard. Standard equipment is good for an entry level model, - Aircon is lacking, but you can upgrade to the Dynamic Aircon. The drive is superb, great steering, easy gearshift and superb position. Fuel economy is good, and although rivals such as the Toyota Aygo achieve more, they don't compare to the Panda for space, ride and handling.

Greg Smith, Surrey, August 16th 2008

Active 5dr

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG42 mpg