Used Fiat Panda 2004 - 2012 review

Category: Small car

Cheap to buy and a pleasure for driver and passengers alike

Fiat Panda (04 - 12)
  • Fiat Panda (04 - 12)
  • Fiat Panda (04 - 12)
Used Fiat Panda 2004 - 2012 review
Star rating

What's the used Fiat Panda hatchback like?

As an all-rounder in the miniature car market, few city cars impress in as many areas as the Fiat Panda.

Dynamically, first of all, the Panda is terrific. A range of three small engines give spirited performance, and handling is good for the most part, even though the car sometimes struggles to find enough front-end grip. The steering is responsive and well weighted, too.


Cheap to buy and a pleasure for driver and passengers alike

  • There's plenty of space for four, it's fairly refined and cheap
  • The 1
  • 2 engine is noisy and base cars are under-equipped

The ride is great, and it deals capably with most surfaces. Refinement is also excellent, putting many bigger cars to shame. Wind-, road- and engine noise are extremely well contained, especially for a city car.

The interior space is just as impressive. Even the base models that don't have a sliding rear seat offer excellent accommodation for four six-footers, while the higher-specification models that do are even more commodious. The boot is also a good size.

Ownership cost

What used Fiat Panda hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Fiat Panda hatchback?

A used Panda is far from expensive. It was a cheap car when new and, even though its residuals are quite strong, this is not what you'd call dear.

On top of that, running costs will amount to very little. All engines give excellent fuel economy, the diesel being the most impressive with average consumption of 65.7mpg.

The petrols are frugal, too. The 1.1 will give you 49.6mpg, while the 1.2 performs slightly better with an average of 50.4mpg. Even the four-wheel-drive version manages 42.8mpg.

The 1.1 is the winner when it comes to insurance premiums, though, because you'll pay the cheapest group 1 premium. The 1.2 and 1.3 diesel aren't far behind in group 2, unless you go for the Eleganza trim, which sits in group 3.

Our recommendations

Which used Fiat Panda hatchback should I buy?

The 1.3-litre turbodiesel is great - it has 70bhp and it's quicker and more flexible than the petrol engines. Unfortunately, it's significantly more expensive to buy.

For that reason, we'd recommend the 60bhp 1.2-litre petrol. Like the 54bhp 1.1-litre you might also consider, it's peppy and responsive around town, but the extra performance of the 1.2 is a real help, especially on the motorway.

The base Active trim level lacks some essential equipment, but you do get electric front windows, power steering and twin front airbags.

Dynamic trim adds a CD player, height-adjustable steering wheel and remote central locking, while the Dynamic AirCon gets, you've guessed it, air-con - and that makes it our favourite.

The Dynamic Skydome has a full-length electric sunroof, while the Eleganza has climate control, alloy wheels and roof bars. There's also a 4x4 version available with the 1.2-litre engine, too.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Fiat Panda hatchback?