The 2020 Fiat Panda is a stylish city car to buy and run
There's a lot to like - and dislike - about the Fiat Panda hatchback, but there's no doubt that this is a cheap to run and spacious city car.
Fiat has even added a sense of fun and the interior design is very good.
The Panda is great to drive around town, but becomes something of a chore on motorway journeys, regardless of the distance being driven.
That's mainly down to the engines wheezing at high speeds, so the drive itself is less than comfortable and often noisy.
One of the big issues for the Fiat Panda, along with other cars in the carmakerís range, is that this model was first unveiled in 2012.
The Fiat Panda is beginning to feel dated
When compared against its modern rivals, the Fiat Panda is beginning to feel dated in many ways.
For example, this pensioner of the segment is up against the excellent Volkswagen up!, the sprightly Hyundai i10 and the easy-to-live with Peugeot 108.
It's even worth considering the Dacia Sandero Stepway as a less pricey and more spacious alternative.
On top of this, there are some very good electric superminis now available, such as the Mini Electric and the Skoda Citygo e iV with its 170 miles range.
However, another characteristic that rivals don't have, is the undoubted charm of the Fiat Panda hatchback.
Engines for the Panda
Engines for the Panda include a 1.2-litre unit producing 68 bhp, while the three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol offering, it's a mild hybrid, offers 70 bhp. The hybrid uses a 12v starter generator to harvest brake regeneration energy for the battery to use later.
The Panda had a fairly good 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel unit which offered decent performance and economy, but this has been discontinued
The petrol units are mated to a five-speed, or a six-speed manual gearbox. The Duologic automatic transmission has also been discontinued for the Panda.
The fuel economy is around 47 mpg, while the hybrid returns 50 mpg with emissions of 126g/km.
The Fiat Panda is also available in all-wheel drive guise, as the Panda 4x4, and is a sound choice for those who need traction - it's one of the best small cars available if you deal with slippery surfaces or need to go off-roading.
Fiat Panda is easy to drive
Around town, the light steering makes the Fiat Panda easy to drive but the engine shows the carís age. The suspension deals with rough road surfaces effectively so everything is quite smooth in the cabin.
There's also a good vantage point from the driverís seat and the roofline is higher than rivals. The downside is that the shape also means that crosswinds can lead to a hairy driving experience.
The spacious cabin is one to enjoy, and there's a decent choice of trim levels.
The entry-level Pop model has a sparse kit list but does offer air-conditioning, while the better-equipped Easy trim offers a height-adjustable driver seat, roof rails, rear head restraints and remote central locking.
The Lounge model is probably worth a closer look with better equipment including ambient lighting, alloy wheels, heated door mirrors and coloured door handles.
The mild-hybrid model offers upholstery that has been woven from recycled plastic.
Options list for the Panda
The options list for the Panda includes a panoramic sunroof, privacy glass, a leather steering wheel and climate control.
Itís also worth noting that since the Euro NCAP crash safety tests became more stringent, the Panda has been handed a zero star rating.
While that may be an issue for many drivers, there is plenty of safety of equipment onboard, and the Fiat Panda previously scored 4/5 stars for safety levels.
Safety kit includes traction control, anti-lock brakes and tyre pressure monitoring.
The safety options include a city braking system, rear parking sensors and a hill-hold system.
Lack of powerful engines
In addition to the poor safety score, and the lack of powerful engines, there's not much in the way technology onboard either.
The dashboard does look quite eye-catching, but it has been cheaply put together.
The cabin has enough space for four adults to travel in comfort, and there are various storage compartments in the cabin. The boot size is 225-litres which is smaller than most rivals.
Essentially, the Fiat Panda hatchback is a stylish city car to buy and run it's a sound choice for those who want a trendy-looking offering, but who aren't bothered about having a long list of equipment and don't bother to road-test (much better) rivals in the segment before parting with their cash. If itís the car for you then head to DesperateSeller.co.uk where we have a wide selection of used Fiat Panda cars for sale
DesperateSeller.co.uk rating: 3 out of 5