Fiat Panda (2012) Review

Looking for a Fiat Panda (2012 on)?
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Fiat Panda (2012) At A Glance

New Panda has a softer shape and less boxy look. 1.2-litre or TwinAir engines. More upmarket interior. Good headroom. Softer suspension than previous Panda.

Not as cheap as you would expect. Rear seat does not double fold and leave a flat floor. Zero points in 2018 Euro NCAP crash test.

New prices start from £12,100, brokers can source from £12,100
Contract hire deals from £122.45 per month
Insurance Groups are between 6–12
On average it achieves 84% of the official MPG figure

This new Panda is amazingly just the third generation of the Panda since the original was launched in 1980. These things take time apparently. The new incarnation of Fiat's practical but fun small car gets a softer look but it's still unmistakably a Panda with that familiar profile and near vertical rear end.

It's much improved inside with a far higher quality throughout and a neater design too. The plastics are less scratchy than before and nicer to touch while the overall finish has more attention to detail.

Two-tone interior clours brighten things up while elements like the stereo, ventilation controls and instrument dials are now more upmarket. Fiat has introduced a new design theme - the 'squircle' which runs throughout, including the steering wheel.

Initially the Panda was available with two variants of the 0.9-litre TwinAir engine – a naturally aspirated 65PS version and a turbocharged model with 85PS. There is also a 1.2-litre petrol, and a 75PS 1.3-litre diesel. Easy to drive with good all round visibility, the Panda is ideal for an urban environment while decent high speed stability means it's happy on the motorway too. Only a bouncy ride lets it down.

As ever the Panda is spacious, practical and family friendly. There's a larger boot with a wider tailgate plus more space for those sitting in the back, both in terms of width and legroom. It can even be specified with a sliding rear seat bench which increases boot space should you need more.

Prices start at around £9k which is affordable but there is plenty of competition out there at this price, most notably from the latest Hyundai i10 plus the Volkswagen Up, Skoda Citigo and SEAT Mii trio.

Fiat Panda 2012 Road Test

Fiat Panda Cross 2014 Road Test

Looking for a Fiat Panda (2012 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Fiat Panda (2012)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

84%

Real MPG

32–85 mpg

MPGs submitted

234

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

ASK HJ

My garage damaged my car and fixed it badly - are they liable to fix it properly?
My Fiat Panda went into the Fiat dealer for some warranty work. When I returned to pick it up, someone had scratched from the front drivers door all the way to the back wing. They admitted fault and took it in to be repaired. It was raining when collected today, but when I asked for proof of the repair they say they don't supply any. On the way home I stopped at a garage and had a look at the repairs. The doors have been repaired and re-lacquered and are very hazy, debris under the paint, lots of swirls and marring that won't polish out (I have a feeling it's under the first clearcoat layer), pinholes in the lacquer and orange peel along the bottom of the doors. The rear quarter has not been painted but has been polished but the remnants of the scratch are still visible, even though the service manager claims there's nothing there, which both me and my partner can still see. The car was immaculate when it went in, not a scratch or swirl anywhere so I'm a gutted. The service manager seems very dismissive and says it's "good enough" because the colour masks the imperfections (white). What would you suggest I do?
Tell him that he damaged your property and if he doesn't fix it properly you will take it elsewhere and get it fixed properly then sue him in Small Claims for the full cost. Best to put this in writing and send by post office special delivery so it becomes a matter of record. Keep a copy of your letter and staple the certificate of posting to it. Take a lot of photos of the badly repaired damage.
Answered by Honest John
What's the most reliable car for a teenager?
What cars would you recommend for my 18 year old son? He's starting an apprenticeship this autumn and will need a reliable car to get there and back. The annual mileage will be approximately 18,500, most of which will be on A roads and dual carriageways. The budget is likely to be approximately £6500.
His problem will be insurance, likely to be £2000 plus per year. You can reduce this by opting for a telematics policy and putting you and your wife on the policy as additional drivers. But opting for a low insurance group car could make £1000 difference to the annual premium. So engines no more than 1.0-litre. Cars like the Citroen C1, Peugeot 108, Toyota Aygo or Fiat Panda 1.1.
Answered by Honest John
Does the cam belt on my Fiat Panda already need replaced?
Fiat have contacted me saying that the cam belt on my 2012 Fiat Panda is overdue replacement. It has only done 30,000 miles. Is replacement really needed yet?
Yes. I had mine done at 17,000 miles and seven years old. IAT dealers do timing belt, tensioner and waterpump very reasonably for £300 + VAT. It will need the waterpump.
Answered by Honest John
What small cars can accommodate 5 adults?
I drive a Fiat Panda but have a family of four visiting in April. What is the smallest car I could hire that would accommodate five adults but not worry me in terms of size/spatial awareness?
All standard hatchbacks take five people. Band B or C. This from Hertz explains: https://www.hertz.co.uk/rentacar/vehicleguide/index.jsp?targetPage=vehicleGuideHomeView.jsp&countryCode=GB&category=Standard%20Cars/
Answered by Honest John

What does a Fiat Panda (2012) cost?

Buy new from £12,100 (list price from £10,540)
Contract hire from £122.45 per month
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