Fiat Panda Review 2024

Fiat Panda At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
It may be getting on in years, but the Fiat Panda is still a stylish and practical city car. It’s affordable, too.

+Cute looks. Surprisingly practical. Fantastic value for money. Really easy to drive.

-Leisurely performance. Low quality interior plastics. Poor safety rating.

New prices start from £10,710
Insurance Groups are between 6–12
On average it achieves 85% of the official MPG figure

The long-serving Panda is one of the oldest cars still available to buy new in the UK. But the Fiat still has plenty to offer if you’re in the market for a very affordable small car alternative to a Hyundai i10 or Kia Picanto.

Age hasn’t diminished the Fiat Panda’s design – it’s still one of the cutest city cars on sale, even after numerous changes have been made to the styling. Some models have an SUV-like appearance with rugged body cladding and raised suspension. It sounds contrived, but actually works really well. As an added bonus, the extra suspension travel improves ride quality.

Fiat has a habit of changing the names of Panda models quite frequently. The current line-up has four tiers: Fiat Panda, Fiat Panda Top, Fiat Panda (RED) and Fiat Panda Garmin. The latter two are special edition tie-ins with, respectively, a health charity and a smartwatch maker.

They’re not exactly stuffed with standard features, but every Fiat Panda comes with the essentials. These include air conditioning, electric windows, DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity. There’s also a touchscreen infotainment system – a rarity in this type of car – that you can link your phone to using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. It’s not the slickest system, but is better than nothing.

There’s just one engine fitted to the Fiat Panda: a 1.0-litre petrol unit with a mild-hybrid system and a manual gearbox. With a modest 70PS, performance is on the steady side. However, it’s a very efficient engine, so running costs are low. 

The Fiat Panda is at its best when driving around town. The steering is light, visibility is excellent, the ride is smooth and parking couldn’t be any easier. The Fiat Panda is also happy enough out of town: you trust it in faster corners and the ride remains smooth. The lack of power can be an issue on steep hills, though, while overtakes need careful planning.

Inside, the Fiat Panda is comfortable and spacious. Four average-sized adults can fit without complaint, although the Panda is quite narrow – so shoulders will be close together. It’s reasonably practical, too. The boot is a decent size and the back seats fold down if needed.

There’s a certain tinniness to the Fiat Panda’s cabin, but it’s actually put together very solidly – it’ll stand up to many years of hard work. The car’s cute exterior styling is reflected on the inside, too. The colour scheme in current models is a bit dark, but huge windows let in lots of light.

The Fiat Panda is one of the most affordable new cars on sale in the UK today. Prices start at just under £15,000 and stretch to around £18,000. We reckon it’s excellent value, even more so if you can find a (rare) discount on one.

Because it’s been around for so long, it’s easy to forget the Fiat Panda is still available to buy new. It doesn’t appear to be going anywhere in the near-future, either. The car has its limitations, but it remains as characterful, practical and affordable as it ever was.

Ask Honest John

Should I trade in my Fiat Panda for a Toyota Aygo X?

"I currently own a Fiat Panda Waze 0.9. It was first registered in September 2019 and has done 11,700 miles. I’m thinking about trading it in for the new Toyota Aygo X limited edition as I love the look of it and want better tech in car to make calls and play music more easily, but is it worth it? "
Probably, yes. The Fiat Panda is feeling very dated now and the Toyota Aygo X is multiple generations ahead. We rate the Aygo X highly and it's likely to be a very reliable little car with low running costs. The Limited Edition model comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto so you can access your playlists easily. In the current market, you'll probably get a good price for your Panda.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Which city car offers the best comfort?

"What's the most comfortable city car?"
We'd recommend a Hyundai i10. It's got a big-car feel, with impressive refinement and comfort levels. Also consider a Kia Picanto. The Fiat Panda's a surprisingly comfortable choice, too.
Answered by Andrew Brady

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
More Questions

What does a Fiat Panda cost?