Fiat Panda (2004 – 2012) Review

Fiat Panda (2004 – 2012) At A Glance


+Compact and practical. Enjoyable and easy to drive. Narrow size makes it easy to park. Good space for those in the back.

-Double folding rear seats not standard. Small boot.

Insurance Groups are between 1–11
On average it achieves 92% of the official MPG figure

It's cheap. It's cheerful. And it was a deserved European Car of the Year 2004.

The first thing that strikes you is its cuteness. It's smaller and sweeter than it looks in pictures. You instantly want to like it. Get inside and the central knobs and switches panel is simply the best in any car at any price. It's a model of clarity and every single button falls instantly to hand. So does the neat little dash mounted gear lever.

Fiat Panda 1.1 Active 2004 Road Test

Fiat Panda Multijet diesel and 4x4 Road Test

Fiat Panda 100HP 2007 Road Test

Real MPG average for a Fiat Panda (2004 – 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


Real MPG

30–78 mpg

MPGs submitted


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.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

Fiat Panda 1.1 Active Serpentine Belt
"I own a 2007 Fiat Panda 1.1 Active. It's currently done 49,000 miles and I've just had the serpentine belt replaced as the old one was making a chirping sound. However I've noticed that since the new one has been fitted, there is still a chirping sound that is coming from the alternator belt area. Up until now it's been a very reliable car to drive. I'm wondering whether it might not have been tensioned correctly or if there is an issue with one of the pulleys? It's a very simple system as there's only two pulleys the belt rotates on, the alternator one and the crankshaft one (I think). Both pulleys look ok, but I'm not a car expert so I just wanted some general advice. Many thanks"
Logic indicates that either the alternator or one of the pulleys has a worn bearing. If there's any movement in and out on a pulley, that will indicate a worn bearing, just as the first test of a wheel wearing is movement in and out when the car is jacked up.
Answered by Honest John
Need a family car for under £3000
"We have just recently became grandparents and are looking to replace our old (Mk1) Toyota Yaris. We have a budget of around £2500. We have had a look at the Fiat Panda and the Ford Fusion, but can't decide. Can you recommend a used car for a baby seat and three adults?"
Pandas are surprisingly reliable, but there is a lot more room in a Fusion and the back seats of a fusion fold down properly to leave a flat floor is you ever need them to. Though based on the Fiesta, Fusions are taller and don't corner as well. Avoid the 1.4 diesel. (Very few small cars last as well and remain as cheap to run as a Mk 1 Yaris, so you might consider a Yaris 1.3 Verso.)
Answered by Honest John
Need a cheap used car with low insurance
"What is the best car to buy for a 21 year old with a budget of £2500?"
For cheap insurance, probably a Citroen C1/Peugeot 107/Toyota Aygo. Or a FIAT Panda 1.1 litre Active.
Answered by Honest John
What's the best family car for under £3k?
"I am looking to get a used family car, with low insurance and a small engine. I have £3k to spend and it must be suitable for carrying two children. What do you suggest we buy?"
Citroen C1, Peugeot 107, Toyota Aygo, FIAT Panda. Check the entries in for the problem areas.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Fiat Panda (2004 – 2012) cost?