The well regarded and much loved Fiat Panda (especially in the 100HP variant) is being replaced this month, and Fiat have clearly taken the decision not to alienate existing customer, with the new model being visually very similar to the outgoing car.
The new Panda has grown up slightly, with the car being 11cm longer than the outgoing model, 6cm wider but 3cm lower. It’s also inherited the superb TwinAir engines from the smaller 500, with the 0.9 litre 85bhp petrol engine being available on the mid range Easy and top end Lounge variants. At the bottom of the range there’s a 1.2 8v petrol engine Pop version, retailing at an impressive £8,900. A 1.3 MultiJet diesel engine, available across the range, tops the price list in Lounge spec at £12,250.
For that you get a car bigger than the 500 that will hopefully retain the fun characteristics of the previous Panda, and that will be reasonably well equipped, with even the basic Pop trim level getting electric windows, power steering and central locking.
Notable by its absence is stability control, which is only an option and led to the Panda receiving just four stars in its EuroNCAP crash test. Higher spec models also get more airbags than the Pop’s four. One positive, however, is that a Low Speed Collision Mitigation system will be available, allowing the car to brake itself in an emergency at speeds of up to 18mph.
Fiat are suggesting the design of the new Panda is ‘more emotional’ than that of the old model, by which we assume the headlights are a bit like those on the 500. There’s certainly a lot of customisation options though, with 10 exterior colours, six interior trim options, three specification levels and three engine options to choose from.
Whether that emotional design will increase sales remains to be seen, but the signs are that the new Panda continues where the old one left off. It’ll be a solid, sensible yet still great fun option at a great price.
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