Fiat Panda Review & Ratings
- 9 November 2015
- Author: Nikolas Perseputto
The Fiat Panda is classified as a city car and manufactured by Italian carmaker Fiat and is currently in its third generation of models. The first generation of this car was launched in 1980, produced until 1986 after undergoing some fairly major changes. Over the years, between 1986 and 2003, the Panda has only received a few updates and changes. The second generation of these vehicles was launched in 2003 and are often referred to as the “New Pandas” or “Nuovo Panda” in Italy where they were originally made. This car was named European Car of the Year in 2004 and the third generation was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September of 2011.
So far there have been a total of 10.5 million Pandas sold all over the world and more than 4.5 million of them were the first series vehicles. The first generation Fiat Panda was made from 1980-2003, designed as a modern car with a low retail price and very basic features with no real bells and whistles. Mechanically speaking, the Panda’s design was heavily influenced by a number of different vehicles by this company, including the Fiat 127 which has the same transmission as the Panda. The air-cooled 652 cc two-cylinder powerplant in this car comes from the Fiat 126.
There were some mechanical improvements which were made on the Panda throughout the years on later models, but the car’s simplistic design remained the same. There were a lot of different design features which reflected this vehicle’s utilitarian type of simplicity, including the seven-position adjustable rear seat which was able to fold flat to make an improvised bed. The seating arrangement in this vehicle could also fold into a V-shape to accommodate awkward work loads as well as be removed altogether to maximize its entire cargo space.
The second facelift that the Fiat Panda underwent happened in 1991. Some of the changes that were made to this vehicle include a new front grille which had a smaller five-bar corporate logo as well as some revisions to the trim and certain specifications in different areas of the vehicle. The “Selecta” was a new model of this vehicle and came with a continuously variable transmission which used an electromagnetic clutch. This new and more advanced transmission could be purchased with the normal 999 cc FIRE engine or the 1108 cc FIRE unit which was fitted with electronic fuel injection as well as a three-way catalytic converter, able to produce a total of 51 bhp.
With 1992 came a 1108 cc engine which was complete with SPI as well as a catalytic converted, effectively replacing the 999 xx unit in the 4×4 as well as the 1992 and 899 cc which had injection and catalyst. The panda was gradually phased out starting in 1996, mostly because of the tightening emissions regulations and safety legislation. This car was produced in Italy until 2003 with a total production run of 23 years.
The Fiat introduced the third generation of the Panda at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September of 2011 with a whole new architecture based on the Fiat Mini platform. Manufacturing of this vehicle started in the Pomigliano d’Arco Plant at the end of 2011. This vehicle features a number of different trim levels, including the Panda Natural Power, EasyPower, and Trekking. The Panda Natural Power is the CNG/petrol bi-fuel version of the original Panda, but it has a 70 PS 1.4 FIRE inline four as well as a turbocharged 0.9 liter 2-cylinder TwinAir engine. The new Third Generation of the Panda was an impressive and surprising step up from models in the past, adding a variety of modern features and effectively making it a better overall vehicle.