Fiat Panda Review
Fiat Panda, as the name implies, is a teeny car with a small aggregate length. It has many distinctive features which puts it aside from the flooding city car segment. You may call it a city car or an economy car but the fact that it can be used in any way you like makes it an essential car. Multi-utility, comfort, small size and loads of boot space is what that puts Fiat Panda ahead in the line and there will be many who will use the Fiat Panda as their only car. The car is also important for Fiat from the sales point of view. Fiat Panda was a huge success when it was launched 30 years back. Officials claim that the production has passed 6.5 million units which itself is no less than a success story. Adding more to its hall of fame, it has the title of coveted car of the year award in 2004.
The attempt to make this car a 4x4 now proves to be the biggest advantage for the car. The car is lot lighter and compact than the regular 4x4 SUVs but has equivalent performance. At the same time the car has a performance which is literally unmatched in the 2WD category. The engines are designed to maintain fine response on and off roads. The vehicle feels stronger and has more grip than any other car in the segment.
The body is designed like a city car but powered like an SUV. The steering feels light which makes it a boon for parking in India. It can be vague at high speeds as the front gripping is difficult to judge. This car is going to be a priced possession for the owners.
Fiat Panda Models and Features
The baby car is available in four versions. Namely Fiat Panda POP which the base variant of Fiat Panda. Second one is the Fiat Panda EASY which has more comfortable interiors and an extra pinch of luxury over the POP variant. Then the Fiat Panda LOUNGE has the utmost luxuries you can get in the series. This is a deluxe edition in the series which satisfies all the needs one can fancy in a luxury car. The top model is named Fiat Panda TREKKING. As the name suggests it is the strongest of all and has the adventure spirit in it. Start & Stop engine option is unavailable in the 1.2 FIRE engine.
|Fiat Panda POP||It is equipped with a 1.2 Fire engine. Other features include Dual drive power steering, driver, passenger and window airbags and a radio with CD and MP3 player.|
|Fiat Panda EASY||This car has all the features of POP, plus additional features include remote central locking, roof rails and air-conditioning.|
|Fiat Panda LOUNGE||It is an upper version of EASY also equipped with body colored door handles and fog lights. The best feature is the 15” alloy wheels which make it look stronger.|
|Fiat Panda TREKKING||Being the top model in the Fiat Panda series means that this car has a lot more to offer. The vehicle is equipped with 15 inch alloy wheels with Mud&Snow grip tyres, Blue and Me voice control and a high center console. The adventure part has been made stronger with ESP with Hill Holder and the new traction control system, Traction +.|
Fiat Panda Mileage and fuel efficiency
The Fiat Panda has undergone many changes since the day it hit the markets. It is no longer a cheap city car which is just used as conveyance. According to the current scene the car buyers are attracted by the huge deal of improvements like the interiors design, ride quality, power, engine refinement and impressive economy figures.
Panda uses a 1.2 Fire engine in the POP variant. Diesel version of the POP variant is also offered. Lounge trim is available with a Twin Air model engine. Talking about the Fiat Panda Mileage, the TwinAir has the highest average of about 27 kmpl which is undoubtedly astonishing. Many consider it a figure which is practically impossible to achieve but Fiat promises to revise and improve stats. The MultiJet diesel engine’s mileage is rated at 30.78 kmpl. The 1.2 Fire engine claims an economy of 23 kmpl.
At a look these figures may seem very impressive, but now it all depends on the Fiat engineers to prove it. Even if these figures aren’t achieved, Fiat Panda will still have unmatched economy.
|Model||Mileage (City)||Mileage (Highway)|
|Fiat Panda 1.2L Petrol||20 kmpl||23 kmpl|
|Fiat Panda 1.3L Diesel||28.05 kmpl||30.78 kmpl|
Fiat Panda Engine, power and performance
Fiat offers three different engines in the Fiat Panda series. The base version, Fiat Panda POP has a 1.2 FIRE engine with a descent 69 bhp of maximum power. There also is a parallel twin-cylinder TwinAir engine which is more powerful than the 1.2 Fire. This turbocharged engine produces 85 bhp. Thanks to Fiats variable valve timing technology. The third engine type is the turbo diesel which is a 1.3L MultiJet II engine which churns out 75 bhp of peak power.
Driving a TwinAir turbo is a might not be a merry experience to some. It is quite economical but the changing engine response at different rpms leaves the driver busy with gear shifts. The 1.2 FIRE is very fluent and has the good response at high revs even up to 6300 rpm. Unlike TwinAir’s tremors or diesel engine’s pounding noise the engine noise is very compressed and fades away in the background.
The diesel engine is the strongest performer among the Panda’s engine range. The petrol engine is a bit faster than the MultiJet but the diesel engine’s torque provides ease of driving with wider gear ratio resulting in less gear shifts. At cruising speeds the car just skims around with almost zero rattle, low noise intrusion and negligible tyre noise.
Fiat Panda Pick up and Acceleration
The five speed manual gearbox responds well to the 1.3L MultiJet II diesel. First gear has a low range and needs to be shifted quickly. Still Fiat Panda manages to 100 kmph in 14.5 seconds with a top speed of 159 kmph. The TwinAir turbo engine produces 85 hp of power which is transferred to the four wheels by an electronically controlled differential coupling. The TwinAir is 2.2 seconds quicker. It takes a short 12.1 second sprint to reach the mark. The top speed of is around 165 kmph.
Fiat Panda Exterior and Features
The Fiat Panda is not just a cute baby car, but is more of a crucial car for those who will use it as their only car. This car has always been quite apart in features from its competitors that are similar in price and size. Latest evolution of Fiat Panda revealed that it has made a qualitative step in terms of technology, comfort and harmonious looks. Fiat Panda exterior has been reworked substantially with the wheelbase unaltered, but the body is carved longer, taller and has a wider waistline. Fiat Panda exterior design seems completely modest, gloomy and cute with all attractive style and looks. The front fascia of this car has a big oval radiator grille with curved design and long strip for number plate, seems like a big laughing mouth. The car consisted of shiny smoothly curved bumper where houses the twin air engine, ready to keep ride going on.
The new Bi-Xenon headlamps seems to be much more impressive with this new look of Fiat Panda. Below the headlamps lies rectangular strip fog light that is capable of clearing up the bad weather away. Equidistant from both the headlamps, at the centre rests the Fiat logo positioned over black strip, running parallel to the radiator grille. Moving towards the side face of this hatchback seems totally dominated by the beautifully carved arches fitted with 15 inch 5-spoke alloy wheels. Looking towards the finish and design, the car has adopted body colored door handles, bumpers and OVRMs with great smooth paint job. The rear side is embedded with tinted glass window and the designer roof rail on the top that adds up an extra bit of perfection to this cute hatchback car. On the back side of the car you’ll find beautifully designed 3d tail lamp cluster and LED cluster positioned at height from the base. Back door is skillfully carved and embedded and has a Panda embossed over it.
Fiat Panda Interiors and Features
The interiors of the new Fiat Panda are inspired by the squircle design that not only looks good but also improve aerodynamic efficiency and helps to make interior more spacious and comfortable. Door handles, window forms, lamp, handbrake, see gauges, climate control and almost everything reveals the squircle design forms. The new integrated dashboard is designed in such a way that it got enough storage to hold a large handbag and still left with glove box space underneath. The centre console of this hatchback is loaded with advance technology Tom Tom live entertainment and satellite navigation system.
The squircle designed leathered cover power steering wheel is mounted with audio/video control. Start/Stop button make it easier for the driver at every stop or start, plus this technology also cut down the fuel consumption. Compact handbrake is designed to give space in front and behind the lever, so that one can keep their accessories close at hand. Fiat Panda hold dual tone interiors and the seats of this hatchback are covered in fabric upholstery with different type of Panda and Squircle design form on it. The word Panda embossed into the door panel and dashboard is the little details that give Panda new stylish edge. From large dashboard to the spacious back shelf, there are fourteen storage compartments that can be spotted around the car. Raised driver seats for perfect view, five seater comfortable drive, good headroom, legroom, hip room, shoulder space and 225 litres of boot space make Fiat Panda interiors surprisingly spacious.
Fiat Panda Drive and Handling
Fiat Panda has increased the ride height, but despite this the car is good to handle. The car can be touchy bouncy over bad roads or may roll over tight corners, but it is never rough and uncomfortable. Powerful light steering makes handling around rocks and other obstacle easy. Twin air, four cylinder and tiny two cylinder turbocharged unit is a tremendous blend of performance when it comes to economy. Fiat Panda Mac Pherson struts and coils-sprung twist suspension reduces the under steer and body roll making the electric power steering more sensitive. Fiat Panda is much quieter and smooth than its predecessor flatter rides and on coarse surface. The levels of harshness, noise and vibration are much low even at the high speed. Fiat Panda on road feels to be a high ride on big tyres that has long suspension and behaves like small Land Rover Discovery. On an uncharted terrain, you’ll sense that the car is fully capable and could embarrass other expensive off-roaders when it gets tough.
Fiat Panda Safety features
The new Fiat Panda is built with features to keep your ride safe. The car is inbuilt with smart ABS technology that keeps the car in control during sudden braking. Fiat Panda safety features included powerful light steering along with Mac Pherson struts and coils-sprung twist suspension reduces the under steering chances and maintain the balance even when you are off-roading. For the maximum at the interiors the car is embedded with two front air bags for the driver and co-passenger. Impact airbags curtain are loaded for the resistance against side collision. New advance pretensioned seatbelts and load limiter offers you maximum safety. Fiat Panda safety features also added a new comfortable head restraints that are designed to minimize whiplash.
Fiat Panda Accessories
The standard Fiat Panda accessories include an electronic locking differential and electronic stability control. This advance technology in car provides extra assistance while driving and setting off on slippery road. There are plenty of standard kits such as fifteen inch alloy wheels, CD/MP3 radio, climate control, electric door mirrors, advance rear head rest to minimize whiplash and central locking with remote control. Furthermore, the optional Fiat Panda accessories includes Fiat city brake system, Tom Tom live Sat nav, Fiat panda short arial, Fiat Panda Safety kit, Fiat boot container organizer, scuff plate protection and fiat Panda coat hanger for headrest.
The new diminutive size Fiat Panda seems to be well above its weight, retaining many of the features that one likes about a standard city car. Most impressively, it is fantastically versatile for something so small and has added uniqueness to its character. The extra voluptuousness added to the cabin, and new Panda looks bigger than its previous version. The Panda comes out to be an example of excellence in its segment. It is considered to be a budget machine that is more pleasing than most and comes with advance technology such as Tom Tom sat nav pod and other attractive options. May be it is not considered to have quite slick city style like the new Volkswagen Up, but it is more versatile and had gone through big improvement already. In fact, the Panda is now so good and is no longer considered ugly duckling in the family. If you are looking for the compact town car that must also engulf long distances with strong off-road skills, the Fiat Panda could be worthy choice.
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