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Expert Rating

Fiat Panda

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Expert Rating

The Fiat Panda is a city car-sized five-door hatchback. Unusually, it is also offered either as a regular city car or as a 4×4 version with very decent off-roading ability that outperforms most conventional family SUVs.

The current Panda was launched back in 2012 and has received minor updates throughout its life. There was substantial criticism of Fiat and calls for the car to be withdrawn from sale in 2018 when the Panda scored zero stars in a Euro NCAP crash test – the worst score ever recorded by the safety organisation.

Despite its safety record, the Fiat Panda continues to receive mostly positive reviews from the UK motoring media, although the scores have tended to gradually decline over time as they would for any car that has been on sale for almost a decade. The regular model Panda has been warmly praised for its city driving dynamics, while the 4×4 version is similarly acclaimed for its considerable off-road ability.

Key specifications

Body style: Small five-door hatchback
Engines: petrol, diesel
Price: From £10,080 on-road

Launched: Spring 2012
Last updated: Spring 2019
Replacement due: TBA

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MEDIA REVIEWS

Reviews, road tests and comparisons from across the UK automotive media

The Car Expert

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Auto Express

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Daily Mail

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Evo

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Green Car Guide

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Parkers

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The Sun

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SAFETY RATING

Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

Overall rating: 0 stars
Date tested: December 2018

45%

ADULT OCCUPANT

16%

CHILD OCCUPANT

47%

VULNERABLE ROAD USERS

7%

SAFETY ASSIST

Note about the Euro NCAP rating
The current Fiat Panda was first tested by Euro NCAP when it was originally launched in 2011 and scored four stars. However, safety standards have increased over the course of this decade and when the Panda was re-tested in 2018 against the latest criteria, it scored zero stars.

ECO RATING

Independent emissions and efficiency ratings from Green NCAP

Model tested: 0.9 Twinair 4×2 manual
Date tested: February 2019

0 / 10

CLEAN AIR INDEX

6 / 10

ENERGY EFFICIENCY INDEX

The Fiat Panda 1.2-litre petrol manual received a 2.5 star rating from Green NCAP in February 2021. This is a separate result from the one illustrated above, which is for the 0.9-litre engine. Green NCAP has changed its rating system and we need to change our database accordingly to be able to display the new scores.

Green NCAP said: “The car is tested here with the four cylinder 1.2 litre petrol engine, now Euro 6d-Temp compliant. With only a three-way catalyst by way of exhaust after-treatment, control of pollutant emissions is limited and, in the more challenging tests – cold ambient temperature, high-load highway – CO is high enough for all points to be lost. However, even without a gasoline particulate filter, particulate number is never excessive, in the laboratory or on the road. Energy efficiency is not impressive for such a small car.

“Overall, the Panda 1.2 petrol delivers respectable performance all-round and achieves a fair 2½ star rating.”

The written rating only applies to the 1.2-litre petrol manual version of the Fiat Panda, while the illustrated example only applies to the 0.9-litre petrol manual version. These results do not imply similar ratings for any other engine and gearbox combinations in the range.

Awards

Trophies, prizes and awards that the Fiat Panda has won

2021

  • 4×4 Magazine Awards – Best Crossover (Panda Cross)

2019

  • 4×4 Magazine Awards – Best Crossover (Panda Cross)

2018

  • 4×4 Magazine Awards – Best Crossover (Panda Cross)

2014

  • Towcar of the Year Awards – Best tow car under £16,500

2013

  • 4×4 Magazine Awards – Best Mini 4×4 (Panda 4×4)

2012

  • BBC Top Gear Awards – SUV of the Year (Panda 4×4)

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Best car rankings

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Best car rankings

Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites