I wondered when it would ever arrive on our shores. We’ve had the new Fiat 500 models around for a while, but to have the new Fiat Panda in Australia is special. Similarly small, the Fiat Panda has a bit more practicality than the Fiat 500. It’s taller in design and the seating feels a lot roomier, but let’s take a closer look.
Three models – made distinctive with the level of equipment, trim, and engines on-board – are available. Whether they will carry the names Pop, Easy and Lounge over for Australia, we’ll have to wait and see. Fiat has said that the Fiat Panda was designed with the interior first – a pretty good place to start. Certainly, when you sit inside the small Fiat Panda, the cabin feels very nicely arranged around you. I love the dash flair, where the instrument and switchgear are bordered by a colourful, rectangular trim. This is something bold, and it makes a very nice statement that isn’t too garish or frightening. The orange numbers/numerals on the speedometer, rev counter and radio facia are soft enough to look classy, while remaining easy to read. You’ve got a great view out of the front window, so guiding the Fiat Panda in and out of driveways and car parks is super easy. This is a great car for teenagers to learn in, so do watch your pockets, as they’ll be searching for the keys.
Thinking about keys… there are plenty of useful storage pockets in the new Fiat Panda cabin, the closest at the front is located in the central console area. Decent pockets in the doors are handy places for maps and other items. Other practical highlights that the Fiat Panda boasts is fold flat seats. Even the front passenger seat folds flat, so you can post lengthy items in through the rear gate for transportation. An optional pop-up information screen is located on the top of the centre part of the dashboard, while putting on the handbrake lever is like using a computer mouse. The parking brake can be applied via the lever which resembles a mouse that you use at the computer.
Fiat has got the right mix for top ergonomics in the little Fiat Panda. All the switches and levers are within easy reach, and the chunky steering wheel looks and feels great. Steering wheel controls can take care of things like hands-free phone communications and audio volume. Fiat’s new Blue&Me TomTom 2 LIVE communications system means that you can keep in touch with work and family needs while on the run. At the touch of a button, or using the voice commands, you can view the functions available on the navigator screen for using your mobile phone in complete safety.
Always popular, is a good sound system in any car. Fiat has made sure that quality music will be all you hear when you switch on the four or six speaker sound system (depending on the model). Tall adults can feel at ease in the rear seats, while front seat room is good. Electric windows, air-conditioning (climate controlled air-conditioning optional), optional rear parking sensors (Though if you need these on such a small car, you probably shouldn’t be driving!), electric power steering, ABS, EBD, driver and front passenger airbags, and loads of choice are Fiat Panda features.
Looking at the exterior of the Fiat Panda, and there is a lot of harmony about the small car’s design. A cute little window has been added to the area behind the rear seat and the 5th door. Also, a nice feature of the Fiat Panda is the tall taillights which are not only very visible, but complement the taller hatch design. Facial style on the new Fiat Panda is cute, bold and fun. A blend of Italian elegance is also evident. Daytime running lights look classy and keep the Panda appeal looking classy and safe. 14 and 15-inch alloys are available, while the roof rails are a handy addition when you’re after that extra luggage carrying capacity. There are some really cool colours for the Panda’s exterior, making this a fun little car to be seen in. My favourite is Sicillian Orange!
Engines for the new Fiat Panda are similar to what you’ll find in the Fiat 500 models, so performance is zippy and fun. The 1.2-litre (69 kW) and 1.3-litre (75 kW) petrol engines are a peppy and a little more conventional, while the 0.9-litre TwinAir Turbo engine (85 kW) sparkles with technology and life. All are linked to a nippy five-speed manual gearbox. Remarkably, the smaller TwinAir engine is the quickest of the three, while all are able to scoot along at over 160 km/h on the right road. As you would expect, fuel economy is very good for these small cars. The 1.3-litre engine combines urban and country driving to return 3.9 litres/100 km, while the 1.2-litre engine returns 5.2-litres/100 km. This leaves the TwinAir Turbo engine, which sits somewhere in the middle. CO2 emissions are very low for all models, so the Panda is a great car for commuting across town.
Driving the new Fiat Panda is fun. Be in quick to be one of the first in Australia to own the new Fiat Panda.
The current Fiat Panda models include the:
For any more information on the Fiat Panda or, for that matter, any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Fiat dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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