The Fiat Panda is really an exceptional car. It's great value for money and extremely practical. If you look at the video clip below you will see that the 4x4 version is also very capable off-road.
I have been a car fan for close to 40 years and have owned many exciting sports cars (Porsche, Lotus, Alfa Romeo, Mercedes, Audi, BMW etc.) so you may ask why I write a tribute to the boring old Fiat Panda.
Well, the answer is that it's a great car, has a super engine and is fun to drive around town.
The story started 4 or 5 years ago when I was looking for a small second car for my wife to drive around in which would seat two adults and two children.
We looked at many alternatives, everything from the Hyundai i10 through to the Smart ForFour and the Panda beat all of them.
The 900cc turbo-charged twin cylinder engine delivers 85 bhp which is more than enough to deliver good performance with less than 1000kg to push along.
It's a very easy car to park and to drive in town, and also whizzes along on the motorway if needed.
To be honest I wouldn't want to drive for too many hours as the seats are not massively comfortable. But you get what you pay for and otherwise the Panda is really excellent quality.
Our Panda had the automatic Dualogic gearbox, which is a sort of automated manual gearbox similar to the F430 Ferrari (still on my wishlist) or the BMW SMG. It works ok but only recommended if you really have to have an automatic, otherwise I would go for the manual 'box.