Evaluating a Fiat Panda

I know this is way off the topic to but… My son lives in Spain and would like to but the Fiat Panda and my opinion. I’ve never heard of that model.

Anyone have any knowledge? Is there a active Fiat club?


The base model of a cheap mass-production manufacturer. There might be a Spanish plant for that model. Google and Wikipedia are where your son should be searching, not across an ocean, in a non-market…

I did not know they still exist.
Growing up in Europe, I drove one of these in my youth:

Only some of the Soviet-era offerings - AZLK, ZAZ, VAZ, GAZ could compare.

Doubt it very much that 2020 models would be that much better, but I have been wrong.

A friend has one of the new ones and she is very happy with it.
I even had a drive with it. Cheap car, cheaply build but quite decent.
She had the 2cyl engine (!), super fuel economy, super ideal for a big city.
There are 3 and 4cyl variants, and even a 4X4!

They were extremely popular In Greece, Italy and Spain, even in France and Germany.
Cheap cars indeed, but you get what you pay for.
Very practical and simple good looking city car that lasted forever with very minimal and cheap maintenance.
They should have included a label on the dashboard though with capital letters: Not for Highway use

Some other friends, living in the countryside, had the 4X4 version. It’s amazing what this little bugger could do!!

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I will write in defence of the origina Fiat Panda. Designed by the acknowledged top designer of the 20th century, Giorgetto Giugiaro and reputedly his favourite design (check out his back catalogue to see how highly that means he rates it), they sold a lot of them to a lot of happy customers.

Cleverly cost engineered with flat glass to keep costs down and numerous other clever design touches they provided economic motoring to mllions. It deserves a real place in motoring history.

To this day, if you drive through the parts of Italy where they have both hills and snow, you will still see original '80’s Fiat Panda 4x4’s tucked away in many driveways & garages for winter, because it’s the best car for icy or snowy roads at less than half the weight of most modern behemoth 4x4’s.

Modern iterations maintain the spirit, to a lesser extent, and are better built than some of the South Korean stuff. It’s a sensible choice in Southern Europe where there’s great service support.

That 2 cylinder multiair Fiat engine is a nice piece of engine design, and actually sounds good. It throws out a few too many emissions for the latest regs but I’d have no hesitation in getting one.

There’s a purity to a well designed small car which can be admired (cf also original Mini), and they’re a lot of fun. You can drive the things really hard without getting in trouble. I’ve still got a Renault 4 on my classic wish list and coincidentally was looking at an immaculate, fully restored original '80’s Panda coming up at Auction next month with an expected price of c $4000.

For general local motoring and family use, highly recommended. If you’re doing high Motorway miles then get something larger.


I‘ve counted dozens of these 80‘s Pandas last time I was in Italy. Like you say.
I think I tried a modern 00‘s Panda (edit: no. Punto) in a parking lot once and it was quite nice. I think it was a Diesel?
It is very ugly, whereas the first two iterations are designed very well.
Anyways yes, tell him to look in Spain and to google common issues to look for, he‘ll find everything he needs to know there.

For any given era, in any given country, the most popular car is usually the cheapest car available. That was true for the Model T, VW Beetle, Austin Mini, Citroen 2CV, Fiat Nuova 500, and probably a couple dozen other examples.


my mom had a SI Panda 1000 at 45 hp in Rosso Corsa - it was a blast to drive even with spring-leaf rear suspension! Also a landmark in automotive design! SII was a lot more “standard” (front mask; interior), but still great. The car in the pic is a SII, easily spotted by the black grille and the plush seats;-)

Rust is a prime concern, but also poor maintenance (as for any super-cheap car, probably). What is more, some parts in the suspension are not to be neglected for safety reasons.

Apart from that the car in the pic looks clean: wheels original and looking low-mileage, little rust. The 750cc FIRE engine is extremely economical and reliable, but no “burner” at 34 hp. I wouldn’t buy though without checking major suspension components and 7500 US look a bit steep to me. Go to “autoscout24.it” instead to check back https://www.autoscout24.it/lst/fiat/panda?sort=standard&desc=0&ustate=N%2CU&cy=I&fregto=1994&fregfrom=1982&atype=C

Good luck


75 XJ6L 4.2 auto (UK spec)

Yep, but I‘m not counting 35 beetles or mk1 golfs here in a year!
We don’t know what model Panda he wants… could be anything new too.