Panda Cub - 6th June, 2018

Well I guess it looks like a Panda if you squint...or close your eyes. But the headline with Fiat’s TwinAir Panda is ‘frugality’. With Petrol prices on the rise and regional fuel taxes coming into play the opportunity to buy a two cylinder, 875cc Fiat is pretty timely. And this clever Panda is not expensive either. Read on...

Fiat’s most famous two cylinder car was the brilliant 500, or Bambina as it was known in NZ. But as brilliant as the Bambina was its meagre horsepower and crash gearbox make it a less than ideal commuter car today. And while on paper the tiny engined Panda TwinAir may not sound like a big improvement over its distant cousin the reality is the little hatchback is more than meets the eye.

The two cylinder turbocharged engine pumps out a respectable 85hp and, if you drive like a Nana, you can get 67mpg out of it. And it’s actually quicker than the 4 cylinder 1.2 model. Inside is spacious with plenty of storage even if the colour of the upholstery is a bit ‘different’ and prone to staining.

But what’s really appealing about the Panda is the price. When you consider what a current shape Fiat 500 will cost, and even more with the same TwinAir engine fitted, then the auction estimate for this NZ new, 2015 ‘Lounge’ model with just 41,000kms on the clock seems very good buying at $5500-$6500. And it still has a couple of months of factory warranty left so worth checking for any faults now so you can fix them on Fiat’s dime.

It may not be beautiful but like the panda of the hairy variety it is cute only with a much smaller appetite. More details here.

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