Thanks to the Scrappage scheme, you can now buy a Fiat Panda for as little as £4,995.
£2,100 off for your old banger Fiat matches the Governments £1,000 and adds a bit more putting in £1,100.
For £4,995 you can get a 1.1 Active ECO. The normal list price is £7,095. And you’ll be getting a tried and tested model thats proved populat all over the world – it sells in 74 countries, including South Africa, Mexico, Japan and throughut Europe.
In fact, the evergreen Panda has just reached a landmark as the 1,500,000th example recently rolled off the production line at the Fiat Auto Poland plant in Tychy – a 1.3 Multijet diesel like the model tested here.
Since Panda production began in 2003 at Tychy, where one car is made every 35 seconds, its popularity has grown steadily over the years. This year a record 285,000 will be produced. The Panda has won several awards – including the prestigious European Car of the Year title – and has remained the best-seller in its segment in Europe every year since 2003.
Available with a 1.1 – 1.2 and 1.4 litre petrol and 1.3 litre MultiJet diesel engines, the range starts at £7,095 for the 1.1 Active Eco, rising to £10,400 for the 1.4 1v 100HP model.
The little Panda’s a “no frills” family hatchback in a range that includes a nippy 100bhp model or gutsy 4×4.
The 1.3 diesel proved ideal for city life. At just 3.54m long with a 9. metre turning circle, it’s easy to whip around if you need to do a U-turn, and a doddle to park in tight spaces.
This five-door city car feels a bit tinny, and on the motorway the “Dynamic” specification label is stretching things a bit, though it copes well enough with a top speed of 99mph. The interior finish is a hard plastic compared to some of the better soft-touch feel dashboards around.
For all that, it’s quiet well equipped. Even the dynamic. which is the second lowest spec level, comes with electronic front windows, remote central locking, radio/cd/mp3 player, air conditioning and a split folding rear seatback.
With all four seats occupied there’s little boot space in the ultra compact Panda. But the rear bench seat is on rails, so when it’s unoccupied and you need extra luggage space it can beslid forward and the seatbacks dropped down.
The mini-MPV styling’s a bit dull when you look at some of the recent sleek newcomers to the market, but it’s still cheap to buy and cheap to run.
The combined fuel economy is a very impressive 65mpg. Many Fiats included in the scrappage scheme also come with the added option of special four-year finance deals, including the Fiat Panda 1.1 Active ECO, for £89 a month.
Elena Bearnardelli, Fiat’s UK marketing director, says: “We welcomed the scrappage scheme because it helps the UK motor industry and does something positive for the enviroment. That’s why we have offered a further incentive to encourage customers to change to a new Fiat.
“The savings don’t just stop at the list price,” adds Ms Bernadelli. “Many customers will get the added benefit of reduced road fund licence rates for the lower CO2 engines, and all will get excellent fuel economy and great value for money.”
FIAT PANDA 1.3 Multijet
Engine: 1248cc turbodiesel
Top Speed: 99mph
OTR Price: £9,395