Fiat’s new Panda won not only the Budget Car and City Car categories, but also the overall Auto Express Car of the Year award.
Auto Express praised the Italian supermini: “It’s not every day that a new model comes along and sets such high standards that many rivals instantly appear obsolete. However that has been the case this year. Despite stiff competition for this coveted award, the Panda stood head and shoulders above its opponents. So what makes it so good? Well, it’s a small car that thinks big, acts tough and puts some zest and fun back into your daily driving.
“Undoubtedly the Italian firm’s best small car since the original Fiat 500 in 1957, the Panda represents a giant leap forward. This is a city car that excels on the open road, and a budget car that feels anything but cheap. The styling is neat and eye-catching, the interior quality impressive and despite extended testing, we couldn’t find any trace of loose or poor quality trim. The cabin is not only spacious, comfortable and attractive, but you feel secure and well protected despite the car’s diminutive size. Nor does this impression fade when you start driving. The Panda is effortlessly easy to drive. Better still is the way it behaves out of town. On motorways it’s as stable and refined as cars costing twice as much, the ride is impressive and along twisting B-roads it feels keen and eager.
“And all this for less than £7000? Packed to the gunnels with character and mature enough to cope with the stresses of British motoring, the Panda is a huge return to form for Fiat.”
The new supermini has been a huge sales success throughout western Europe, too. In the nine months leading up to the end of June this year, 154,000 had been sold. Over 5000 new Pandas have been sold in less than six months since the vehicle went on sale here in the UK.