Fiat Panda review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
The Fiat Panda has an airy cabin and a practical boot, although it's not the biggest load bay in its class
With its upright stance and boxy dimensions, the Fiat Panda feels bigger than it actually is. It’s certainly a world away from the tight packaging of its predecessor.
With its high roofline, it feels airy from the driving seat, and visibility is excellent all-round. While there’s a decent amount of space up front, the steering wheel adjusts for height only – there’s no reach movement – and on most models you need to either add a height-adjustable driver's seat, or specify the optional Flex Pack which has it included.
The Flex Pack also adds the valuable split-fold rear seat, a luggage net and a fold-down table – and unusually you can choose between a two or three-seat configuration for the rear bench, with either a 50:50 or 60:40 split-fold. On the plus side, the interior is packed with handy storage, including a large tray ahead of the front seat passenger and several cup-holders.
At 3,653mm long and 1,643mm wide, the Panda is almost identical in size to the Hyundai i10, but a little over 10cm longer than the Volkswagen up! and 20cm longer than a Toyota Aygo. For comparison, the platform sharing Fiat 500 is slightly shorter at 3,546mm long.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
The rear bench does feel a bit cheap, but it slides back and forth to create either more legroom or boot space. The boxy shape of the Fiat Panda also means there's plenty of headroom for passengers, although you do sit quite upright in the rear. Four adults can squeeze into the car in reasonable comfort, but three on the back row will be an uncomfortable squash – as in any small city car. Rear legroom will also be an issue for taller adults.
While the Panda’s cabin feels airy, the boot will only take 225 litres of luggage. You can slide the rear bench forward to create 260 litres of volume, but there’ll be hardly any legroom left for back seat passengers. It’s also a bit annoying to have to pay extra for that split-fold rear seat, but otherwise the Panda’s boot is reasonably practical, with a wide-opening tailgate and only a small lip to hump luggage over.
In this review
- 1Fiat Panda reviewFiat’s recently re-jigged Panda range still offers plenty of character and style
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Panda performs well in the city, but out on the motorway the lack of refinement comes to the fore
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsNo version of the Panda will cost much to run, even if you can't match the official fuel economy figures
- 4Interior, design and technologyCharacterful design gives the Panda a sense of fun inside and out, but some parts feel cheap
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingThe Fiat Panda has an airy cabin and a practical boot, although it's not the biggest load bay in its class
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Panda doesn't feel as durable as rivals, while Euro NCAP safety ratings aren't the best