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In-depth reviews

Fiat Panda - Reliability and safety

The ageing Panda’s Euro NCAP safety ratings leave a lot to be desired

Fiat Panda Cross - front 3/4 static
Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Reliability and Safety Rating

2.5 out of 5

Price
£14,745 to £16,055
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Back in 2011, when the Fiat Panda was launched, safety experts Euro NCAP awarded it four stars out of five. Unfortunately for Fiat, Euro NCAP revisited the Panda in 2018 to show how far crash test safety had come, both in terms of vehicle tech and the requirements of the body's test procedure. This time, the Panda scored no stars at all, while adult and pedestrian scores were in the 40-50 per cent range, while child safety was 16 per cent and safety tech rated at just 7 per cent — although this wasn't a scoring category back in 2011.

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In comparison, the Hyundai i10 achieved a three-star rating when tested in 2020. 

Over the years, Fiat has struggled to shed its reputation for making cars with lacklustre build quality and reliability, and the Panda doesn't feel as durable as its immediate rivals. However, as the car is relatively simple from a technical point of view, there isn’t too much to go wrong.

The Panda hasn’t featured in our Driver Power customer satisfaction survey for quite a long time, but when it last appeared in 2019, it placed 67th out of 100 cars. Drivers were particularly impressed with the running costs, handling and overall looks. Less positive responses concerned the engines, along with woeful scores for the stereo and connectivity. 

In our latest best car manufacturer rankings, Fiat finished in a very poor 31st place out of 32 brands. There’s clearly still plenty of work needed before this reputation will improve.

Warranty 

Fiat supplies the Panda with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, which is pretty average. However, the Kia Picanto and Hyundai i10 leave it in the shade, offering seven-year/100,000-mile and five-year/unlimited-mile packages respectively. 

Servicing

Fiat offers fixed-price maintenance on the Panda, allowing owners to spread the cost of servicing monthly. Prices vary according to mileage and usage.​

The Panda requires servicing every 12 months or 9,000 miles, whichever comes soonest.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 Pop 5dr
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Most Economical

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    1.2 Pop 5dr
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    £9,584

Fastest

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    0.9 TwinAir [85] Easy 5dr
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    £10,601

Shane is responsible for looking after the day-to-day running of the Auto Express website and social media channels. Prior to joining Auto Express in 2021, he worked as a radio producer and presenter for outlets such as the BBC.

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