Fiat Panda

The Fiat Panda is a simple, cheap-to-run, no-nonsense city car. It's chunky on the outside, but that square shape means it has lots of space inside - way more than the Fiat 500 or Ford Ka. The bottom of the range 1.2-litre petrol Pop version is very cheap, but doesn’t have alloy wheels, traction control or air-conditioning. But any car above that in the range, especially with the excellent 1.3 MultiJet diesel engine, provides flexible, cost-effective transport. There are even four-wheel-drive versions that can cope with slippery conditions.

Fiat Panda hatchback

Price 
£9,375 - £14,075
5 Doors
4.2 / 5
Pros
  • Funky interior design
  • Great to drive in town
  • Low purchase and running costs
Cons
  • Could be better equipped
  • Not great on the motorway
  • Only four-star Euro NCAP safety score

This third-generation version of the Fiat Panda hatchback is now even bigger and more spacious than before. It's also less boxy and more attractively styled, not to mention more practical and versatile. Both the petrol and diesel engines on offer are good, and in general the Panda hatchback is a great choice for those who want simple, no-frills transport. Inside, you’ll find plenty of space front and rear, as well as lively dashboard design and some clever and practical touches such as a folding front seat.

Fiat Panda 4x4 hatchback

Price 
£10,575 - £17,225
5 Doors
4.1 / 5
Pros
  • Impressive on and off-road
  • Well equipped
  • Economical engines
Cons
  • More expensive than standard Panda
  • Limited rear legroom
  • 4x4 system increases running costs

This is the third generation of Fiat Panda 4x4. Fiat first squeezed a four-wheel-drive system into its most basic supermini back in the eighties, and the result is one of the company's most engaging vehicles. It's surprisingly good off-road, too, and feels bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside. Visibility is great once you've settled into the higher driving position.