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 
£9,095 - £13,795
5 Doors
4.2 / 5
Pros
  • Well-designed interior
  • Easy to drive in town
  • Cheap to buy and own
Cons
  • Poorly equipped
  • Four-star Euro NCAP safety rating
  • Struggles with motorway driving

Larger and more spacious, the latest Panda features more rounded styling than its predecessor and is designed to be the most practical and versatile version yet. Offered with a fantastic choice of petrol and diesel engines in either two, three or four-cylinder layout, the Panda is highly economical and offers great no-frills transport. The interior is stylish and reasonably well made and although rear passengers get slightly less legroom than in the Volkswagen up! or Kia Picanto, unique features such as the folding front seat do make up for it. The Panda is also great fun to drive around town and if you opt for one of the twin-cylinder TwinAir models, owners are exempt from paying road tax.

Fiat Panda 4x4 hatchback

Price 
£14,295 - £16,945
5 Doors
4.1 / 5
Pros
  • Impressive on and off-road
  • Well equipped
  • Economical engines
Cons
  • More expensive than the standard Panda
  • Limited rear legroom
  • 4x4 system increases running costs

This third generation of Panda 4x4 is the first time since the early 80s that Fiat has squeezed a four-wheel-drive system into a supermini, using the latest Panda as its base, and the result is one of Fiat's most engaging vehicles. It's surprisingly good off-road, too, and, like the TARDIS, feels bigger on the inside than it looks from the outside. In fact, it feels like a much bigger car once you're in the higher driving position, with great visibility.