In-depth reviews

Fiat Panda hatchback - Interior & comfort

Tall, boxy body gives Fiat Panda occupants great visibility and lots of space

Carbuyer Rating

2.5 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.4 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Interior & comfort Rating

2.5 out of 5

Whereas some small cars can feel cramped, the Fiat Panda feels light and airy inside thanks to its tall roof and large windows. This good visibility also makes it an easy car to drive in town and manoeuvre around crowded car parks.

Fiat Panda dashboard

One of the recurring design themes in the Fiat Panda is a rounded-edged square that Fiat calls a ‘squircle’. This shape can be found on the dashboard, the buttons and even the dials in front of the driver. But while the Panda’s interior looks good, it feels quite cheap in parts, and we’re not sure how well it will stand up to the ongoing wear and tear of family motoring. It's also fairly dated, with a sluggish touchscreen infotainment system and trip computer where the Fiat 500 has sharp displays. If you want more features, it's necessary to connect your smartphone and use the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connection. Rivals like the Hyundai i10 and Dacia Sandero Stepway are better equipped, with large touchscreens that feel more modern to use.

There’s plenty of room for the driver and front-seat passenger, but the steering wheel only adjusts in and out, not up and down, so some people might not be able to find the perfect driving position. The seats are on the firm side, as well, so while they offer plenty of support, they could become uncomfortable on a longer journey. It’s worth noting that the entry-level Pop model doesn’t come with a height-adjustable driver’s seat, either.

Equipment

The Panda line-up has changed quite a bit in the past few years, and has now been slimmed down. The entry model is the City Life, which gets black plastic wheel arches and door cladding, both to make it look a bit more rugged, and to help fend off parking dings. It also sports 15-inch wheels, grey interior trim and new upholstery, along with a mid-mounted seven-inch touchscreen.

Upgrade to Sport for under £1,000 extra, and the alloy wheels increase to 16-inches, while red brake calipers add to the more dynamic look. There's also an exclusive matt grey paint, tinted rear light clusters, body-coloured door handles and rear parking sensors. The interior has also been given a sporty look with dark grey seats emblazoned with racing stripes and red stitching.

There are also Panda City Cross, 4x4 and Cross 4x4 versions, with rugged styling and chunkier tyres. Meanwhile, the Panda Mild Hybrid Launch Edition came with upholstery woven from recycled plastic and an exclusive Dew Green paint colour.

Options

Choose the City Life version, and quite a few options are available for those in search of upgrades. A £500 Style Pack adds alloy wheels, tinted rear windows, a leather steering wheel and gear knob, along with body coloured mirrors and door handles. The Convenience Pack brings fog lights and automatic climate control, while a Comfort Pack includes heated door mirrors and rear parking sensors. Handy for colder areas, a Winter Pack adds a heated windscreen and front seats for under £300.

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