Forget what you've heard, remember what you're saving!
Burnt some wiring (caused by me trying to fit a stereo!).
Just had a new clutch before I acquired it, (however it'd come from a 70+ lady driver...)
Clip on breather box has snapped.
Most of the exterior plastic (bumpers and trim) seems to have fallen off or come loose within a week of each other! (just a case of clipping it all back on!)
Apart from that (touch wood :) ) I don't think there is anything else to go wrong!
Well, the Panda has had some bad press, but honestly if you get one at the right price (in my case, free) pick them up, they have their little quirks, and it was a culture shock when I left my mother's brand new uprated Fiesta Zetec, but I have enjoyed driving the Panda thus far!
The suspension is VERY soft, and the car has a tendency to "rock and roll" a bit, but the shocks are due to be changed, but are okay for a M.O.T.
The car has got a genuine 45,000 miles on the clock, so it should see me through the next few years!
Don't expect to beat anybody, anyhow and anywhere (with the possible exception of milkfloats and pushbikes!), but the Panda was never built as a quick vehicle!
To the same effect, don't go out on "the pull" in it either...
The cast costs very little to run, petrol, the odd service, needs a oil top up more than the average car (it isn't leaking to my knowledge, so I think it may be burning a little, but on a 20 year old engine, I'm not too worried!).
Servicing doesn't cost anything, bits are relatively easy to get hold of, scrappers can get the bits factors can't! (I must admit I work for Motaquip!)
The paint work is amazing for its age, very little rust, and considering it is red, the paint polishes up brilliantly!
The seats you'll either love or hate (the infamous deckchair seats...) I find them very comfortable, but others say they are quite the opposite.
Very little room or spare wiring to modify the car.
They do have the "tardis" effect, and the car does seem bigger than it looks inside.
Finally, don't take one on the motorway, unless it is very quiet, because you have very little acceleration if you get into trouble!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 15th May, 2004