1989 Fiat Panda Reviews - Page 2 of 3

1989 Fiat Panda 1000CL 1.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.0 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.2 / 10
Distance when acquired46000 miles
Most recent distance70000 miles

Summary:

Good value

Faults:

Problems with choke, which needed sorted on more than one occasion.

Head gasket blew which resulted in car being sold for scrap. Would have cost £350 to be fixed at garage.

Slow starter in the morning.

Problem with the wind screen wiper motor, again fairly expensive to replace.

Electronics were prone to failure at times.

Rust, a major problem. Left holes on door sills and much of car despite constant attention was showing signs of rust.

Bonnet catch broke, again fairly expensive to fix.

General Comments:

Apart from the above problems car was cheap to run, comfortable, and cheerful.

Was very attached to car, had lots of character.

Cheap on fuel costs.

Fun run around and despite small engine, packed quite a punch.

Would recommend for students.

Good in the city.

Very cheap and extremely cheerful!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd September, 2002

1989 Fiat Panda Bella 0.9 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 0.9 petrol Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired47498 miles
Most recent distance67892 miles

Summary:

Cheap to buy, cheap to run, cheap to insure

Faults:

Head gasket needed replacing due to holes in cylinder head caused by anti-freeze not suitable for Aluminium heads.

New seat covers, not required, but the seats were quite badly worn.

Bottoms of doors needed filling when purchased (for aesthetic reasons and to pass MOT)

Carburetor needed cleaning out as it had become blocked with dirt after head gasket blew.

Floor mats and some trim replaced as carpet and interior trim was badly worn.

General Comments:

Apart from all of the faults listed above this car has been a joy to own. It is always reliable, starts first time and carries on going when lesser cars would have stopped (e.g. when the head gasket blew, when the carburetor became blocked)

Suspension is stiff and launches the occupants of the car from their seats when going over speed bumps!

This car is not as slow as most people think, I have had it up to 80 quite comfortably. Anything above that and it sounds like it really could do with a 5th gear.

The front seats are comfortable, but the "hammock" in the back leaves a lot to be desired. Still, I don't sit in the back, do I!

On the other hand the back seat is really easy to remove and store, and the space in the back is phenomenal. I've managed to squeeze a 7-piece drum kit, two guitars and two amps in the back of it before now and handling is not badly affected due to the suspension being quite stiff.

I'd recommend it as a first car, not only due to the price of owning one, but the fact that it is surprisingly responsive and easy to park anywhere, and is easy to work on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th February, 2002

1989 Fiat Panda fire 750S 0.75 from Italy

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1989
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 0.75 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired0 kilometres
Most recent distance170000 kilometres
Previous carFiat 125

Summary:

Good, simple and inexpensive car

Faults:

Light, light and light. I wonder the way bulbs were prone to blow.

Light switch on the dash melted and had to be replaced, but the whole unit was only about €6.

Distributor cap cracked a few times and was prone to damp.

General Comments:

Its essentiality has leaded it to be a greenpeace beetle flag.

Cheerful car and a bit of a motoring icon.

Not for people looking for luxury (of course). I'm going to buy a new Fiat Panda Hobby right now!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th January, 2002

1989 Fiat Panda 1000CL 1.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1995
Most recent year of ownership1998
Engine and transmission 1.0 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired15000 miles
Most recent distance79000 miles

Summary:

Cheap, cheerful and a bit of a motoring icon. You can still buy new in 2002, but only in Italy!!

Faults:

Distributor Cap cracked a few times and was prone to damp.

Rust was a horrific problem until around 1990 when Fiat bothered to protect the metal! Last of 1995 UK cars wear very well indeed.

Tyres don't wear well, but generally people fit cheaper ones so no surprise really.

Light Switch on the dash melted and had to be replaced, but the whole unit was only about £5.

General Comments:

This was my first car and so far was the longest I kept a car, which is a testament to its simplicity and overall charm and reliability.

I went everywhere in this car, no challenge was beyond it. Mud-plugging, speeding etc. all lapped up by its tiny but comparatively punchy little engine.

I once loaded a ton of bricks in the back and the car never drove better.

Very tough and reasonably comfortable, it is not flimsy despite having virtually no interior at all, but a cloth dash and cloth seats!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th January, 2002

22nd Oct 2003, 09:17

I am sorry, I don't believe you managed to fit a ton of bricks into a 1.0L Panda.

21st Feb 2004, 05:38

Not sure if the 'ton of bricks' comment is meant to be taken literally...

Having said that, I used to use one on a pig farm and it can certainly haul a surprising amount of stuff. A ton of bricks isn't out of the question, providing you don't mind folding the back seats down. (The ones in my car wouldn't fold, so I took them out altogether.)

8th Jun 2006, 06:12

Never would you get a ton of bricks in a panda the car could nt handle it you would need a volvo estate to do that.

4th Dec 2006, 09:38

We once loaded 180 paving slabs in our cavalier 1.8i for the patio. That's about 3/4 of a ton of slabs. On the way back down the motorway it was flat out at 80mph in 4th gear. I think you could maby fit 1 ton of bricks in a panda as the cav still had room for more.

Average review marks: 7.1 / 10, based on 15 reviews