1990 Fiat Panda Reviews

1990 Fiat Panda Dance 0.9 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 0.9 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired32000 miles
Most recent distance52000 miles
Previous carFord Focus

Summary:

Our world NEEDS basic cheap transport!

Faults:

One thing only - the hooter stopped working. When checked, the terminal had come off.

General Comments:

I really do think my Panda is amazing.

I bought it merely because it was so cheap. I didn't think I'd ever really use it - maybe pootle to our village shop - but that would be it.

As it is - I find the Panda is an amazing bit of kit.

I had a Ford Focus diesel before the Panda, the estate version. I can fold the seats flat in the Panda, and get MORE in him that I could in the Focus estate!

Someone said they could tax their BMW, or for the same money tax AND insure their Panda. I can tax, insure and FILL THE TANK on the Panda for what it cost me to tax the Focus.

A tank last around 600 miles. If I use the A12 a lot, around 550. But out here in the sticks, I'm on bends and lanes, so speeding is something only holidaying Londoners do - us Dengie boys would rather brake to a halt quickly than rush to an accident site (!!) For that type of driving, the Panda is 'par-excellence'. Nippy, quick, light, economical, easily maintained, reliable, sure-footed... all these apply to the Panda 900. (but yes, you CAN make long journeys without getting cramp, etc. My Panda has to Italy several times. Each time full of camping gear, each time without fault or problem. Holding 70/75mph for miles is NOT a problem, but it DOES cut the mpg right back to 45/48!)

What DOESN'T apply is 'luxurious'. It isn't. You get slightly flimsy seats, a heater, a shelf and a single wiper arm. Anything more would be considered over-indulgent.

In return, you get 60mpg, an engine even a total pleb can change plugs/filters/oil on, a clutch & handbrake even a muppet with a spanner can adjust, (takes 90 seconds each), parts costing less than a pint (not that you'll ever need many) and a feeling of driving being FUN, as you drive along grinning like a window-licker, smiling at people in expensive,'fortunes-to-run'luxury cars equipped with sat nav, climate control, mp3 ports, CD changers,'sports modes' etc etc, who all HATE you...'cos there's you grinning as you zip along in your ultra-basic, simple-to-maintain, amazingly cheap to run, clockwork biscuit-tin

...but a SUPERB biscuit-tin, with a SUPERB heart.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th March, 2011

27th Mar 2011, 04:25

And if you ever have the misfortune of running into someone (or them into you), it will be curtains and goodnight Vienna.

These cars just aren't safe in this day and age, driving one of these gives a similar level of protection as a motorbike (but without the nimbleness that a motorbike offers).

29th Mar 2011, 22:30

I agree with the previous comment. If you're ever in a crash, whether it's your fault or not, you will wish (if you survive) that you were driving your Focus.

1990 Fiat Panda Dance 1.0 from UK and Ireland

Model year1990
Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 1.0 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired42000 miles
Most recent distance56000 miles
Previous carBMW 3 Series

Summary:

Excellent - what our roads need!

Faults:

Nothing. It REFUSES to go wrong!

There WAS some 'twist' in the drivers seat frame, but that was sorted by pulling the seat back into shape.

Oh - the aerial snapped... big deal.

General Comments:

My Panda is as basic as a shopping trolley... and just as uncomplicated.

She has wind-up windows, mirrors that are set by hand, no central locking, no remote unlocking, nothing.

Just an amazingly reliable little 900cc engine, seats, and a roof.

However - she has a rear wash/wipe, heated rear window, excellent heater, absolutely amazingly bright headlights, a reversing light, and zips happily along at 70mph without effort.

The all-round view from the driving position is without hindrance, the controls are very easy (simple) to use and the 5-speed box is very slick.

I have a 318 auto BMW... when we had the really bad snow/ice, the Beemer just couldn't cope.

The little Panda, with it's front-wheel-drive and skinny wheels, trundled along even on sheet ice.

Never had a single doubt she'd give up. No skids, no wheelspin, just traction.

I have to reiterate, the car is BASIC.

Not even a glove compartment - just a shelf.

BUT - for what it costs to tax AND insure my little Panda... I can TAX the Beemer!

I average around 55-60mpg from her - but I never try to make her do silly speeds. She IS just 900cc, and that must be remembered.

Another amazing thing is the space, when the rear seats are folded flat. I've had my mate's sideboard in there!

Yes, it hung out a bit-but the point is, my Beemer wouldn't even have tried, and his Escort van wasn't big enough!

All-in-all, I reckon my Panda is a brilliant little car.

More cars should be made like this - reliable & simple.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th March, 2011

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 7 reviews