1993 Fiat Panda Reviews

1993 Fiat Panda 1000 Fire 1.0i FIRE from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1993
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.0i FIRE Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired66300 miles
Most recent distance88500 miles
Previous carFord Sierra

Summary:

The most surprising car I've seen yet - would buy another tomorrow!

Faults:

Thermostat jammed closed at 75'000 miles. New part cost £12.75 from a local parts centre, and was in theory simple to fit. Unfortunately, the bolt holes in the new part failed to line up correctly, and led to damage to the tapped holes in the cylinder head, which then had to be re-tapped, and another thermostat being fitted. This incident was the only one ever to completely immobilise the vehicle.

Small water leak around thermostatic switch for radiator fan, cured with a bottle of Radweld.

Oil filter rusted through at 80'000 miles (1 week before service was due, I suspect that it was not changed at the last service as it should have been.

Mystery electrical glitch causing "check engine" light to appear from time to time, appeared to cure itself, I suspect water ingress into sensor wiring somewhere as it appeared to disappear as soon as the weather dried out.

Reversing light ceased to work on various occasions, a minor alteration to the bulb (adding an extra blob of solder the the end contact) and wedging some tinfoil around the bulb holder cured this.

Minor oil leak from sump oil seal, not serious enough to warranty repair, as it's remained constant for the last 2 years.

Front wiper arm flew off - replaced next day with one from a scrap yard.

Exhaust pipe sheared at join just behind the catalytic converter - welded back together at no cost, still working a year on.

Tracking kept creeping out of alignment, leading to extremely rapid front tyre wear.

Fuel leak from high pressure pump on tank, as yet uncured and no one seems to have the parts.

General Comments:

The list above may seem extensive, but the thermostat was the only item that actually immobilised the car, and the rest have all been easily sorted on a Sunday afternoon - even in the pouring rain.

Tasks under the bonnet usually seems to be simple enough in principle, but access can be awkward at times to say the least, but it's a small car, so one tends to expect that.

In the winter, when the roads fill in with snow, the little Panda startled us with its ability to plough on through drifts which had stopped many four by fours, sheer grip on ice, and impeccable starting in all weathers - even if the doors did freeze up on a daily basis requiring me to climb in through the boot and get the heater going before they could be opened.

On the roads in normal weather, she's a surprisingly quick little beast, easily outstripping Fiestas and most equivalently sized cars, while still returning an average of between 60 and 65mpg, once on a long run we managed to average 69.5mpg over 300 miles. Need I say more about economy?

The interior's basic, but more roomy than one would expect for the size of car, and with the rear seats down can take a ridiculously large amount of luggage. Front seats are comfortable enough, but the rear one can become uncomfortable after anything more than about half an hour. Even if it did look smart in our cars case, where everything short of the black dash and grey headlining was colour co-ordinated with the car. No grumbles about the build quality as nothing stopped working or fell off.

In all, this has been one of, if not the best car we've ever had; it gets us the same places our old Sierra did, at the same speed, in reasonable comfort, and costs pennies to run. If you can get one, buy it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th August, 2002

1993 Fiat Panda Selecta 1.1 unleaded petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1993
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.1 unleaded petrol Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired45000 miles
Most recent distance47500 miles
Previous carRover - Austin 400

Summary:

A great little car and so easy to drive

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

In 1999 I bought a '91 Panda 1000 Super to get me by after being made redundant and losing my company car. I was very impressed with its performance on long or short journeys and also by its general reliability.

I now own a 1.1 1993 Panda Selecta (one owner). This car is a pleasure to drive and has amazing pulling power from traffic lights.

I have treated the car to a waxoil coating inside the panels to prolong the life of the body. - great fun cars!

I am currently looking at buying a 4x4 Panda to own along with the Selecta.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2000

3rd Apr 2001, 18:13

Just to say that I'm in total agreement. I've never driven another automatic, but the panda selecta is one of the best small cars I have ever driven. Even though It's so light I feel totally safe. I bought it because it was a bargain but don't plan on giving it up for a long while.

1st Oct 2004, 19:08

I totally agree too! I had a Panda Selecta for about 2 years. Fantastic little car, totally reliable, very nippy around town and absolutley amazing economy! I used to get, on average.. just under 50 mpg, but I have had as much as 60+ mpg on a run!! The only thing I found was that the steering became light and twitchy at speed! But really this is not what Pandas were intended for. Unbeatable around town.

7th Aug 2006, 17:20

I hate to say this, but I agree.

I have just bought a 14 yr old 'Selecta' Panda for my wife to learn to drive in. 29000 miles and it's a pleasure to drive. I have the latest Citroen and finding myself driving down to the shops in it - (The Panda that is). I think I will teach her, then keep it - it just flys from the start - mind you it's pants after about 55mph - not enough 'feel' in the steering.

1993 Fiat Panda Dance 0.9 from Greece

Year of manufacture1993
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 0.9 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired20000 kilometres
Most recent distance60000 kilometres
Previous carCitroen 2CV

Summary:

You get more for what you pay

Faults:

Nothing really, except from the front discs that required change at 45.000 Km.

Routine maintenance done with care.

General Comments:

A very reliable, cheap, economic car.

The model recently celebrated it's 20th birthday.

If you don't push it too much (consider for what reason was designed for) it will last and work fine.

I push it from time to time. It steers better than expected and travels with 120Km/hour on the higway (no car-passing on that speed).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th March, 2000

Average review marks: 8.1 / 10, based on 3 reviews