1995 Fiat Panda 1000 Fizz 999cc FIRE from UK and Ireland
Nothing whatever has gone wrong yet, although the aim of the front windscreen water jet is a bit out - something for a couple of minutes with a hammer when I get round to it.
Well, first, the price. A mint condition 1995 car from a dealer with only 74000 on the clock:
Let's not beat about the bush, though, this car is BASIC. Power Steering, Electric Windows, ABS, PAS - it doesn't have any of that, and even things like clocks and cigarette lighters are optional extras (not fitted to this one).
What it does have, however, is a lovely little engine (and I mean little, the spare tyre fits under the bonet next to it) that's certainly no sand-cast V8 but is more than adequate to shift the car much faster than a lot of other road users sometimes anticipate. (Seriously, it will do about 90 flat-out, but 75 is a more realistic cruising speed.)
Gear-change is a little imprecise, but that does mean the box is quite forgiving. I started from standing in 3rd by mistake the other day, but the car seemed happy to do it.
From the inside, the car is very much like driving some sort of basic military vehicle, with its paint finished metal interior (no trim panels on the doors) and almost vertical windscreen. Head room and leg room are excellent (I'm 6'3").
The seats fold into about 2000 different positions long before (the car was designed in about 1980) anyone knew what an MPV was. They are hard and basic, but adequately comfortable if you don't drive over too many pot-holes.
Boot space is adequate with the back seats up and spacious with them down.
There is a two speaker stereo which is just loud enough to get itself heard over the engine noise.
The car is totally reliable and hasn't yet thrown up any problems other than the aforementioned water-jet aim. The car is so basic, however, that if it did I'm sure I could do it myself. Fuel economy is around 50, even around town.
Appearance is retro, of the love it or hate it variety.
Security is non-existent apart from the Stoplock I put on the steering wheel. You can break into it with a coat-hanger (I have once when I locked the keys in it). Thieves however seem to be able to withstand the temptation, and the radio is removable.
The car is pretty solidly though it has no modern safety features such as airbags or roll bars. Best thing to do is not to crash it then, but I reckon if I did it would PROBABLY be okay.
In summary, then, if you want basic no-nonsense no hassle, group 1 insurance motoring then this is vehicle for you.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd February, 2004