2008 Fiat Panda Dynamic 1.3 Multijet diesel from UK and Ireland
A little battler that will win you over
Failed to start in cold weather due to fouled glow plugs.
Suspension parts need changing often as the diesel engine is heavy at the front, but these are cheap.
This is a brilliant car; I always fancied one because they look a bit daft.
The Multijet engine needs frequent oil changes with fully synthetic oil, but I have had no trouble with it. I get 50-65 MPG depending on how I drive. It struggles at 100mph, but sits very comfortably at 90-95.
The gear shift is one of the best I've used in any car, and unlike most small cars, it has normal sized pedals spaced properly. Nowhere to rest your clutch foot on long journeys (there's a cutout, but it's not usable).
Airy interior, everything is tough plastic, but it stays looking clean and doesn't scuff.
Tyres are very cheap, fuel very cheap (I use Shell V Power to keep my little engine clean and it's pennies more per tank). The fuel tank itself is small.
The boot is very small, but I remove the parcel shelf and pile things in. Two dogs here too! With the rear seat down (one piece, not split/fold on mine) I easily fitted a washing machine in there. The square shape helps.
I changed the battery and the glow plugs as it stranded me once, but has been fine since in subzero temperatures.
The seats are comfortable enough, but I drive long distances so have bought a coccyx cushion. Fiat 500 seats apparently fit, but it would look odd and I doubt they'd be more supportive.
The car does get blown about in high winds - I'm sure the flat sides contribute to this - and will crash through potholes due to the size of the wheels, but is remarkably comfortable on the motorway apart from that.
The front suspension is under stress in this front wheel drive car due to the heavy diesel engine, but replacement parts are cheap so it's not really an issue.
To be honest, for the driving I do, I should have bought a bigger car, but this little Tonka toy copes admirably with whatever you throw at it.
Final point - these have been very reliable generally and I think it might be because they are Polish built, unlike the newest model which is built in a new factory in southern Italy.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st March, 2016