The intelligent washer is a function which wipes the screen for three wipes on putting the washer on, then waits a few seconds and does a final wipe to remove any stray runs. It is a good feature. The wipers are very good, but the intermittent settting a little too fast.
The car itself is a hugely enjoyable car and we are very pleased with ours. We have just taken delivery of a Doblo 120 Mulltijet Dynamic ordered on the back of the quality of the Panda-it is very good, but the design and electronics are not as up to date as the Panda, and the Turkish build quality not as precise as the Panda's Polish build quality, with a lot of trim scatches etc.
We are still awaiting the Panda paint touch up stick and missing grommet, however.
Fiat Customer Services rang to ask how satisfied we were with the car and quizzed us over our thoughts on the Fiat Serivce, dealers and brand. This is a good sign that they are getting their house in order ready for the 500 launch...
I do hope you enjoy yours-be patient with the running in, the car transforms when loosened up. I believe that they program the chip to be gentle with the engine during the first 1000 miles, then it changes-but I may be wrong. Ours is so much better now at 3500 miles...
Update: now at 4200 miles and ECSTATIC with the Panda. I have owned so many cars, but this diesel Panda is a true revelation-it is so responsive, huge fun and startlingly QUICK!
Now the gearbox and engine are fully run in, the controls are delicately and precisely responsive and the fun you can have blasting along, flicking through the gears is immense.
The only limit the car has is the grip from the low rolling resistance "eco-tyres" which were not designed for rallying, but for economy. We'll soon be swapping them-the fronts are getting hammered already-the engine is more powerful than you would ever think, and better gripping tyres are needed if you drive very hard; the chassis is excellent.
A super-quick blast from the Midlands to the Welsh Coast across some choice damp mountain twisties only confirmed my admiration and love for this car-an experienced driver in the Panda can lose many so called "hot hatches".
I laughed myself daft after an impatient Range Rover Sport HSE driver desperately trying to pass the car in front of him got blitzed by me who passed them both UPHILL. He then came roaring after me, but just could not keep up on the tight twisties-it was like the QE2 chasing a jet-ski!! LOL.
God, I love this Panda-it is so much fun, so rewarding, so intuitive and well balanced and the economy of £35pa road tax, cheapest insurance and great fuel economy are the cherry on the icing on the cake!
I think I have had more fun in this than in the Alfasud ti I had in my teens. Honestly!
I prefer the 1.3 diesel to the 100HP version as it rides more softly and it's sprightly performance more surprising to others who cannot believe you are keeping up with them..
It would me mental with a superchip and some sticky rubber, but standard is fabulous...
Very interesting review of your car. I too have a Panda Multijet and after 3 months and 2500 miles so far and faultless drive and performance.
I agree about the tyres and level of grip and although Continental tyres are a premier brand the standard 155/80 R13 are not that good. I have upgraded to 14" alloys shod with Vredestein T-Trac tyres and can honestly say I have had no more problems with grip in wet or dry conditions.
Yes a fine 1.3 multijet diesel engine, lots of room with back seat folding for all those mobile djs. Funky wee motor enjoy.
*Original writer update*
I have now sold the Panda on and bought a Daihatsu Sirion as it fits us and the pushchair better than the Panda. The Sirion is far more basic and not as stylish, but is much a more spacious and practical car which corners and grips far better, and has 4 star NCAP over the Panda's 3 stars.
Parting thoughts on the Panda at 5000 miles:
First class engine and gearbox is astounding, clever and unintrusive electrics, surprisingly adept in all conditions at all speeds, good build quality. World class economy.
Very tight space in front for driver with bulky gearshift surround in the way and very hard door plastics, boot tiny, some rattles on dash developing.
In a sentence: A small Fiat as small Fiats should be, fun, entertaining, economical and stylish.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if you find it big enough.
I would recommend the diesel with aircon, remote stereo controls, full size spare wheel and rear headrests, in a good colour which matches the interior.
Wow, no wonder you've owned 74 cars in your life time!
Thanks for the great coverage of the Panda, its encouraging to know that Fiat quality is on the up and up. Enjoy your Sirion.
Thanks for the huge detail in that comment. How old was the Panda? What was wrong with it? Was is a Fiat Panda or the one that looks like a bear but in black and white?
Great car, strange clutch though - can't get anyone to agree yet with me, but I think it is faulty. Never had one like it in 40 years of motoring. It really is difficult to control - anyone else had problems?
Original report writer back.
No issue with clutch or box on diesel Panda - check Fiat forums.
Hindsight view of my Multijet diesel Panda as reported above; excellent MPG, lovely engine and box, very quick, well built, incomparable to Fiat of old. But: engine/box too heavy for chassis and poor front end grip is scary if using the performance of the engine, cabin tiny with rough edges and no knee space, TINY mirrors, boot not big enough for pushchair.
2010 update re choosing Panda:
At the time of writing, a new 1.1 base Panda was £4899 OTR, the diesel £5799 and diesel with air-con/roof rails £6199.
Now the basic Panda is £4995 PLUS your scrappage car, and the air-con diesels are stupid money at £8295. (All prices fiatsupasaver.com)
We have bought a 2010 Perodua Myvi 1.3 SXi (like the Daihatsu Sirion) for £6380 OTR with metallic (have another 2007 one-which has done 56k and is still superb).
These were available for £4995 plus scrappage, and if you compare one of these excellent Toyota family cars to the base Panda, you would never buy the Panda at the same price.
Because of the Euro exchange rate, Fiat are now too expensive, Daihatsu are no longer importing due to the Yen rate, but Perodua Myvis are truly excellent cars (sold as Toyota Passo in other markets) and now undercut the most basic Euro cars, but are specced with 5 doors, air-con, plush trim, quality 4 speaker CD, split fold seats, 4 electric windows, remote locking, LED rear lights etc etc.
Worth a look if considering a Panda, as the Myvi is a bigger, 5 seat, next size up car with similar quality to the Panda, at less money - due to exchange rates.
We loved our Panda - it was a bargain in 2007. We would not pay the current prices - we haven't, we bought Perodua again for 2010.