Compact Efficiency in and Adorable Package

Don’t let the cutesy-sounding name of the Fiat Panda convince you that this vehicle isn’t filled with personality – the Fiat Panda is stylish Italian brand, Fiat’s contribution to the compact, entry-level car segment.

As always, our hosts at Grand Central Motors Midrand, are proud to showcase three stunning brands, namely Jeep, Alfa and Fiat. Guided by Dealer Principal Candice McKenna, the team at Grand Central are excited to offer practical vehicles, with luxury elements at affordable prices.

The Concept:

A small, compact and efficient entry-level motor car with precocious styling and a sense of class – as well as 4X4 capabilities if you so wish!

The Looks:

I can’t help but feel like “adorable” is really the best way to describe the Panda. The 4X4 variant (the Panda Cross) has a ferocious “tiny but mighty” look to it in addition, but the whole range has an endearing, wide-eyed look that grabs attention wherever it goes. It has wide-set wheels that give a sense of stability, yet still maintains the loving, languid lines of the Italian designers.

The Feel:

The Fiat Panda’s newest incarnation has grown with a few centimetres. The space inside has been used incredibly well to harmoniously incorporate all the needed technology and features, sufficient space and still seem charming in its “compact” status. It feels conveniently sized and perfect for the urban environment. High-quality materials are used throughout, and nothing is done by halves – seating is comfortable and made from durable fabric.

The Features:

On the entry-level Panda 0.9 TwinAir Easy, air-con, remote central locking, front electric windows, power steering and audio-system are standard. Whilst alloy wheels are optional, 4 airbags are included as standard as well as ABS, EBD and ESP. As infotainment systems are not included, you may feel short of a touchscreen and navigation, but the price and fuel-economy more than make up for it. There is also a whole host of features you can add-on and customise.

The Drive:

A 0.9 litre petrol engine is what drives the TwinAir Easy variant, giving out 63 kW of power and 145 Nm of torque. This may seem slight, but there is a lovely sense of eagerness to hitting the accelerator and feeling the Panda surge forward without hesitation. A 5-speed manual gearbox feels good, and the drive in general is solid, unhindered and smooth. With the phenomenal fuel-efficiency of 4.2 litres per 100 kilometres, this vehicle is perfect for city driving. Sitting in traffic or going to-and-fro between res, home and varsity will be a breeze with this little car!

The Score:

The Panda is a lovely vehicle that truly surprises in terms of fuel efficiency. For this we score it 7.5 crowns out of 10.

Where to Find It:

The precocious Panda is on show at Grand Central Motors: www.fiatmidrand.co.za. You can also contact the Dealership on 011 347 8000.

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