In its homeland of Italy, the Fiat Panda tops the sales charts.
Now in its third generation overseas, Panda pretty well delivers on the Fiat group’s claims of small car with five-door/five-seat practicality and (relatively) spacious, flexible interior yet compact exterior.
There’s good headroom, front and rear, and luggage capacity swells from 225 litres to 870 with the rear seats folded. The interior is suitably funky in styling, yet delivers above-average comfort for a B-segment urban warrior.
The quaintly-named Trekking, with 1.3-litre, turbo-diesel four-cylinder and five-speed manual only, is the range topper of a four-model line-up that includes Pop (1.2-litre four-cylinder), Easy and Lounge (both 0.9-litre twin-cylinder).
A tad bigger and heavier than its underlings, the Panda is a little reluctant to get going due to turbo lag. But once underway, it lopes along nicely, optimising its peak torque of 190Nm at just 1500rpm.
The ADR combined fuel consumption figure is a miserly 4.2 litres/100km, though we averaged 6.7 around town.
There are good grip levels, but the ride quality is biased towards choppy rather than compliance. We suspect that won’t worry its target market too much – Panda is very much a well-behaved city car that won’t be taken in search of too many mountain roads or race tracks.