Type 319 Panda
1 Oct 2013
Released in Europe in late 2011, the Type-319 Panda rules its segment in Europe, is the third generation since the series started in 1980, and is Italy’s biggest seller overall.
The Italian-made sub-B segment competitor to the VW Up and Suzuki Alto is also the largest, strongest, roomiest, quietest, and most refined to date, styled in-house at Centro Stilo in Turin as an evolution of the successful second-generation Type-169.
However it uses a variation of the modified Mexican-built 500 platform – which is slightly longer and has been beefed up compared to other 500s to better meet US rear-impact legislation.
This means conventional front-drive engineering underneath, from a MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension set-up to an electrically operated rack and pinion steering system.
The relatively wide dimensions allow a five-person cabin configuration against the 500’s (and Up’s) four-seater arrangement.
As with the 500, only the Pop model offers Fiat’s 1.2-litre four-cylinder single overhead cam petrol Fire engine. It produces 51kW of power at 5500rpm and 102Nm of torque at 3000rpm.
Drive is via a five-speed manual transmission only the TwinAir models offer a robotised clutchless transmission dubbed Dualogic.
The TwinAir, of course, refers to Fiat’s award-winning 0.9-litre two-cylinder turbo petrol unit, delivering 63kW at 5500rpm and 145Nm at 1900rpm.
The final engine option is the Trekking’s 1.3-litre MultiJet four-cylinder turbo-diesel, pumping out 55kW at 4000rpm and 190Nm at 1500rpm.
The Trekking sits some 50mm higher off the ground, but remains a front-driver (though in some markets a 4x4 version is also offered). It also brings a unique ESC setting for improved front-wheel traction, among other minor changes.
A range of customisation items is available through Fiat’s Mopar accessories division, in much the same way as Mini owners can individualise their cars.
To further emphasise its design-driven focus, all Pandas employ a rounded-off square motif Fiat calls ‘Squircle’ throughout the car (especially the interior), to help give it a flourish of style and individuality.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
17th of January 2014
Fiat 2013 Panda Easy
Panda is accomplished but on the endangered list due to Fiat’s perplexing pricing
25th of October 2013
Fiat 2013 Panda range
A winner in every way but one: that's the Fiat Panda.
When it was new