Fiat Panda Sport Hybrid, measured

So now we see the light Bob Marley (Burnin’, 1973)

Lucas doesn’t know how to drink, I always say that, but today after lunch he has crossed all limits. It is true that tragedy is chewed in the company because we have little to do and the boss walks around the production lines with a worried air. They almost always interrupt his disturbing walk with a cell phone call to which he always answers with a “No, No, No!” and he walks off to his office looking into the packing plant. We know something is up because he closes the blinds and he has never done that. But Lucas has gone from shots to mixed drinks and I’m afraid he might pass out on top of the remains of the flan. When he looks like he is going to collapse he looks up and starts speaking in a clear voice without hesitation. Doesn’t look like yours. “There is a place in the factory that few know about, a hidden door behind the sealing machines that is partially covered with a torn union poster. That door leads to a basement used by the ranchers who owned the land before Bustos bought it…”

“Lucas, don’t talk nonsense, you’re drunk” I tell him, making a move to get up. But he grabs my arm. “Do you think the boss is worried about the orders? I know the truth. He has been rejecting any contract for months. What is happening is… something else.” I feel. Lucas has managed to intrigue me so I ask Paqui for my shadow to synchronize with his paranoia about the greasy paper tablecloth. “It’s… that basement. The government has told him that he has to stop everything without raising suspicions…” I finish my shot and ask for another. «But what is there? Fertilizers, poisons? We are in danger?” Lucas shakes his head vigorously. He rests his elbow on the table and brings his face close to mine as if to whisper a secret to me. «None of that Damian. Nothing of that. What’s down there is… foreign. From outside, from far away.” He says making a fuss towards the ceiling. “Do you mean alien?” Lucas now looks like he’s been struck by lightning. “It’s! And he is… alive ».

Few illustrious exponents of the historic utility vehicles remain that faithfully maintain the concept of a car of reduced dimensions and cost. The market has seen a constant renewal of models that relatively recently have shared a showcase with utility vehicles with an electric motor that look to an urban future without emissions. But for nostalgic models like the Fiat Panda, they will always have a place in this exciting story of the evolution of mobility.

Analyzed model fiat panda
engine and finish HybridSport 70 hp
Power 69 hp
Maximum speed 164km/h
Acceleration o-100 13.9s
Long wide high 3653/1643/1551mm
Max Power RPM 69 hp 6,000n RPM
Max torque Nm/RPM 92Nm
Gearbox manual 6 speed
Price €15,850

Specifically, the Fiat Panda has been on the market for more than forty years as a substitute for the legendary 126 based on a design by the prestigious Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro with multiple solutions aimed at lowering costs and with a truly spartan and practical interior with solutions such as the possibility of drawing the seats to wash the upholstery in the washing machine. The Panda has survived to this day many revolutions and changes in the market with good health.

Last generation

In this case we have been able to test the latest generation of the Italian utility vehicle that mounts a propulsion system with light hybridization that gives it the DGT ECO label. This latest generation is the result of a facelift of the model launched in 2012 that retains all the characteristics that have made this small car an alternative that is always present for those who need an eminently urban car.

At first glance, one of those signs of identity is discovered: the Panda is a utility vehicle with a rather high body, so much so that it can be considered that it is only one step below a small SUV. Thanks to this height and the contained size, an excellent combination of visibility and agility in traffic is obtained.

For our tests we have chosen the Sport version, with some aesthetic details to give it a sportier look. Up front, the headlights sit high on the sides of the hood, and further down are a well-sized, prominent bumper that’s ideal for warding off the bumps or scuffs of city maneuvering. Inserted on the sides of the bumper we find the position lights in the central part and the fog lights below.


At the height of the headlights, a decorative strip of black plastic with the Fiat logo in the center has been placed. Further down, an air intake with several elements has been placed, a narrower intake over the area where the license plate is located and another area made up of several elements. The set is casual with a certain sporty touch.

The lateral line, as we have indicated, is high and reminiscent of the design of an SUV. The glass surfaces are also proportionally large and there is even a third transparent element at the height of the trunk. The rims have an irregular geometric design and this variant includes red brake calipers that provide another sporty element.

At the rear, a large gate dominates in which a large glass surface dominates in the upper part, flanked by two elongated optical groups on the sides. In the lower part there is a bumper, also of a good size, from which a black plastic bumper protrudes that provides additional protection against impacts.

simple interior

Inside, Fiat has followed the tradition of extreme simplicity in design with rounded shapes that give the dashboard an original touch. In the center of it is the information and entertainment screen in an ideal elevated position to be able to consult it without taking your eyes off the road. It is an efficient and modern system that can be connected to mobile phones with Android Auto and Apple Car Play.

To the right of the screen we find a large storage compartment that is quite practical and also leaves a lot of leg room for the passenger as this part of the dashboard is very advanced. On the driver’s side, two traditional dials function to indicate speed and revs with a small screen between the two for additional information on the car’s operation.

The seats are quite comfortable with a sports-inspired design with red stitching and lateral support in both the seat and the backrest. The steering wheel also has red stitching and a three-spoke design with buttons and dials that give access to various car functions more immediately.

functional design

The gear change lever is advanced in an element that protrudes from the lower part of the dashboard, which leaves the space between the seats in the front part free, between which we will only find the handbrake lever. Above the gear lever are the climate controls as well as other car functions.

In the back, habitability is somewhat more sacrificed, inevitable due to the size of the car. In height there is enough space, but on the other hand this is scarce for the legs and especially if three people want to travel since the space in the central square is very small. On the other hand, the large glazed surfaces give a lot of light and an impression of space. In spite of everything, it is one of the compacts in which there is more space in the rear seats.

The trunk is another element that suffers from the short length of the bodywork. The capacity is 225 liters with a very curious tray with relief, which allows you to place objects and prevent them from moving with the trunk closed. By folding down the seats in the second row we can increase the capacity to 870 litres. Both figures are somewhat below what its competitors offer.

small engine

It’s time to put the small 1-liter gasoline engine of this little Italian to the test. As we have anticipated, it receives the help of a small electric motor of just 5 horsepower that serves as a starter motor and to contribute to the thrust of the internal combustion engine at certain times of its operation.

The three-cylinder engine emits a characteristic sound but somewhat rounder than others from the competition. The soundproofing is not very effective but it is not a particularly noisy engine either, especially after a certain time of operation. As there is no electric motor powerful enough to move the car, the internal combustion engine works at all times.

Although it does not have much power, operation in the city and at low revolutions is quite agile and we will not need to rev it too much if we do not need too much acceleration. On the other hand, as soon as we need a decisive acceleration, it is necessary to rev the engine a lot and with a not too brilliant result. The result is acceleration from zero to sixty that takes almost 14 seconds.

The city its territory

It is clear that urban routes are the natural environment of this car: its good visibility, a high driving position, contained size and details such as the City mode that can be chosen for the direction that facilitates maneuvers that allows turning the steering wheel more easily. they make the city undoubtedly their preferred territory.

On the road it does not perform badly as long as we do not have to overtake or need power to climb hills. Although with effort it manages to maintain legal cruising speeds with dignity as long as the terrain is flat. On twisty roads the car is safe as long as we do not look for the tickle but in no case did it seem to us that it pitched or that it lost grip alarmingly at reasonable rates.


The Fiat Panda continues to maintain the practical and young spirit of previous generations, with the important update of a micro-hybrid engine that, although it is not too bright, does manage to maintain really low consumption that is around five liters per hundred kilometers even without driving. especially austere. We really liked the updated aesthetics, both outside and inside, and the sporty details of the version we tested.

We liked the habitability and brightness of the cabin, somewhat more sacrificed in the rear but with a height that is very practical. In the city it is very manageable and fits anywhere and on the highway it can be used as long as it is taken into account that it is not a champion in acceleration. The final ingredient is an attractive price that can be the deciding factor.

Final assessment


The latest generation Panda maintains its good qualities as a city car with the addition of an interesting micro-hybrid engine that is not too powerful but very austere.

infotainment system8

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