In 2019, the Fiat Panda was the best-selling car in Italy due to its small size and quirkiness. But when the Panda was introduced in Australia in 2013, it survived just two short years before being killed off in 2015…
The reason? Poor sales and strong competition. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
But while it might’ve been unable to secure the trust of consumers as a solid new-car purchase, how does it fare as a used buy? Does it have a chance here? We have a look at the 2013 Fiat Panda Easy to find out.
Price & Specs: 6.5/10
Picking up a used 2013 Fiat Panda is easier said than done as not many were sold in Australia. Though it would be unfair to say few don’t pop-up on the second-hand market every now-and-then.
One of the reasons the 2013 Fiat Panda didn’t do so well on the Australian market was due to its price. Our 2013 Fiat Panda Easy test car, specced with the five-speed manual transmission and painted in ‘Sweet Dreams Turquoise’ (yes, really), would’ve set the original buyer back $19,500 plus on-roads when new. That made it as expensive as the arguably better Ford Fiesta Trend.
For the money, the Panda comes standard with electric front windows, a six-speaker stereo, six airbags, rear-parking sensors, voice control, Bluetooth connectivity, a CD player and remote central locking.
Nowadays, used Pandas can be had for a fraction of the original purchase price, with examples available for around $6,000-$8,000.
Performance & Economy: 7.0/10
Our 2013 Fiat Panda Easy is fitted with the magnificent ‘Twin Air’ engine – which won the ‘International Engine of the Year’, ‘Best New Engine’, ‘Best Fuel Economy/Green Engine’, and ‘Sub 1-litre’ categories at the 2011 International Engine & Powertrain Awards.
It’s a turbocharged, 0.9-litre two-cylinder unit with just 63kW of power and 145Nm of torque. This doesn’t sound like a whole lot but considering the Panda’s weight, or lack thereof (985kg), it makes for a spritely drive. The engine makes a lovely growl on start-up and slight turbo noises when accelerating. It’s great!
Being such a light car, the claimed fuel consumption figure is quite impressive at 4.2L/100km – a figure which, even to this day, not many modern cars can achieve.
The light steering and easy-to-use clutch make it a doddle to drive and manoeuvre in tight spaces, making for a great city car. Two other engine options in the 2013 Fiat Panda include the 51kW 1.2 litre four cylinder, available in the base-spec ‘Pop’; and 55kW 1.3 litre four-cylinder diesel, available in the top-spec ‘Trekking’.
Don’t go for a Panda with the five-speed ‘Duo Logic’ automated manual; we can’t recommend that. The Duo Logic unit is a traditional manual gearbox with a computer helming the clutch. It isn’t quick, it isn’t seamless and it isn’t fun. It’s slow and horrible and more trouble than it’s worth. Just don’t.
Interior & Practicality: 7.0/10
The interior of the 2013 Fiat Panda is where things start to get quirky: the shapes spread throughout the interior are ‘squirkles’ (rounded off squares). These are found everywhere from the seats, to the dials and air-conditioning controls.
For such a small car, the Panda’s interior feels very spacious, offering plenty of room to fit four adults. The boot of the Panda is also bigger than you’d expect, swallowing 225 litres of cargo space.
You can even turn the 2013 Fiat Panda into a removalist’s van if you want. Fold the rear seats down, remove the cargo barrier, and – boom! – infinite space for all. (Nearly.) Do this and that piddling 225L capacity balloons into a mammoth 870L – perfect for trips to flat-pack furniture heaven.
Running Costs & Reliability: 5.0/10
Servicing the 2013 Fiat Panda comes around every 12 months or 15,000km.
When looking at a Fiat Panda, it is important to make sure it has an air-tight service history as it’s known to have both electrical and suspension issues.
If choosing a Panda with the ‘Duo Logic’ single-clutch automated manual, be wary as it’s prone to failure and nowhere near as reliable as the three-pedal option.
2013 Fiat Panda Easy DiscoverAuto Rating: 6.7/10
The 2013 Fiat Panda is a soulful little car that’s full of character. It makes you want to bring it inside at night and make sure it’s warm. It’s a car that makes no sense when put up against its competitors, but it makes you feel special.
It may not be the cheapest car – nor the most reliable – but it has what a lot of modern cars lack today: a personality.
With its huge sales success in Italy not flowing through down under, the Fiat Panda is a hard car to come by but sure to win your heart.