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Old 04-01-2018   #1
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Should I Change My Panda to a 500 ?!

I have a hour each way daily commute .Currently running a very low mileage 2010 1.1 eco Panda (52mpg) after 3 or 4 years and 70k miles with a 2005 diesel (68mpg) which I only got rid of at 170k as it was going through wishbones annually .I also had a 100hp (38mpg) which I didn’t like at all ...The way the simple 1.1 Petrol Panda goes around wet roundabouts is a joy to behold .The car just goes exactly where you want it despite Tyres and steering wheel seeming to refuse to cooperate!( The 100hp by contrast woukd just want to ‘plough straight On ‘ and only showed handling finesse at 40-50mph )
Anyway I’m toying with idea of a 2008-10 Petrol or diesel as a cheap upgrade option although I think a 2015 95bhp diesel is what I REALLY crave .Is the 500 inherently less reliable than Panda ? I think I’ve been lucky with ‘reliable ‘ small Fiats but you hear horror stories eg the pre 2008 Multijet Panda was more reliable than post due to no Dpf etc .
How’s the mpg on various models in real world? ( I do no urban driving ) Is 95bhp way faster and more economical than 70bhp diesel?
Any thoughts welcome

EDIT Jeez the ‘ Omen ‘thread is scarey .Id already discounted a TwinAir ( and 1.4 not enough extra poke for less mpg and expensive timing belt job ?) Is it a pattern that 2008 500s May be the most reliable ?
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Last edited by ytareh; 04-01-2018 at 12:00.
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Old 04-01-2018   #2
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Re: Should I Change My Panda to a 500 ?!

I don't know details of the individual engine and trim variants but with the 500 you are paying a premium for "style". When in Italy recently I noticed a predominance of 500s over Pandas in Rome, but significantly more Pandas over 500s in mountains. Make what you will of that. Where you are and with the mileage it sounds like a diesel Panda is you best bet. If you like the older pre DPF model why not look around for a low mileage used one? Even if it was far away it might be worth the trouble.


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Old 04-01-2018   #3
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Re: Should I Change My Panda to a 500 ?!

We have the 1.3 MJ with 95 hp in our Qubo and now at 71k. Ideal for your commute, no problem with dpf as is driven often over distances. Have run a bottle of injector cleaner through every now and then. Runs and pulls very well, highly recommended.
Oh and that engine in a Panda would be my preferred car if it was available... And if the wife thought it was big enough...
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Last edited by andydiver; 04-01-2018 at 12:56.
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Old 04-01-2018   #4
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Re: Should I Change My Panda to a 500 ?!

Had no problems with my 09 500 diesel apart from a replacement pressure sensor for it
My trip to work is 15 miles down the motorway and get a longer run every few weeks so gets chance to keep it clear
Not had the dpf light on for a few months
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Old 04-01-2018   #5
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Re: Should I Change My Panda to a 500 ?!

Well I had my diesel panda for ten years did 205000 miles and bought a three year old fiat 500 95hp diesel to replace it by clicking on eBay.
It had 50000 miles on the clock
It has more power does 5 mpg more and the Dpf behaves it's self
It can only tow 800 kg instead of the 900kg the panda can tow which is a bummer for me
The boot is small
Two doors instead of four is a pain when getting in the back but only I drive it
You will need mutiscan
The blue tooth to the radio has stopped working and the odeometer is flashing.
But love it
The panda was brilliant though and converted me to fiats
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Old 05-01-2018   #6
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Re: Should I Change My Panda to a 500 ?!

Avoid the diesel, its not a nice engine and may be economical but at some point it will need heater plugs, a turbo and a timing chain. Stick with a 1.2 petrol or even a Twinair.
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Old 05-01-2018   #7
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Re: Should I Change My Panda to a 500 ?!

Quote Originally Posted by Bluetruck View Post
Avoid the diesel, its not a nice engine and may be economical but at some point it will need heater plugs, a turbo and a timing chain. Stick with a 1.2 petrol or even a Twinair.
Timing chain is scheduled maintenance not a problem. Heater plugs are not expensive often replaced in error due to modest wiring issues (why multiecuscan is such a good thing, won't deny the odd loom issue but ever so cheap to fix), new turbo often the same. Surprised you didn't mention egr, also never been a problem on most engines out there. They need to be used, that's all, not tinkered around town. The engine pulls more smoothly and reliably within its design limits than the vag group 1,8 turbo petrol I had or any other petrol, only the 2.2 D4D Toyota lumps felt more dependable.
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Old 06-01-2018   #8
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Re: Should I Change My Panda to a 500 ?!

Quote Originally Posted by Bluetruck View Post
Avoid the diesel, its not a nice engine and may be economical but at some point it will need heater plugs, a turbo and a timing chain. Stick with a 1.2 petrol or even a Twinair.
Eh?


Glow plugs and timing chains are both consumables/service item's
Contrary to believe glow plugs are often easy to change with replaced shortly after they fail not left for month's after to build up with carbon


And timing chains aren't more expensive then belts given how they last through multiple belt cycle's

Again turbo's as long as the oil is kept up-to-date with changes it shouldn't need changing
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Old 06-01-2018   #9
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Re: Should I Change My Panda to a 500 ?!

If we are going to start knocking models the 500 has it's own problems,
Rear hatch loom - can result in needing a new body computer
Heater flaps -needs complete dash removal with large labour costs.

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Old 06-01-2018   #10
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Re: Should I Change My Panda to a 500 ?!

I've had lots of different panda's but made the switch back into a TA 500 Lounge. I traded my 4x4 cross diesel in for it and have not regretted it. It's easy to get frightened off certain things by reading forums, just because it does happen doesn't mean it will happen to you! (way to tempt fate )
End of the day it's a personal choice. Mine was for less doors and free road tax
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Old 11-01-2018   #11
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Re: Should I Change My Panda to a 500 ?!

It really comes down to how the car makes you feel, and whether you’re proud to own it

On the subject of an “expensive belt change” on the 1.4; if I may say so, I remember it being a very simple belt change to do. I believe the 1.4 and the 1.2 are the easiest and most economical engines to look after long-term. The TwinAir probably has the most character, but don’t expect economy to be much different to the 1.2/1.4 in real life, despite the wonderful claims made by FIAT. The 1.4 is not exactly thirsty - I’ve been getting 5.5L/100km lately (51mpg). Our average over the past 5000km has been 6.2L/100km (46mpg) and that’s at least half in-town driving.

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Old 13-01-2018   #12
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Re: Should I Change My Panda to a 500 ?!

The Twinair seems to have far more reliability issues though if not actual horror stories (?)
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Old 13-01-2018   #13
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Re: Should I Change My Panda to a 500 ?!

Quote Originally Posted by ytareh View Post
The Twinair seems to have far more reliability issues though if not actual horror stories (?)
I own a Twinair and I've been on this forum for three years or more and I really don't think that statement's justified.
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Old 13-01-2018   #14
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Re: Should I Change My Panda to a 500 ?!

Some good points being made. I bought my daughter a 1.3mjt for her first car. She is doing 80 miles a day so we went for the deisel. This didnt stop the DPF clogging up but we had several issues, pressure sensor failed, injector failed. Anyway, we havent had any issues for 4 months, fingers crossed we get to April and the MOT without any scares. Will decide then whether to keep it or get a newer model. Another 500?

Like Alex said, are you happy/proud to own your car, they do look good. Should you buy a car because it looks good? Did I marry my wife because she looked good or she cooked good dinners.............. plenty of take-aways near us!
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Old 13-01-2018   #15
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Re: Should I Change My Panda to a 500 ?!

I'd say your daughter might need to rev the MJ a bit more although it's nowhere near as bad as the Nissan Micra diesel I ran for a year or so for ' clogging up' ( and IT had a red light to warn you .Id get her to drive in fourth gear on the motorway for a few minutes every week or two and / or accelerate flat out from zero / junctions once or twice daily up through the gears .Diesels are great to drive at low revs for long periods , sometimes not much more than 1000rpm but too much of this ( not much at all sometimes will clog things up with soot which can be seen when accelerating flat out . For the MJ I'd say if there's black smoke , keep driving it hard till there ain't .This probably doesn't apply to old german cars ! I found my MJ got a bit smokey if not driven for a few days especially with cheaper diesel in the tank .
It's less likely to get smokey if the turbo actuator isn't stuck .It often is ! ( worth finding the thread about the easy fix for this - a couple of minutes under car with WD40 and a big screwdriver shoving the right place . I miss my old MJ but Irish roads were killing the wishbones although I suspect a bad shock absorber installation May have been contributing to them lasting barely a year ...
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