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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
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Newbie question - Panda TA or 1.2?

Hello, so pleased to have found this lovely forum!
I am considering a Panda as my next car (changing from a Mk1 1.6 petrol Focus). My eye has been caught by the Trekking model Ė I work part-time on a riding yard and the lane on the way gets very muddy in winter and is prone to flooding, plus the yardís drive is very potholed so the higher ground clearance would be helpful. I tried a Panda Cross a few days ago Ė had gone to look at another car and ended up jumping in the Panda! Had a good half hour solo test drive on familiar roads and got on well with the car Ė I do like the Twinair engine, eco button on or off, and I found the car easy and a lovely drive. The Cross, though, is 4x4 which I donít really need and I would be nervous of additional maintenance expenses. Iíve seen a 15 plate Trekking with reasonable mileage but before I make a two hour plus journey to view it, Iíd like to know your opinions on whether the TA engine would be a sensible choice or whether I should look for a City Cross with the 1.2 engine, assuming that also has the higher ride height and stronger suspension. I would want to keep the car long term and donít live far from an independent specialist Fiat garage.
Most of my regular trips are about 7 miles, much of it through town, and involving a steep hill in both directions (I live in North Yorkshire). I make a longer 30 mile trip a couple of times a month and the occasional longer motorway journey so my annual mileage is around 3.5 Ė 4k. Would the TA engine suffer from a lot of short trips (though it is such fun Iím sure I would find myself taking the scenic route home!) and would it need more frequent oil changes as a result? If the 1.2 engine would be a better choice, how well does it cope with steep inclines and would I find it a bit frustrating after being used to a bigger engined car? Donít mind having to use the gears.
Sorry this is so long, I don't change cars very often so it's a big decision!
Tina
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
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Re: Newbie question - Panda TA or 1.2?

Hi Tina,

The twin air engine has loads of fans, but it needs a very specific type and brand of oil to run reliably and not develop long term expensive problems. A lot of fiat dealers have failed to pay attention to the needs of the TA engine.

On the other hand the 1.2 engine has been around in different guises/sizes for decades. Brilliant simple engine , very reliable , easy and cheap to service.


DO NOT GET AN AUTO / SEMI AUTO DUALOGIC DUOLOGIC whatever they call it .

If the local independent fiat garage doesn't sell cars go and ask them their opinion and say you will be taking it there for service.

If they do sell cars ask to speak to the service manager and ask her/him your questions .
Best wishes

Jack
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Last edited by jackwhoo; 2 Weeks Ago at 19:12.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
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Re: Newbie question - Panda TA or 1.2?

Hi

As Jack says the 1242cc
FIRE motor isnt dissimilar to your old Focus

Old school..
Proven technology


The Twinair will be better at both hills and motorway..

But takes more looking after..

As stated servicing is crucial..

2 wheel drive should be easy and simple

Charlie
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #4
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Re: Newbie question - Panda TA or 1.2?

My daughter has the 1.2 engine Panda, and despite the fact it never gets any care, a rare service if she remembers, is driven hard and long, and generally resembles a battered, mobile tip,, it just goes on and on.
I have a 4x4 TA and it is HUGE fun (and that is from a motorcyclist who has several big fast bikes, and a couple of "off road" ones) but as previously quoted does require more care.
You won't be disappointed by either, but you makes your choice and pays your money if you know what I mean.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #5
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Re: Newbie question - Panda TA or 1.2?

Only other consideration

You are doing 'low miles'

So will be looking at cambelt sets on 'age' rather than miles.. every 5 years

The TA has an oil bathed Chain..

Maintenance free .. better for low mileage vehicles
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6
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Re: Newbie question - Panda TA or 1.2?

I'd definitely edge towards the twinair with where you live
The 1.2 has very little power when it comes to hill's
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #7
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Re: Newbie question - Panda TA or 1.2?

No one appears to be mentioning
TA failures due to wrong oil or the requirement of a full service history backed up by receipts , not just a stamped book, when considering a TA.

Let's give this lady some proper buying advice.
I don't know the ins and outs of buying a TA someone on here must.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #8
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Re: Newbie question - Panda TA or 1.2?

I'd go for the TA, there are steep hills involved. The 1.2 is a great engine, but not really suitable for lots of hills

We had a 500 TA which we took from Hertfordshire to The Lake District, we went over Hard Knott & Wrynose passes and it was hilarious!

You could see people thinking "Whats that?" and we'd come charging over the hill, with a big grin on our faces the Mercs and Beemers were holding us up!

We went to Yorkshire this year (we've moved to a Tipo via 4 Abarths! we need the space) and it was hilly and narrow in parts, the locals drive Panda Cross & 4x4 mostly, judging by the sound, Twin Air, there's a reason why they are so popular!

The Panda is a a great little car, perfect for your needs, proper receipted history is a must
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Last edited by RichardH13; 2 Weeks Ago at 19:43.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #9
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Quote Originally Posted by jackwhoo View Post
No one appears to be mentioning
TA failures due to wrong oil or the requirement of a full service history backed up by receipts , not just a stamped book, when considering a TA.

Let's give this lady some proper buying advice.
I don't know the ins and outs of buying a TA someone on here must.
You already said it needs the correct oil..

I agreed..as did Colin

Tina is just weighing up options..

2wd vs 4wd..
Already discounted the diesel.. wisely

So just the 2 petrol motors

I bought a panda twinair last summer..
Having owned a punto since 2013

I bought from an Italian car specialist.. as they stock the correct oils

Anybody who isnt 'hands on' should find a garage with the correct
attitude- experience -kit

A fiat or alfa specialist is obviously a great start..

The cars will do roughly equal mpg..

Talk of 70 mpg is possible.. in either..
But 40's is far more likely

Lots of info around the forum if you want a look around

Charlie
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #10
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Re: Newbie question - Panda TA or 1.2?

I have three Pandas and have had two others. All reliable things although I do nurse them. The TA is definitely great in hilly areas, but thats a bit man speak for needless tearing about. Daughter and wife drive the 1.2s more than me and have no issues with either of them. The TA - albeit 4x4- uses quite a lot more fuel. The 1.2 does 48-65mpg and the TA 40-52 driven normally. I love the TA my wife hates it. We all agree the 1.2 is somehow a nicer drive and easy 60mpg on a long run. You really do need to drive them both and not just 5 miles as its not enough to get to grips with the TA. My tip with this engine is not to rush it and dont be afraid of putting your foot down. You need to try the TA with the ECO switch on and off as you have two different modes and my experience is they are not all the same!
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a Panda. They are small cheap and great fun.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #11
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Re: Newbie question - Panda TA or 1.2?

Quote Originally Posted by varesecrazy View Post
You already said it needs the correct oil..

I agreed..as did Colin
Hi Charlie ,

I do apologise to all who had already posted their opinions.

Definately was not knocking any of the advice/opinions already generously given.

Was hoping to gently bump things so more people would like to give their opinions.

Big thank you to everyone who has given their opinion/experience of both engines in the panda.

Best wishes

Jack
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Last edited by jackwhoo; 2 Weeks Ago at 20:34.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #12
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Wink Re: Newbie question - Panda TA or 1.2?

Thank you all so much, this is really helpful.

Did try a Panda Cross TA immediately after driving a Suzuki Vitara, the Panda won hands down on comfort and as a driving experience! But not sure about taking on a 4x4, have always managed perfectly well with front wheel drive cars. Believe that particular one would be a good buy, though, 66 plate and 25k miles, locally owned, so easy enough to check out service history and being sold by reputable Suzuki dealer who'd taken it in part ex.


Yes, Jack, I should definitely go and talk to the specialist garage (Walkers, South Otterington) - they do sell cars and should imagine they are pretty expert as they also have a motorsports division, specialising in Lancia. Annoyingly, they have a Panda Trekking in stock but it has been sold to a customer in the north of Scotland who can't yet travel to collect - sort of hope he changes his mind (but would a Scotsman risk his deposit?!).


I should also drive a Panda 1.2 somewhere where I can try it out on hills. As you say, been around for ever, and less demanding on maintenance - and there must be an awful lot of little Fiats with that engine in Italian hill towns.


Regarding the 15 reg Trekking I've seen, it has four service stamps, 2 Fiat dealer, 2 independant, no detailed invoices - I've asked the dealer to contact the servicing garage to see if they have any records regarding work done, oil used etc. It's 200 miles away, though.

I really appreciate all the advice - I have no mechanical ability beyond checking fluids and tyres, changing a wheel and wiper blades and am in awe of people who carry out their own maintenance! But at least I can now ask the right questions....


Tina
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Old 1 Week Ago   #13
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Re: Newbie question - Panda TA or 1.2?

Hi.
So are we saying that a 1.2 wont climb a hill? My City cross has driven up a 1 in 4 hill with no issues. Use the gearbox and revs for hills in a 1.2, low speed torque is not its best point so use the cog box..... that's what its for. In fact the city cross is a little lower geared than the lounge and other 1.2 models so is better than those on hills etc.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #14
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Re: Newbie question - Panda TA or 1.2?

Tina you are very welcome

I suspect all pandas beat your focus for ground clearance..

So the 'jacked.up' models may not be the only option.. finding a basic 1.2 panda to drive as a comparison should be MUCH easier to locate.

Charlie
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Old 1 Week Ago   #15
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Quote Originally Posted by murphyv310 View Post
Hi.
So are we saying that a 1.2 wont climb a hill? My City cross has driven up a 1 in 4 hill with no issues. Use the gearbox and revs for hills in a 1.2, low speed torque is not its best point so use the cog box..... that's what its for. In fact the city cross is a little lower geared than the lounge and other 1.2 models so is better than those on hills etc.
You may have answered your own question there..
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