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Old 14-12-2012   #1
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Norwich
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2012 Panda 1.2 Easy: 1,500 miles up

I was meaning to write this around the 1,000 mile mark (just like Super Ewe did) but two longer trips in the last week both distracted me and pushed the odometer up. Anyway, slightly overdue, here are some thoughts on our new Panda after 1,500 miles.

As per my earlier posts in this thread (here and here) I took advantage of the PCP finance deals on offer around the launch of the 62 plates to choose a 2012 Panda 1.2 Easy. It was already on its way to the UK with a few extras I might not have ordered, principally the Techno Pack. More on that later.

Pros
  • I know that mk.3 fans may not appreciate the roundness, but the design is both distinctive and well proportioned for such a small car. Just look at the Hyundai i10 or Chevy Aveo to see how designers can fail to get the design of really small car to hang together.
  • It's still got rarity value. Even on the fifteen minute walk to work I must see a half dozen 500s, but I can count on one hand the number of new Pandas I've seen in Norwich. Here's hoping for stronger residual values.
  • Even at motorway speeds, I'm really impressed with the levels of wind and road noise. Up to seventy-five the car is far quieter and more planted on the road than I expected.
  • I haven't tried the Twin Air, but I'm very content with the 1.2. It's perky, responsive and great on the motorway (albeit with a noticeable hit on fuel economy).
  • Unlike bedbug I actually like the little handbrake. I find my hand resting on it and it's much more space efficient than a normal handbrake.
  • The Blue&Me hands-free phone system is great. I have had to modify how a few names have been entered into in my phone book, but with those changes it understands my voice every time.
  • I didn't particularly want it when I ordered the car, but the Tomtom and dashtop mount is a great system. The live traffic info is very handy. The adjustable mount is solid and secure.

Cons
  • I only have four keys on a single loop attached to my car key, so it's not because I'm carrying a complete jailer's set, but the ignition is located in the perfect place for my keys to knock against the dashboard. There are four speed bumps on my street, and no matter how softly I crest them, there's a rattle.
  • The blue dashboard lamp that reminds me my full beam lights are on is almost as bright as a pair of full beam headlights. At least I won't forget, but it's prety annoying driving on dark country roads at night.
  • The glovebox is tiny. The mount for the Tomtom only just fits in there with the manual.
  • It needs a spare wheel. Only Fiat save money with the pump and gunk solution.
  • The steering wheel really would benefit from being adjustable for reach. It's not as bad as in some older Italian cars, but with the seat positioned a comfortable distance back from the pedals, I'd prefer not to have my seat back so vertical.
  • Rotary controls on the ends of the stalks are dumb. They always have been, they always will be. Just add a headlight switch on the dash.
  • Within a month of picking up the car, the cabin was actually misting up whenever I tried to demist the windows (thread here). This turned out to be a fault with the heating matrix that was pumping antifreeze fumes into the cabin. Hopefully the last instance of poor build quality out of the factory, but the repair was time consuming and Desira in Norwich had no courtesy cars for most of the time the car was unusable.
  • The boot mechanism hasn't caused me any grief yet, but I sympathise with those elsewhere on the forum. Ever since I first saw one on an Audi A2 more than ten years ago I thought an electronically operated latch was a bad idea and I have a bad feeling about the longevity of this one.

As you can tell, none of those complaints are deal breakers. It's a great little car, and I'm pleased as punch.
Thanks Super Uwe thanked for this post
Likes Ulpian, bedbug, homeward liked this post
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2012 Fiat Panda 1.2 Easy

Last edited by jamesbrownontheroad; 14-12-2012 at 22:06. Reason: list reformatted
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Old 15-12-2012   #2
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Lancs
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Re: 2012 Panda 1.2 Easy: 1,500 miles up

Good review...echoes much of my own feelings about the car. Handbrake is still stupid though lol especially if your passenger is a bit 'elbowy' . Mk2 punto spacesaver spare can be had for a fiver, but you'll need a 17mm wheelbrace and jack obviously.

Wish I had the techno kit, I got 'lumbared' (haha) with the 5 seat 60/40 split fold as my only option. Forgot to mention in my review how the three headrests obliterate the rearward view almost completely when in the 'up' position. Lovely car still, just wish the outward visibility was as good as my Mk.3
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Old 15-12-2012   #3
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Re: 2012 Panda 1.2 Easy: 1,500 miles up

Yes, another satisfied user here. about to review mine, coming from a civic there are a few things i like more in the panda.
Yes that main beam on lights a bit bright innit.
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Old 15-12-2012   #4
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Re: 2012 Panda 1.2 Easy: 1,500 miles up

The main beam icon gets some stick from owners of other Fiats - even the one on my 8 year old Stilo is like a pair Xenons coming towards you. You learn to brace yourself for it after a while!
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