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Old 24-04-2016   #1
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Panda Pop 1.2 Owners

Hi Guys, just out of interest here, for all you new Panda owners (2012+) who opted for the Pop - either brand new or used - just wondering the following;-

Why did you go for the Pop?
How is it to live with?
What do you love and hate?
Do you think you'll keep your car for the years ahead?
Anything you'd like a new buyer to know as an owner?


One of my grandparents has one and is thinking of trading it in when the first year of ownership is up, it was got as the replacement of the replacement to my Panda (169) a terrible little Hyundai i10 (brand new top model with all options), but is being parted with as she thinks its too 'tinny'. Personally I'd love to buy it from her at one years old but I enjoy my 169 too much! In the future I might buy an approved used Pop model however as the simplicity seems good in terms of not having much to fix as old age sets on the car :-)
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Old 24-04-2016   #2
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Re: Panda Pop 1.2 Owners

There are several of us on this forum (myself included) who think the 169 is the better car.

When the time comes to replace mine, it'll likely be with something else entirely.
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Old 24-04-2016   #3
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Re: Panda Pop 1.2 Owners

I've owned a 169 before, and currently own a 2012 4x4 MJT. If I didn't need a diesel (do too many miles to justify petrol) I'd have kept the 169, or replaced it with one with a skydome option. I'd have gotten the diesel 169 Cross if they ever came here (Turkey). Here's how I see them comparing:

Right off the bat, the 169 felt roomier inside, it handled more enthusiastically (even if it had less mechanical grip probably due to the narrower tyres), parts and repairs and servicing was cheaper, and all round visibility was better.

In the new car, it's definitely more refined (though obviously not the diesel clatter), feels more modern (especially the dash design), and it also feels more upmarket.
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Old 24-04-2016   #4
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Re: Panda Pop 1.2 Owners

Quote Originally Posted by jrkitching View Post
There are several of us on this forum (myself included) who think the 169 is the better car.

When the time comes to replace mine, it'll likely be with something else entirely.
Everybody says this, even my dealer at one point. Someone whom I thought would go out of the way to try and get me to cash in my 169 to get a new or approved used 312 current model!

I think if something happens my 169 Panda this will be my plan of action (in the order of attainability)
- Replace with an Approved Used 169 from Fiat 3-4k
- Replace with an Approved Used Pop from Fiat 4-6k
- Replace (at end of life) with a brand new Pop or Approved Used Lounge
- Replace (at end of life) with brand new 4x4

You know, to me I love the 169 because it's small, really small, it's well finished and very economical, even the tiny tires are easy enough to replace 4 at a time! It doesn't stand out, in fact, if anything the typical person would probably make more effort to hijack a more desirable typical car .. etc etc. And I've been able to fix and maintain it myself at low cost so far.

I've thought a brand new Pop would share all these qualities really?
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Old 25-04-2016   #5
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Re: Panda Pop 1.2 Owners

The issue with self service lies in parts availability and tools really. The TwinAir engine, for example, is a rather new engine, so not all the kinks have been ironed out (they seem to be going through spark plugs quite often, for example). The older car has an established parts base, and well documented servicing procedures, not to mention plenty of cheap parts from breakers. It will take time for the newer model to achieve that status, and even then, one of the issues I face in Turkey is that the 312 is not selling well, which means down the road, bits and bobs that I might need once the warranty is expired will be hard to come by and I'll have to go through Fiat at a much greater cost.

Personally speaking, this is my second Panda and probably last, as I'd want to move up a class for my next vehicle, even if it's just to a Fiesta or Clio. I feel like I've started to out grow smaller city cars, and would like to take longer journeys with more people and their stuff in relative comfort, and still be able to park downtown.
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Old 25-04-2016   #6
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Panda Pop 1.2 Owners

I have a 2013 1.2, but in lounge spec. Still love it. The TwinAir is not available in South Africa, so that wasn't an option.

Here's what I like:
- Size: it fits in my parking space, something my BMW with its massive doors didn't really do well at all.
- Ride height. Most other superminis are much lower. I really like sitting higher. And the all round visibility is superb.
- Fit and finish. Mine has been bolted together quite nicely. No squeaks, no rattles, no complaints from passengers.
- Love the loading area. Because it is a rectangle, it gobbles up a lot.
- The lounge spec is really nice here in SA.
- And it is a little bit different.

Dislikes:
- Fiat dealers are universally useless. Something you learn very quickly when you move from BMW. BMW understands that they are not servicing your current vehicle but buttering you up for your next BMW. Not the car's fault. But it puts a stinker on the ownership experience.
- I really wouldn't mind more grunt. I have no problems getting up hills, it does mean switching down a notch or two though. And highway traffic is also no problem. I think this model handles much better than the previous model. It feels more grown up, but in return loses a bit of its charm.

Why did I buy the 312 and not the 169? Because I like it. The cost difference between a 2011 Panda and my 2013 model for similar mileage wasn't big enough for me to buy down. I still think the 169 is a lovely little 2nd hand vehicle, but I have no regrets with my purchase currently.

Will I buy another Panda? If my ownership experience continues on the same path, yes, I would.
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Last edited by smittict; 25-04-2016 at 12:10.
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Old 27-04-2016   #7
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Re: Panda Pop 1.2 Owners

Happy with my 2014 1.2 Pop. But I do wish I'd gone for a better spec. There are just too many cost saving measures.

Annoyances... The boot release. Why is it independent of the central locking with no remote release? No boot light either. Then who thought not putting a lid on the glove box was a good idea. Just plain daft as the different facia is probably more expensive than the lid itself.

Not interested in blue&me but a USB socket is sorely missed. Loading MP3 files on CD is just antiquated.

I paid for the extra middle seatbelt. Again who would not want that. There's only the wife and me nowadays, but I have had course to use it with the grandkids. It also gives the split rear seat which is probably more useful. Also it makes the car far more saleable.

Otherwise, the 1.2 is plenty powerful enough although a little jittery at times. The fuel economy is not fantastic. Just acceptable.

Finally, just bought it a big brother. I've got a 500L MPW. Again with just the two of us, this is a very roomy car - ours was the 5 seater version! It was just too good a deal to miss.
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Old 28-04-2016   #8
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Re: Panda Pop 1.2 Owners

I brought mine to replace a large diesel and it's been the best move Imade, having no eqipment to go wrong is bliss! The 1200 engine is a gem and as simple as anything gets now so keeping maintenance and repair costs to a minimum.

Biggest bug bear is not having the passenger seat fold flat so you can carry long loads and the dash reflection in the windscreen other than that I'm averaging 55mpg and I only do 10mile trips.
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