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Old 02-06-2017   #1
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Twin Air Help & Advice Please

I'm taking a test drive next week in a 2015 Panda Twinair Easy, and didnt realise at the time it was a 2 cylinder engine.

I've been driving over 40yrs, many types of engines, but never driven a 2 cylinder before.

So I'm very apprenhensive to say the least. I've read all the 'expert' reviews who say the engine is like a lawnmower engine to listen to but nippy and powerful when needed, however, the mpg in real life is only about 35 if you're lucky.

So all you Twinair owners can you let me know your opinions on your cars, is it as nippy as stated in reviews, does it have performance issues, and lastly the fuel economy isn't that important but I don't really want to go to a 30mpg car.

I'll be using the car very little to be honest, I'm trading in a 1.6L turbo diesel which currently returns about 50mpg. I didnt really want to go below that or much below that.

I drive the car regularly once a week on a 12mile round trip, and the rest of the time it sits on the drive or maybe used to pop up the shop which is a couple of miles away. So my annual mileage is around 2,000 maximum.

I'm getting rid of the diesel because it's supposed to be bad for the particulate filter to be stood for ages without being used and then for short trips, although the mechanic where it's serviced says this isn't an issue these days.

I'm in my early 60's so I really want something to get me around when needed and have enough power to be nippy.

You don't seem to see many Twinairs for sale, I've had a look at AutoTrader and other sites, so this seems to say that they're not that bad because people seem to be holding onto them.

This will be a big step for me as it will be the last car I'll ever buy, so it's important I make the right choice.

Thanks
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Old 02-06-2017   #2
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Re: Twin Air Help & Advice Please

I don't have a twinair but if you don't use the loud pedal all the time you will get way over 30mpg. Unfortunately the type of running you do will never allow you to attain brilliant mileage.
I like the smoothness of the 4 cylinder 1.2 fire unit but at low revs its quite sluggish. Two cylinder engines are relaxing on the motorway so don't let this superb little engine put you off.
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Old 02-06-2017   #3
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Re: Twin Air Help & Advice Please

The TA is a marmite engine. You'll know within the first few minutes of driving it whether it's for you. My wife hates mine (but then, I hate her nasty diesel Volvo). Yes, the TA can sound a bit like a lawnmower, and it's downright raucous when you rev it through the gears (passengers often comment, "Is it supposed to be making that noise?"). But it's very nippy - addictively so - surprisingly quiet in 6th at motorway speeds, and while you will struggle to get mpg in the 50s (although some owners swear they do), my Cross has averaged 41 mpg over 22k miles - and I use the available performance to the full. (BTW, with your kind of usage, I wouldn't consider a modern diesel even for a second, despite what your mechanic says)
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Old 02-06-2017   #4
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Re: Twin Air Help & Advice Please

In 24,000 miles mine has averaged 41mpg too, just like the posting above. That's everything - motorway, town commuting, towing a small trailer and general mucking about. I live at the bottom of a number of big hills and have to climb them each morning on a cold engine and this REALLY hits the economy, so 41mpg average is still pretty good in my book.

It will do 50+mpg if you drive it on the flat, gently and over a long journey, but I really wouldn't get too worked up over MPG as you're mileage is tiny. At 50mpg, your annual fuel costs would be about 210. At 41mpg they'd increase by only 44 over the entire year to 254 - pretty much a single full tank of gas. Heck, thrash the living daylights out of the car and have a complete and utter ball all year and get 35mpg and it will still only cost you 300.

And I also believe that a diesel for your usage would be wholly wrong, such is the complexity of modern diesels as they try to run cleanly - and typically fail in trying to do so.
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Old 02-06-2017   #5
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Re: Twin Air Help & Advice Please

Thank you so much for your help, i do appreciate it.

I should know on the test drive then if its for me or not. That's good. I want to give it a good thorough test, rather than pootling around the dealers carpark.

Does it climb hills ok? Living in Cornwall there's some long and some short steep hills. I did drive a 1.2 Panda courtesy car a couple of times and it was terrible up the hills. It would have been quicker to get out and walk. That was back in the day when I had a 1.3 Panda MJ which was fabulous for speed and economy, but these days I don't do the mileage as you say. I don't have a Fiat at the moment, and I do love the Panda.
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Old 02-06-2017   #6
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Quote Originally Posted by Dragonbreff View Post
Thank you so much for your help, i do appreciate it.

I should know on the test drive then if its for me or not. That's good. I want to give it a good thorough test, rather than pootling around the dealers carpark.

Does it climb hills ok? Living in Cornwall there's some long and some short steep hills. I did drive a 1.2 Panda courtesy car a couple of times and it was terrible up the hills. It would have been quicker to get out and walk. That was back in the day when I had a 1.3 Panda MJ which was fabulous for speed and economy, but these days I don't do the mileage as you say. I don't have a Fiat at the moment, and I do love the Panda.
The 1.2 needs revs..unlike a TD.

THE TA is similar...make sure you switch off ECO..and enjoy the experience

Mpg..offset by ZERO VED.

MY TA DOES WELL ON FUEL
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Old 02-06-2017   #7
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Re: Twin Air Help & Advice Please

Quote Originally Posted by varesecrazy View Post
The 1.2 needs revs..umlike a TD.

THE TA is similar...make sure you dwitch off ECO..and enjoy the experience
The TA is similar to the 1.2 ? Do you mean the TA is not good up hills unless it's revved? Or as I said it when driving the 1.2 courtesy car 'gutless'

I think the advice here from another poster to turn ECO off for rural/motorway driving and just turn it on for town driving is the way to go.
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Old 02-06-2017   #8
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Re: Twin Air Help & Advice Please

Quote Originally Posted by Dragonbreff View Post
The TA is similar to the 1.2 ? Do you mean the TA is not good up hills unless it's revved? Or as I said it when driving the 1.2 courtesy car 'gutless'

I think the advice here from another poster to turn ECO off for rural/motorway driving and just turn it on for town driving is the way to go.
The TA will storm up hills and is totally different to a 1.2. It will remind you of the MJ diesel, but without the clouds of smoke, EGR and DPF issues!
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Old 02-06-2017   #9
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Quote Originally Posted by R1NGA View Post
The TA will storm up hills and is totally different to a 1.2. It will remind you of the MJ diesel, but without the clouds of smoke, EGR and DPF issues!
Almost..but is not capable of 3rd gear starts like a grown TD.
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Old 02-06-2017   #10
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Quote Originally Posted by Dragonbreff View Post
The TA is similar to the 1.2 ? Do you mean the TA is not good up hills unless it's revved? Or as I said it when driving the 1.2 courtesy car 'gutless'

I think the advice here from another poster to turn ECO off for rural/motorway driving and just turn it on for town driving is the way to go.
My experience of the 1.2 is of properly running ones without the euro6 issues.

TA is tight for 10k miles..then delivers much better performance and economy.

Turn off eco and stay above 1800 rpm..!!
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Old 02-06-2017   #11
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Re: Twin Air Help & Advice Please

Hi.
Personally I think the TA is the best option. Ok I have a 1.2 and after fitting decent plugs it does pull better low down but there is still that slight hesitation that is annoying, I really think the 1.2 would benefit from a remap assuming one is available. I don't worry about hills as the car has a gearbox which is handy for engaging a lower gear and upping the revs where there is more power, it still doesn't gobble fuel either.
Going from an oil burner to a 1.2 is a culture shock but petrol cars behave differently without a turbo its the nature of things. My KV6 Rover loved revs as does the 1.2.

I certainly don't think the 1.2 is gutless, you just need to remember the power comes in much further up the rev range, I have not had an issue starting up a 20% hill and that's without a boot full of revs, in fact it climbs better than my next door neighbours Kia Picanto 1 litre.
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Old 02-06-2017   #12
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Re: Twin Air Help & Advice Please

The TA engine makes more HP and torque than the four cylinder engine, which is a great engine in it's self, the FIRE is probably the best Fiat have ever made.

85 hp and 145 Nm of torque is pretty good for a small city car.

The way to use the TA is ride the torque, which comes in around 1900-2000 rpm.
Drive it in the highest gear at low rpm as possible on the flat and around twon.

It doesn't sound or feel right, you have to try and ignore what your senses tell you, a little shuddering and what seems like a labouring engine.

It will chunner about quite comfortably like this on the flat and return fairly reasonable mpg, but the cost is you'll need to change down on inclines and hills, which then hammer the mpg a bit.

There's not much middle ground with the mpg, it's good when it's good and fairly laughable when it's not, but that's part of it's charm.

I'm not saying it's underpowered, it just hasn't the turbo diesel type torque to lug it up inclines in high gears in this 2000rpm torque window, but it's got more than the 1.2 petrol Panda.

It very easy to "enjoy" the engine, it'll hit the redline very quickly and egg you on to flick through the gears with the turbo working flat out and the engine making it's mad sounds, the progress it makes like this is quite enjoyable, even in the shorter geared 4x4 version.

It'll not hold you up on hills, but you might find you need to hang on to the gears a bit on the steepest ones, but as it's a Fiat it's built to be ragged a bit.

What tends to happen is it'll either win you over in the the first few minutes and you decide not matter what, you just have to carry on driving it and it's so charming and different.
Or
It feels too off beat for you and just don't like it.

Me, I got 50 feet and took option 1!

Those of us that have had oddball motors in the past, like 2CV's and the likes tend to warm to the TA, it's not perfect, but the character and charm win us over and we'll obviously gloss over any short falls.
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Old 02-06-2017   #13
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Re: Twin Air Help & Advice Please

If the 2015 car you're considering has low miles, it could take a good while to be fully run in. As Charlie has said before, 16k miles is where things improve. My 4x4 a lot smoother and quicker from that mileage. If car you're considering has the same 5 speed gearing as a 1.2, it will do 50 in 2nd, plenty of go. Economy wise, I've averaged anywhere between 17 (just filled up) and 55mpg (50mph) according to the trip computer. Do motorway miles like me and get early 40's. Urban figures for the 1.2 early 40's. I got 35mpg at worst. You may get that in the middle of winter, but not on a Twin Air sadly.


As long as the car serviced regularly, should be fine. As I discovered, expect the oil to last 8,000 miles/8 months with lots of cold starts and running around. Fresh it's completely clear. It will slowly go brown. Enjoy your test drive!
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Old 02-06-2017   #14
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Re: Twin Air Help & Advice Please

Had a drive in a 500 TA this afternoon...... what can I say....it is brilliant, very different and reminds me of the 2CV, I can see how it might not be great on fuel but it was enormous fun.
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Old 02-06-2017   #15
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Re: Twin Air Help & Advice Please

Mine has done 31.000+ Km on the clock now and it runs perfectly.
The best part of this engine is, that it is quiet on the motorway even at above average speeds.
Fuel consumption with my way of driving is not worth to mention, but i really don't care, it well compensate for the fun this engine brings.
You have to get use to the characteristic 2 cylinder engine sound, but after that you don't stop smiling.
It is just a awesome little engine.
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