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Old 24-04-2006   #1
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Long term Panda owners reports

Thought it might help buyers/newer owner to see what gotchas are coming up.

Car: Blue 1.2 Emotion ( Eleganza in UK ) Dualogic.
Mileage: 22,560
Satisfaction: 8.5/10
Driving style: Mixed, country roads, town, motorway
Would buy another: 1.3 Cross yes.
Looking to replace: ( normally 3 years for me ) 2010.

Fault list


= Passenger side airbag light coming on. Fault fixed.

= Rear boot handle stopped working. Fault fixed. ( loose material in the car frame caught between switch and base jamming it ).

= Radio constantly coming on. Reset to factory defaults fixed it.

= Footwell carpet wear under the accelerator pedal because ran without car mats for a year but think carpet should be harder wearing, esp on auto box.

Niggle list:

= Tappety sounding 1.2, inconsistently appearing and dissapearing so never able to track it down.

= Only in the last thousand miles has the 1.2 come into its own. It always felt sluggish over 3000rpm it but now it has a broad power band.

= Noise level from engine ( because of gearing ) increases over 80mph too much, but this is quietening considerably ( related to above? )

= Factory fitted tyres noisy, replaced with Michelins and car much quieter all round and handles better too.

= Not brilliant in the snow. Could do with an 'ice' setting like the Marea has.

Great bits:

= Smooth motorway transport, clocking up nearly 17,000 miles of high speed European motoring ( A-roads: 100kmh+ Motorway:130kmh+ ).

= Fuel economy is bordering on the excellent with the first 10,000 miles averaging around 46mpg, it now regularly returns 51mpg.

= Flexibility of that rear slidy seat.

= Just brings a grin to your face, constantly surprises you when driving it with its abilities.

Wish list:

1.3 engine ( if it had been available, would have bought it ) or at least 10BHP more.

Tips

Driving in auto mode can suck up more petrol than in manual mode. Not sure why. Never bothered with the 'E' setting. If you have a choice between turning on climate control or running in auto and you are pinching petrol pennies then turn on climate control.
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Old 24-04-2006   #2
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Re: Long term Panda owners reports

I don't think I can class myself as a long term owner just yet. I've had my car just over 3 months.
However, day-to-day running experiences with my car can be found here.
H
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Old 24-04-2006   #3
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Thumbs up Re: Long term Panda owners reports

1.2 Dynamic SkyDome, owned 2 years from new, 23500 miles.

Satisfaction 100% - I love this car!!

Only a couple of things I can possibly mention:
*very occasionally the dashboard display flashes and everything except the odometer resets itself - happened about four times in 2 years - no apparent reason.
*boot release has reset itself so that it can only be opened with the key or the boot release button on the key fob - not really a problem but irritating.

Still great to drive, low insurance group, around 56mpg - recommeded without hesitation!!
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Old 24-04-2006   #4
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Re: Long term Panda owners reports

Quote Originally Posted by hmallett
I don't think I can class myself as a long term owner just yet. I've had my car just over 3 months.
However, day-to-day running experiences with my car can be found here.
H
I like your website & your fill up diary. interesting reading.
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Old 24-04-2006   #5
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Re: Long term Panda owners reports

Quote Originally Posted by doblo
I like your website & your fill up diary. interesting reading.
He obviously has too much time on his hands

I am not too sure on the "girly" button, its far too light for my liking, even for just parking
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Old 25-04-2006   #6
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Re: Long term Panda owners reports

Quote Originally Posted by sammiboo
He obviously has too much time on his hands

I am not too sure on the "girly" button, its far too light for my liking, even for just parking
for me, "girly" does well, when i go off the road
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Old 25-04-2006   #7
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Re: Long term Panda owners reports

Panda 4x4 1.2

Very satisfied till now (20000km).

+
Very easy to drive
Goes almost everywhere (especially in snow)
no serious problems after 17 months of use

-
consumption is at least 1lt/100km bigger than the normal Panda
engine power is not enough when you want to make big trip or heavy loaded
sometimes the third gear change make noise
I hear a noise from the back panel behind the rear seats (the service didn't fix it)
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Old 25-04-2006   #8
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Re: Long term Panda owners reports

Quote Originally Posted by Mix_
for me, "girly" does well, when i go off the road
I didn't like the 'girly' button' when I first got the 4x4. But having to squeeze the car into ever-smaller parking spaces outside my house in the er, city, I find City mode is absolutely brill. You can open the driver door, lean out to see the back of the car and twirl the wheel with the other hand as you reverse in. The only gripe I have is the microwaved left foot from the heater, the rest of it is delightful. The standard radio (or speakers) is a little limp but sounds ok when you turn it up.

The winter tyres on the 4x4 are proving good in town, they seem to prevent a lot of the kerb damage my previous car suffered to the alloys.
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Old 25-04-2006   #9
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Re: Long term Panda owners reports

1.2 Dynamic Aircon 54 reg. Six months so far with 12,000 miles. No major problems at all. Plus points - solid build, doors shut with a 'thunk', about 48mpg on average. Nippy to drive around town. Makes me smile and stands out amongst all other boring cars. Very easy to hustle around city traffic. None of the Fiat niggling faults so far (fingers crossed).

Minus points - get a jerky stuttering after about 1 mile every time the engine is warming up when the cold start valve shuts off but fine once hot (my old Punto 1.2 had the same problem), ride can get a bit bouncy and out of shape on A- roads if you are going fast. Lack of grip from skinny 155 tyres. These last two may be connected - alloys are long term solution. Also could do with a bit more power (cure = Multijet) but the engine may need to be loosened up a bit more (ie Italian tune up).
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Old 22-08-2006   #10
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Thumbs down Re: Long term Panda owners reports

I have owned my panda since March 2004 soo... 2 1/2 years now

i have the 1.2 Dynamic Sound in Cocktail Blue

Satisfaction - 5 / 10

i enjoyed my the panda at first and was really nippy and it gets me from A - B very safely.

Maybe i drive too fast casue i feel like its going to tip over everytime i go near a corner, it reminds me of a sort of disabled car, because it is that high up too!

to be honest it has been great as a first car, or maybe a car for an older person who may struggle to get in an out of a lower car.

its square back annoys me too! why did they have to make it so square and flat!??!

unfortuanlty for me, the panda i no longer like, i do not find it fun to drive and it has officially been nick named 'The Tardis'

maybe some 1 needs to put the fun back in to driving it for me??
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Old 22-08-2006   #11
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Smile Re: Long term Panda owners reports

why does the square back annoy you?

if the back was sloping then you would loose a considerable amount of loading space, and anyone trying to sit in the back would need their heads removing beforehand!

unfortunately with such a short car you can't have a long sloping back and have good headroom and luggage/loading space

unless you're driving really fast then it will not tip over when cornering! if you're struggling for lateral grip then a good set of tyres would help immensely

what's wrong with the nickname 'the tardis'? surely this is a good thing!
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Old 22-08-2006   #12
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Re: Long term Panda owners reports

fully agree matthew, these were all reasons for buying in the first place, and they still stand today,
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Old 22-08-2006   #13
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Re: Long term Panda owners reports

dont get me wrong, i love the shape of the front of the car, but the back i just think it should have been designed a bit better.

i must admit there is a small rear spoiler you can buy which then takes the edge of the back been so square.

i was considering buying one of these untill the local fiat dealer told me how much it was !!

i know the car wil not tipup around corners but still i cannot help but feel like it is going to. i have alread purchased some decent tyres

although i think my conclusion to the car is that its been great for a first car but maybe it is time for something else??
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Old 23-08-2006   #14
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Re: Long term Panda owners reports

Quote Originally Posted by hollypop
i know the car wil not tipup around corners but still i cannot help but feel like it is going to. i have alread purchased some decent tyres
Lower it.
H
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Old 23-08-2006   #15
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Re: Long term Panda owners reports

i have considered lowering it, not sure how much by though, have you done yours? if so how low did you go?

i honestly thinking of just selling the panda and getting something new
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