General practicality of panda as everyday car

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General practicality of panda as everyday car

Oct 11, 2003
buxton the land that time
ok as title suggest i was wondering what are these classic pandas like toown as an everyday car ? reliable ? will last ? the more i look at classic pandas the more i like em lol actually like em loads. and then i thought maybe i could get one :D but i would need it as an everyday car as cant afford to run 2 cars. i do on average about 800 miles a month. could a lil panda take this ? also are they roomy up front as i am big bloke 6ft and carrying some exta holiday pounds. i haver never sat in panda but have driven some old j and k reg unos. 3 and 5 door and they were ok just :D
I drive about 200 miles a week and my panda is more than happy, i recently managed 92 on (private) roads with a full boot and a passenger, so the car is easily capable of motorway travel. Pandas are reliable cheap to run cars, and the FIRE engine is known for its high miles (250000 and more miles). I am 6 foot 6 tall, and i find it comfortable to drive, so think you will be ok too :)
The only thing that lets the side down is rust(say very quietly on here!) and the italian electrics....

Other than that they're crackin motors.

(the fuel injection is less work day to day so if its for a lot of use I'd go for a late as you can panda but watch out for the dreaded injector light....:( )

Provided you look after it to a reasonable degree (annual oil/filter changes etc) then they're as reliable as any other car.

In a few months shy of a year and a half of ownership I've covered just over 10k in mine, which is a 999cc FIRE. Driving has been very mixed, from short (4 or so miles) runs to college last year and regular long trips too, such as an 7/800 mile round trip to the Isle of Mull and 500 mile round trips to Glasgow twice. Add to this plenty of occasions sat in traffic and, as on today's trip back from Manchester, solid blocks of high-rev 5th gear driving, and it's had a pretty tough life so far.

The only thing to go wrong has been the alternator, which has decided to rattle a bit, but still works fine.

I certainly wouldn't recommend a Panda as a regular long distance mile muncher, capable as it is of doing the job, they're pretty noisy when up to speed and I wouldn't say it's the most comfortable journey either.

They are, however, full of the character that most cars these days lack. And around town they're a real hoot. For my mix of driving it does the job great. (y)
yeah injector light eek, rust i can live with that i dont realy mind alil rust all part of an old car and can be taken care of if you have the will to do so :)

electrics well i got punto now so used to strange things, i dont mind driving carb motors with chokes but yeah inhetions would probbaly be more relaible for every day using.
FuzzyPanda said:
Sorry to go off topic, but could you tell me more about this? I'd quite like to stretch my Panda's legs legally on an old airfield or something.

He was being funny or something, didnt want to say motorway or A-road in case plod was monitoring the forum :) so stuck private road as a way of deterring plod :D
So, If I said for example...

I was doing 140 in the Benz up the A8 on Friday at 6pm

(Was going to say panda there but the only way I'd ever get it to go faster than 90 is to get it onboard a 747 cargo plane!:D )

So I'll be expecting the NIPS any time soon?:eek:

Jim people have been prosecuted for for admittion of speed from public forums but again that's off topic....

I use my panda virtually every day to work.....and occasionally travel distances when I don't want 24mpg in the BM and in over 40,000 miles I had one problem with the carb icing due to a knackered air box which I still need to source, so (y) to everyday pandering.

BTW Plods always watching ;)


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I can't knock Pandas at all. Jim offered good advice when he said to go for a late 93/94 fuel injected car if it's going to be your daily runner. Overall if you look after it then they are reliable. DIY maintainance should keep costs down if you're looking to save money.

I will say that it will be a BIG shock to you if you've only an Uno to compare it to. Pandas are very basic cars with few creature comforts. Have a spin in one to see what you think.

If you're looking at one check the boot seam inside and out for rust as this is their favourite rot spot, other than that it's just the usual stuff.
Hi fish dude

I have had both an Uno and a Panda and I far prefer the Panda. True, it is less roomy and a little less luxurious (!) - but for character alone the Panda wins by a mile.

They are a true classic motor and as all of the guys have said, look after them and in the main they will look after you. There are some low miles cars out there to be had for little money - it amazes me just how cheap they are to buy and run; I am SERIOUSLY tempted to buy another one because they are just so fab (in honesty, I can't really afford it and I am not sure I would have a very good reaction from Mrs. Pandarus if I arrived back home with another one).

I bought mine instead of a scooter for work and I have never looked back. (Fingers crossed) it always starts (even in artic conditions) and they are surpisingly big inside too, particuarly with the back seat down / removed. I know of a 6ft 5 bloke who owns one too. I am absolutely hooked - it is not like any other car I have ever owned and I mean that in a good way.

Go and get yourself one before the secret is out!
Steve said:
Regarding practicality, no car is more practical. I've had all sorts in mine including a washing machine which is transported with no problem.

Don't be mean about your 750cc engine (oh ha ha ha)
Agree with all that, Im 6 foot 2" and fit in very well. It will swallow an amazing amount of stuff and they are reliable, get a well looked after one with lower miles, service it regularly and you should be fine. Had this one since middle of October and done 4500 miles and its been superb. They are very noisy on a fast road but nothing a decent stereo wont cope with, thats what I did anyhow! BTW, a chap who worked for Fiat tells me that the facelifted 1992 cars on rust less than earlier ones. From what Ive seen on the roads it does seem to be so, also post 92s have better seats and the suspension was retuned to give a better ride and improved roadholding, its not much but is noticeable. We had a 1986 Panda for 18 months and it was less comfy and noisier and didnt handle or ride as well as this one which is a 1992, and the 86 had half the miles on it!