New Fiat Panda launches in New Zealand

AutoTrader NZ
Published 3 September 2020

The new, third generation Panda, Europe’s top-selling supermini, is bigger, roomier, safer and more fuel efficient than its predecessors. With the continued popularity of downsizing, the concept of an attractive, sophisticated city car with room for five, an advanced range of economical engines and a host of large car features has never been more appealing.

The all-new Fiat Panda is just such a car, with an interior boasting greater flexibility and higher quality materials than its predecessor, as well as some clever, cutting edge technologies that set a new benchmark for small cars when it was launched in Europe. All of this is cloaked in a stylish, yet friendly new design and powered by some of the most economical engines on the market today.

For the New Zealand market, the Panda line-up consists of two models – Easy and Lounge. Both are powered by Fiat’s award-winning TwinAir turbo powerplant.

This 875cc unit has the lowest carbon dioxide emissions of any quantity production petrol engine in the world and won International Engine of the Year 2011 courtesy of its unique combination of power, flexibility and economy.

With 63 kW of power, Combined Cycle fuel efficiency as low as 4.1 litres per 100km and a characterful throaty sound track, this engine has cemented Fiat’s position at the forefront of modern combustion engine development. The TwinAir is fitted with the Start&Stop system and the Gear Shift Indicator (GSI) feature, which suggests to the driver when to change gear in order to achieve the best fuel economy.

As well as the new engines, the new Panda has revised dimensions that make it longer, wider and taller than the vehicle it replaces, with more space for passengers and their luggage, while still maintaining sufficiently diminutive exterior dimensions to sit firmly in the city car category.

Most of the Panda’s growth in length for the third generation is in the rear overhang, which has enabled an increase to luggage space as well as more legroom for rear passengers. The new Panda is also 66 mm wider, which means it can seat three passengers comfortably in the rear – most class rivals have room for only two passengers in the back.

For improved passenger comfort and driver enjoyment there is all-new suspension and a body that is significantly more rigid than its predecessor. These attributes further improve the Panda’s already impressive safety credentials, which includes six airbags, ABS anti-lock braking with Brake Assist System (BAS), Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and an active anti-whiplash head restraint system as standard equipment across the range, making it one of the best-equipped cars of its kind in safety terms.

It also features a new safety innovation as standard equipment on the Lounge variant called Low Speed Collision Mitigation – this advanced safety system reads the road ahead and when it detects an obstacle in the vehicle’s path, applies the brakes automatically to avoid a collision.

But the Panda’s long list of practical features isn’t just reserved for the driver. To maximise space inside, the all-new interior is packed with useful equipment, such as 14 storage compartments, including an open portal on the dashboard.

For the New Zealand market, the Panda is available in two versions, the value for money Panda Easy and the comprehensively equipped Panda Lounge.

The Fiat Panda Easy has a recommended retail price of $19,990 plus on road costs and the Fiat Panda Lounge is priced at a recommended retail price of $21,990 plus on road costs.

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