By on December 24, 2008

Guys are funny: we lust for beautiful, fast cars with which we hope to impress the neighbors, the guys, and the other sex. But memories are not made of pistonheads’ wet dreams. Looking back, the memorable machines I had were more mutt than thoroughbred: the go-anywhere, never-let-you-down, unpretty, everyday companion. Like the pickup trucks you Americans love, or the iconic 2CV, Renault R4, and VW Beetles we Europeans have in our collective memories. The Fiat Panda has always been on my short list of potential cars-as-buddies: cheap, reliable, fun to drive, unpretentious. So, I was curious: is the 4×4 version of the Panda a faithful mutt, or just another automotive dog?

The Panda looks like no other small car, because it aims to resemble a microscopic SUV (from the time when SUVs were something to emulate). It sure isn’t beautiful, but can it be called ugly? When functional things are what they pretend to be, I’d say ugly is only when the proportions are wrong, the materials are crassly cheap, or when embellishments are grotesque. So, ugly it’s not.

The 4×4 Panda has added ground clearance totaling about 11 inches; you sit high (in my case, eyes at 4ft4“). The dashboard has a pleasant, non-generic shape, the stick shift is located conveniently high, and everything looks well-made. Plastics are almost all hard, as they should be in an off-road vehicle. Headroom is gigantic; the front is a snug but airy place. Legroom in the back is OK for two slim adults, considering that this a tiny (140 inch) car.

My tester was equipped with a modern 70 hp 1.3L 16v  diesel. Normally I don’t think diesels belong in a small car. Oil burners are too heavy, too loud and not really economical. But for terrain use, torque trumps all. So I was willing to reconsider. And it’s not bad. Clattery from a cold start but unloud later. The common-rail Multijet provides linear acceleration from 1,000 to 4,700 RPM and strong thrust for the all-important 45-70 mph highway spurt. Don’t ask about 0-60 please. Just trust me: you seldom feel underpowered when 70 diesel horses have only 1060KGs (1.2 US tons) to schlep. My average of 39 mpg is nothing to throw your shoes at, either.

Any vehicle that kicks me in the butt is not going to be my friend (I want a mule, not a goat!). Happily, the Panda’s ride is on the OK side of OK. It feels notchy from standstill, but, generally, the Panda is a surprisingly refined, reassuring package. Let me ask you this: what do you feel when you take a car on a spirited blast over cobblestone roads and through rocky potholes?

Does your vehicle feel fragile and uneasy or does it just shrug it off? Offroad, the Panda  competes with the Range Rover. Onroad, it sports a fun and reassuring ability to take speed humps and lousy roads unperturbed. Torque steer is a non-factor, steering is lightweight and precise, and visibility is outstanding. Presto: the (for me) ideal urban car is a micro-SUV.

So there we are. The Fiat Panda 4×4 is great in the country and it’s better in town. It’s no good for high-speed, long-distance driving (too slow, too bouncy), so it’s not for me. But if I lived in one of my favorite places -– say, Zurich or Nice, or another beautiful city near the mountains – this could be one of my favorite cars.

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52 Comments on “Review: 2008 Fiat Panda 4X4...”


  • avatar
    Orangutan

    I’ll take one, please.

  • avatar
    LastResort

    That would be the perfect second car for this family, especially considering the weather the PNW has been getting lately.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    And if they tried to bring it to the US, you’d have to add several hundred pounds of safety and environmental junk, so you’d have to make the engine larger, so you might as well make the cabin bigger, and before you know it, you have a Mercedes M-Class….my point is, we could make great little vehicles like this in America if the government would just GET OUT OF THE WAY……

  • avatar
    Alex Dykes

    Holy crap Batman, 11″ of ground clearance in a Fist Panda???

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    Mark MacInnis :
    And if they tried to bring it to the US, you’d have to add several hundred pounds of safety and environmental junk

    Not really. The only thing that would be an issue is the diesel, but they have plenty of small gas engines too. The reason it’s not on sale here has more to do with cost of importing it, currency fluctuations, and Fiat not wanting to sell cars in America right now.

    Fiat loses money in most countries except Italy and Brazil.

    my point is, we could make great little vehicles like this in America if the government would just GET OUT OF THE WAY……
    If I have to keep paying taxes to cover the cost of EMTALA (uninsured person) emergency room visits, plus Medicare, plus Medicaid, then I think we the people have a right to demand that cars meet high safety standards. Free market doesn’t work for stuff like car safety.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    And I forgot to say, Martin–

    Great review!

  • avatar
    HEATHROI

    I think we the people have a right to demand that cars meet high safety standards. Free market doesn’t work for stuff like car safety.

    what free market? It would be nice to have one

    2nded for good review

  • avatar
    levi

    When functional things are what they pretend to be, I’d say ugly is only when the proportions are wrong, the materials are crassly cheap, or when embellishments are grotesque. So, ugly it’s not.

    No sale. Its ugly. Absolutely a two-bagger.

    Baby got no back. What’s that, about a 6 inch overhang measured from the centerline of the rear axle?

  • avatar
    Samir

    Excellent review. This is a very odd, quirky vehicle, at least by North American standards.

  • avatar
    jconli1

    I want, I want, I want, I want.

    Screw pickup trucks, my two favorite cars past were my Suzuki Swift GTi and my Volvo 245 Turbo. Now I’ve got a base Impreza wagon… sure footed and useful (this week I feel like I’ve been the only person in Seattle actually driving and not sliding sideways into things), but not quite quirky enough.

  • avatar
    DeanMTL

    Perfect for the crowded, unploughed, pot-holed streets of Montreal.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    I can’t imagine a 2400 pound suv. My STi is 3200 and it is a subcompact car!

  • avatar
    Strippo

    The Suzuki SX4 hatch is probably a better choice for NA commuters and it’s already available here. I like the Panda. I’m just saying…

  • avatar
    JuniorMint

    Robstar :
    I can’t imagine a 2400 pound suv. My STi is 3200 and it is a subcompact car!

    I was all set to make fun of you, but that is kind of freakishly light. At 2400 lbs, this vehicle only outweighs my Gen 1 xB by the weight of a fat guy.

    And this (the xB) is a vehicle that, when it first came out, required the Insurance Institute to create a new “minicar” class. The thought that an SUV (albeit a micro-SUV) might fit into that category IS a little staggering.

    With that in mind, I bet this thing’s a jackrabbit. My light-as-a-feather xB hauls ass with just 105 hp; I quiver to think about what I could do with 4WD. :p Driving a tiny car does straaaange things to your perception of power-to-weight-ratio.

    …I want one!

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    JB,

    I would agree that the free market isn’t really the best at improving safety in auto’s, but I have to point out that your argument is rather interesting. In your post, it seems you are trying to point out that the free market doesn’t work in auto safety due to government intervention in healthcare. Well, you didn’t emphasize it that way, but it’s the same thing.

    Still, if we had a lot more cars on the road with 70 hp engines, we would likely need less safety equipment in the first place. Not because speed kills, but because vehicles in that class tend to keep ones attention on the task of driving.

    Martin, thanks for the look at a really interesting vehicle. I do wish we had similar choices in the states.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Looks like a narrowed SX-4; the small person (inside my 6’4″ costume) would like it…

    So, was the sample that you drove “optioned up” or was your Panda “bare”?

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    Thanks, everybody.

    Shaker: ’twas bare, no winch, but good enough for blasting through snowdrifts.

    In case anybody wants to see an amusing video of a Panda 4X4 versus a Range Rover:

  • avatar

    Cool little vehicle! Thanks for showing us the goods, Martin. Entertainment value aside, I think driver error is the only reason why the Panda didn’t beat the Landy in that video.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    A Smart Car for off road use.

    If they sell this in New England it will a be hot cake.

    Not bad at all. I have been waiting for this kind of a smart car. by the way

    MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR FOR THE HARD WORKING TTAC CREW

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    Thank you, Beat!

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Free market doesn’t work for stuff like car safety.….

    Nor does it work for thing like emissions, either. Most people don’t remember just how nasty car exhaust used to be. When I get off the evening train in the winter, I am surrounded by about 300 cars that all cold start at once. To say the least, it stinks. Before federal mandates, every traffic jam would be 10 times worse than that. Also note the center-of-lane oil stain that used to be ubiquitous on all American highways is gone, too, thanks to sealed crankcases…

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    golden2huskey:
    Nor does it work for thing like emissions, either.

    I think an argument can be made that using market forces via emissions taxes to get older cars off the road would have been better than hard mandates. The current CAFE idiocy vrs gas taxes is related.

  • avatar
    JJ

    The Suzuki SX4 hatch is probably a better choice for NA commuters and it’s already available here. I like the Panda. I’m just saying…

    The Panda is a little smaller though.

    Fiat actually sells the SX4 as well (same car different badge) under the name Sedici (16 in Italian if I’m not mistaken).

  • avatar
    agenthex

    I think an argument can be made that using market forces via emissions taxes to get older cars off the road would have been better than hard mandates. The current CAFE idiocy vrs gas taxes is related.

    Gas tax is just a burden on the working poor since it’s not a progressive tax. And you also dodge the question on the output side; are you going to install emissions meters on all cars?

    Anyway, I’m pretty sure given the choice, the industry would still choose CAFE.


    The panda seems like a nice car, but it wouldn’t sell much in the US due to the car size arms race fueled by PR targeting psychological insecurities.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Given modern emmissions standards, is there really much difference per gallon of gas for each car’s pollution?

    Don’t the wealthy tend to drive less efficient cars? Does EVERY tax have to be progressive? I would love to see a study done, and I would bet dollars to donuts that the wealthy pay MUCH higher percentage of the gas taxes either directly or indirectly through purchases with embedded transportation costs.

  • avatar

    Landcrusher : Don’t the wealthy tend to drive less efficient cars?

    Probably not, since they replace them quite regularly or have excellent maintenance from their high-end mechanics or dealerships. Unless we’re talking perpetual losers like the Maserati BiTurbo.

    Less wealthy people drive their cars into the ground, often doing the bare minimum to pass emissions…and never reading the owner’s manual for what’s actually needed at each service interval. And when push comes to shove, a mechanic can Seafoam the motor and throw a can or two of alcohol in the tank to get an old hooptie to pass the sniffer test.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    Don’t the wealthy tend to drive less efficient cars?

    You can only drive 1 car at a time, and a lexus is not that much less efficient than the normal toyota.

    Does EVERY tax have to be progressive?

    No, but there also isn’t a need to purposely introduce a tax that is regressive.

    Personally, I’m not sure why the hate for CAFE or regulations in general. As we’ve seen lately (or repeatedly), leaving it all to the selfishness of the market as a rule only ensure profit of the few without any guarantees for the many.

    I’ll also point that there’s good reason to mandate basic safety equipment. It makes for economy of scale that makes it cheaper for everyone. As it turns out, most people do want safer cars, which is why single vehicle crash test stars consistently increase due to demand.

    Also interesting is that PR (or culture? :)) in the US have created amorally selfish consumers who demand safety at the expense of others in multi-vehicle crashes.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Without rehashing all the gas tax debate, I have to say that the tax is primarily a user fee on our highways. There are many who think it could also be used as a pollution tax, but that is not it’s existing purpose.

    Now. The idea of a progressive user fee is a bit much. While excusing some folks from a tax can make it progressive in effect, the idea that working people should pay less than rich people for similar road use is a bit ridiculous. If you work, then you should be able to budget around what is in reality a miniscule tax. Stop now and do the math. You have to be making bad decisions for your bill to go over $20 a month.

    If you believe that raising the gas tax would be preferable to CAFE, then you WANT to discourage driving. Especially, you want to discourage driving long ways in old, poorly maintained vehicles. Part of the gas tax debate usually includes eliminating all the OTHER taxes which also prevent lower income workers from buying more efficient vehicles (progressive vehicle property taxes are just stupid if you care at all about pollution).

    Given that I live in a wealthy neighborhood, I can tell you that sub 20 mpg cars are standard, with a LOT of sub 15mpg cars. Large SUV’s and german sedans dominate the scene. Even a twenty year old Honda will do better mileage if maintained. I have no intentions of restraining tax policy to allow people to keep driving unmaintained vehicles. We do have a VERY PROGRESSIVE mass transit system with (at least here) the most insanely progressive tax ever.

    CAFE fails on many accounts. The primary one is that it does nothing to increase fleet mileage in the real world. If a suburban is averaged down with a metro for CAFE, but the suburban does 250k miles vs. the metro’s 85k miles then was it worth it? This happens because without even doing the math, the poorer worker realizes that the truck will cost him less to own and maintain because it will last and likely help him make extra money. Change the math, and he will buy and maintain the metro. We saw this at work with $4 gas.

    A gas tax would have the effect of increasing the importance of mileage in the first place. The result would be that the second or third hand buyer (the poor worker) would have a larger choice of more efficient vehicles to choose from. In the meantime, if we double the gas tax, he can more than cover it with his tax credits.

    The guy making 25k a year today lives a lot better than I did when I made that much, in spite of inflation. That’s even BEFORE he gets his tax credits. I PAID taxes when I made that much, which I did for many years. We need to get over the BOOHOO bit, stop coddling everyone, and let them be adults who make responsible decisions before they become the people who run the place.

  • avatar
    FromBrazil

    Though I’m a little late, Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year to all!!!

    Martin, again a great review!!!

    To some of the above, the Fiat Panda is a highly evolved little car that gets a great many stars in all Euro Car Crash tests. It’s not a bare bones old style car like the Suzuki Samurai that got thrown out of North America for failing said tests (the American ones). So it weighs so little because it’s a VERY SMALL car, not because its lacking in any safety equipment. I’d bet everything I have that this car would get approved for N.America if Fiat would wish to give it a go there.

    As to the Suzuki SX4 being the same as the Panda’s bigger brother, the Fiat Sedici, well they’re not. Though it’s largely a Suzuki creation (underpinnings and all) Fiat paid a lot of attention to how it rode (attention to detail and if I’m not mistaken use their own engines, too). So, in a nutshell, it’s better than the Suzuki on-road, and probably a bit worse off-road. Anyway Johnny Lieberman, I think, tested the Suzuki for TTAC and largely enjoyed it (sorry can’t find the link) and the folks over at Edmunds did so, too.

    Martin, keep the reviews coming! It’s the first thing I read when I see your name in the by line!

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    Obrigado — you are too kind!

    As I was born in Sao Paulo (I don’t remember whether I have mentioned this before), your words warm my heart even more than they normally would.

    And thanks for the additional information.

    Feliz ano novo!

  • avatar
    John Williams

    A gas tax would have the effect of increasing the importance of mileage in the first place. The result would be that the second or third hand buyer (the poor worker) would have a larger choice of more efficient vehicles to choose from. In the meantime, if we double the gas tax, he can more than cover it with his tax credits.

    Tax credits that are recovered at tax time. In the meantime, he’s saddled with a car that gets less than optimal gas mileage while forced to pay a tax that penalizes him for owning said car, while wishing death upon the politicians who thought it was a good idea to implement said tax.

    A better idea is a displacement tax. Reward people for buying new cars with smaller engines. Those cars will eventually filter down into the used car pool and the poor workers don’t have to be bashed in the head with an insane fuel tax.

    I was all set to make fun of you, but that is kind of freakishly light. At 2400 lbs, this vehicle only outweighs my Gen 1 xB by the weight of a fat guy.

    My mother had a 1985 Audi 4000S that weighed 2400lbs, and it was by no means a small, cramped car.

  • avatar
    FromBrazil

    Oi Martin!

    Bom dia!

    Não, pelo menos eu não sabia que você nasceu em São Paulo. E vejo que fala português muito bem. Parabéns! É ótimo ter um compatriota escrevendo na TTAC.

    To all my very good “Portuguese-challenged” friends, what I wrote above is:

    Hello Martin!

    Good morning!

    No, at least I didn’t know you’d been born in São Paulo. And I see you speak Portuguese very well. Congratulations! It’s great to have a fellow countryman writing on TTAC.

    Feliz e próspero ano novo para todos, especialmente para você Martin!

    Abraço

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    Great little car. I’d certainly give it a close look if it were available here.

    My ’84 VW Rabbit was lighter than that I believe. That car lasted 190K miles that I know of and was running well and not burning oil when I sold it. This idea that a quality small car won’t last as long as a big hulking SUV has more to do with it’s driver than it’s light weight. Nothing says a person couldn’t repair it during their ownership – does it? I’m currently driving a 2800 lb VW and it has nearly 160K miles and it is far from worn out. I expect it to reach 200K comfortably.

    I’ll be glad if the American fleet begins to downsize.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Landcrusher said:
    Does EVERY tax have to be progressive?

    I have to agree with Landcrusher on this issue. We should not tax certain people less just because they are poor. We need to look at how things are working.

    People are equally responsible for the environment—we breath about the same amount of air everyday, and thus the gas tax should be flat (same tax per unit gas).

    On the other hand, personal income tax represents one’s social foot print, and thus can be progressive. For society to work, all we need is a single but significant progressive tax; all other taxes should be flat to keep things simple.

  • avatar
    wsn

    What’s the cost of this car?

    I can see it’s about 70% of the HP and weight of the Honda Fit. Is it 70% as good? 70% the price?

  • avatar
    wsn

    John Williams said:

    A better idea is a displacement tax. Reward people for buying new cars with smaller engines. Those cars will eventually filter down into the used car pool and the poor workers don’t have to be bashed in the head with an insane fuel tax.

    Are you an advocate of rotary engines? Or turbo engines?

    The Mazda RX-7 displaces only 1.3L, but consumes more than many 3.5L V6′s.

    If it’s about gas pollution, then keep it to gas. Displacement itself has zero emission.

  • avatar
    FromBrazil

    In Brazil Fiat has just launched its Linea model. It comes with 2 engines. A 1.9 16v flex engine (runs on ethanol and gasoline) good for about 140 ponies and a 1.4 16v gasoline only engine that’s good for about 165 hp. A Linea is about the size of a Corolla or Civic in the US.

    The smaller engine breaks the 200km/h barrier (about 125 mph, the 1,9 gets up to about 115 mph), accelerates faster, and in “normal” driving is more fuel efficient than the bigger engine by anything between 20 and 35%. But if it’s pedal to the medal driving all day long any fuel efficiency advantage is soon ended and in fact it will drink the gas faster than if you do it with the larger displacement engine.

    The same holds true for all engines included in the recent Euro trend of downsizing but adding turbo or supercharge power. So, it really depends on driver and driving style. As always. As has always been, and hopefully, always will be.

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    WSN: click on “rating summary and performance review”, and get this data:

    “PRICE AS TESTED:
    Euro 9.72k net (with optional Diesel engine, roof rail, CD player, air conditioning, central locking, six airbags), from consolidator. $13.6k”

  • avatar
    agenthex

    CAFE fails on many accounts. The primary one is that it does nothing to increase fleet mileage in the real world. If a suburban is averaged down with a metro for CAFE, but the suburban does 250k miles vs. the metro’s 85k miles then was it worth it? This happens because without even doing the math, the poorer worker realizes that the truck will cost him less to own and maintain because it will last and likely help him make extra money. Change the math, and he will buy and maintain the metro. We saw this at work with $4 gas.

    You should stop using conflicting examples. First you claim the rich have higher consumption cars, now it’s the poor who have them? You had a point in there but missed it due to the over eagerness for supporting arguments.

    Higher cost would lead to less consumption, but given the economic situation, most poor are not in a situation to change cars, and putting disproportionate burden on them right now is a bit of twisting the knife.

    Also. the whole $4 gas overreaction was timed exactly with the green movement so it doesn’t get all the credit.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    AgentX,

    I did not contradict myself at all.

    As I have stated before, it is completely worthless to discuss applying a policy before you decide the policy is good or bad. Whether it is a good time to enact the policy is a debate for after you decide on the policy. Are you going to grant the gas tax is better than CAFE? If not, give an applicable argument, or get back on the porch.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    No, the contradiction is pretty clear. You can’t decide whether this policy will make poor people get fuel efficient old cars or fuel inefficient old cars.

    -
    For the second point, you’re essential making a regulation vs marget self regulation/taxation argument. I take it you’re almost always going to favor market approaches regardless of result anyway, which is ironic in a country notable for its foundation in laws.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    completely worthless to discuss applying a policy before you decide the policy is good or bad…

    That is a good point. For those who feel that the government has no place in deciding what America’s fleet consumption is, they are ALL bad ideas. For those who realize that national energy policy and usage has profound and varied effects on this country, driving down consumption is not only good, it is necessary. Landcrusher, you are correct in that a tax will have the most direct effect on gas consumption; any doubters need to look only as far back as July. However, the question posed is: Aren’t there more equitable ways to achieve close to the same result? I have no problem with a bit less efficacy in the program if the result means that the added burden is split more fairly.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    G2H,

    Well, apparently Pres. elect Obama plans to use tax credits to offset his fuel tax increase. A spoonful of sugar so to speak. That solves that objection. For those who see this as simply another tax increase that won’t get offset for most of us, they are correct. In fact, the credit will likely expire or get inflated away, but the gas tax will, of course, remain.

    Okay, so they are correct in my opinion, however, I am not going to stop trying to do the right thing because the other side can’t be trusted. I say work hard, be passionate about what you believe, and more people will come to our side and we can lower taxes for everyone.

    Still, the problem with these arguments is that the tax code is so complicated, and the stats on income so poorly presented (if not simply wrong) that it’s hard to have a civil argument because people aren’t starting with a single shared fact.

    I think it’s Thomas Sowell, yes, an ivy league guy, who does a great job of sifting through the data and then describing what it ACTUALLY means so that people can understand what portion of us are really poor, for how long, and what their income and status looks like.

    We apparently have a social contract where those in the bottom half of income are expected to contribute little or nothing. Okay, I am not ready to pick up a gun over that. However, if you believe that burning gas is harming everyone, then why shouldn’t we discourage it by taxing it? What’s wrong with having part of the contract be that those who contribute the least should also pollute the least?

    Lastly, I just don’t see that there are so many people out there, just skimping by, who need to drive so much, and who can’t simply pass the cost of this tax on to those who they work for. If you are a good employee, and have a low wage job, you can likely get a similar job closer to home. We aren’t short $10 per hour and below jobs. Most employers have a hard time keeping people at that rate who can follow simple rules, not be rude to others, and not steal.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    tax credits to offset his fuel tax increase

    There’s no effective way of doing this. You’ll likely get the same credit regardless of how much fuel bought. So essentially the poor get a general tax cut and still pay the tax.

    I say work hard, be passionate about what you believe, and more people will come to our side and we can lower taxes for everyone.

    Of course, tax cuts are the solution to all ills. So you should be happy about the above obama tax cut, but then again it’s not for the wealth.

    -
    You obviously have a lot of spite for the poor and in general base your approval for people based on their net worth.

    I’ll let you in on a little secret. You’re not “wealthy”. The real wealth who have your mindset look down on you with the same contempt. They look for the same social engineering ideas to maximize their wealth and minimize yours, except theirs matter because they are closer to the reigns of power.

    So all this time, you’re playing into their hands be propagating the philosophy of people who despise you and whose ranks you are unlikely to join. Well done, sir.


    As for exact policy, either approach can be effective if done properly, and given their somewhat disparate effects, both are likely. One just has more of an effect on people to whom gas prices matter.


    I took a couple min to look at consumption figures. It seems consumption didn’t drop all that drastically even in the US during the time prices doubled (increased consumption elsewhere in the world cancels it out anyway). So much for that theory.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/hotStocksNews/idUSWEQ00004720080718

  • avatar
    mkirk

    What happened…I had a 99 Panda and it was the cheapest car I ever owned. External door hinges, 1985 interior, and all those eastern bloc stylig cues I came to, umm, tolerate. It was dependable too, compared to the 84 Autobianchi (Fiat) it replaced.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Agenthex,

    “You obviously have a lot of spite for the poor and in general base your approval for people based on their net worth.”

    Nice. I don’t know which forums you are used to, but that sort of thing is frowned upon here. I will let you in on a little secret. That’s not a way to win an argument, its a way to get ignored or banned.

    You want to defend that remark? Or just take it back?

  • avatar
    agenthex

    Is the above an inaccurate assessment of the cause of classism as portrayed in your long post?

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    mkirk: I remember the original Panda well. Despite its pure and brilliant concept, it was a car I found strangely unlikeable. Stiff-legged, rough and noisy, it was totally different in character from the present one (which was actually supposed to be called not Panda but Gingo, but trademark concerns prevented the proposed new name from being used).

  • avatar

    fun review. sounds like a great little car–except that it looks very tippy to me.

    The bit about going on cobblestones reminds me of the wonderful Peugeot 404 my parents bought when we went to Paris for the year. That car was exceptional on cobblestones, and on the potholes of spring in Boston.

  • avatar
    Driver23

    I’d be happy to have one as a second car since I need 4×4 a few times a year. Instead of owning AWD car for ‘just in case’. I’d put real off road or winter tires on it and keep in in the garage for occasional use. I guess another option is to get used Wrangler.

  • avatar
    Lbart

    If it came to Canada I’d buy it in a heartbeat. Had a hard time knowing this was a discussion about a car and not a politcal debate.


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