Fiat is celebrating a second major honour this year for its Panda supermini, after winning City Car of the Year in the 2007 Auto Express New Car Honours for the fourth time in succession.
This latest award follows Panda’s Best Small Car category win in the same magazine’s Used Car Honours earlier this year.
Voted Car of the Year 2004 by a 56-strong international jury of senior motoring journalists late in 2003, Panda has since attracted a stream of awards from the media, which has been repeatedly impressed by its winning combination of environmental compatibility, low running costs, residual value, build quality, space, refinement, big car feel, comfort, driving pleasure and value for money.
Auto Express, Britain’s biggest selling weekly car magazine, bestowed its own ultimate accolade in 2004 when Panda won the magazine’s Car of the Year award, along with Budget Car and City Car titles. It is the latter accolade which Panda has now secured for an unprecedented fourth successive year, despite ever increasing competition in the category.
Commenting on Panda’s performance in the 2007 awards, Auto Express says: “The Panda has once again proved itself the best bet for motoring in the city. It is anything but a conservative piece of engineering. Striking looks mean it really stands out from the crowd. It’s extremely easy to get on with, as its light steering and straightforward controls make even the most complicated reverse park manoeuvre seem simple.
“It stands out from the crowd, and it’s equally special inside, where a high-mounted gearstick and lofty driving position provide the perfect environment for tackling urban gridlock. But perhaps the Panda’s greatest quality is its sense of fun. Even the entry level versions deliver an entertaining drive, while the recently added 100HP version is one of the best baby GTIs we’ve driven in years.”
Panda is available through the Fiat Group Automobiles UK dealer network, with either turbo diesel or petrol engines, ranging from 54–100 bhp. Prices start at £6995 on the road.