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Fiat - 2003 Panda
Fiat - 2003 Panda

Fiat - 2003 Panda

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Fiat Panda The high-bodied Panda takes clear styling cues from mini MPVs and mini SUVs, with its taillights in particular reminiscent of much larger cars from the likes of Volvo.... More »
Fiat Panda

The high-bodied Panda takes clear styling cues from mini MPVs and mini SUVs, with its taillights in particular reminiscent of much larger cars from the likes of Volvo. The Panda won the European Car of the Year award in 2004.

The Panda includes an option for split rear seats, which makes the Panda a four-seater. Since September 2005, all Pandas are equipped with stability control, ABS, EBD and at least two front airbags. The gear-lever is located high on the central dashboard, which is designed to make changing gears more comfortable than with a conventional floor-mounted gearshift.

The financially troubled Fiat needed the new Panda to be a success, and indeed it was, selling half a million units by October 2005. It sells particularly well in Italy (over half of the cars produced are sold in Italy), being seen as closer to a spiritual successor to the Fiat 500 than a replacement for either the Seicento or the old Panda. The 500,000th new Panda was built on October 5, 2005, a light blue Panda Emotions with the 1.3 L diesel engine.

Editions

The basic Actual has black bumpers, lacks electric windows and a full-size spare wheel. The Actual was introduced in January 2004.

The Active, introduced in May 2005, features body-coloured front bumpers, front electric windows, and central door locking. Radio, cassette/CD player, ABS, passenger's side airbag, power steering, and manual climate control are available as options. Since September 2005, ABS and the front passenger's airbag have been made standard.

The Active Plus edition is slightly better equipped than the Active, with a cassette/CD player as standard. Production of the Active Plus stopped in December 2003.

The Dynamic edition features ABS, dual airbags, roof bars, power steering and a cassette player as standard. A CD/MP3 player, CD changer, alloy wheels, manual or automated climate control, glass sunroof and a semi-automatic transmission are available as options. Since September 2005, four airbags have been standard in some countries, with an option for two additional side curtain airbags.

The Emotion (Eleganza) edition is the best-equipped trim level. This particular trim level features significant enhancements over the Dynamic, with a standard CD player, alloy wheels with low profile tyres and automated climate control. In some countries such as the UK, the Emotion is sold as the "Eleganza".

The 4/4 Climbing edition, introduced in December 2004, has a higher ride height and larger wheels and tyres than other editions. The four-wheel drive system also makes this edition slower than others. Features are similar to those found in the Dynamic. The Climbing, however, lacks a differential lock and transmission with reductor. The Climbing edition can be distinguished by a slightly higher suspension, additional black plastic overlays on the bumpers and a "Climbing" badge just below the "Panda" badge on the left side of the rear licence plate.

The 4/4 Cross edition, similar to the Climbing, features differently shaped front and rear lights and additional side cladding. Unlike the Climbing, the Cross does have a differential lock. The Cross edition became available in January 2006 in Italy, and will be available in September 2006 in Poland, over 9 months after its introduction in December 2005.

The Actual and Active are also bases for the Actual Van and Active Van, which can be used as small vans (they also have an additional safety net behind the front seats and removable rear seats). These versions can be identified by small "Van" label on the back door.

There were rumours about a Sporting edition, with differently shaped bumpers and two new stronger engines (rated at 75 bhp and 95 bhp). This edition was to be expected in the end of 2005 or in the beginning of 2006.

During the time, many limited editions of Panda (Active and Dynamic editions only) were produced. Each of them had additional interior fittings, differentiating them from the base model.

Engines

The smallest engine, the 1.1 L petrol SOHC FIRE engine, which is rated at 54 bhp and found in the Fiat Seicento, has been criticised for being underpowered for the Panda, which weighs over 850 kg, and the acceleration in particular was considered to be very slow. However, the engine reportedly gains flexibility and power with use.

The 1.3 L MultiJet diesel engine is rated at 75 bhp and 100 ft•lbf of torque; it is the most economical of all available engines. However, this engine is detuned from the Punto (where it develops 120 ft•lbf of torque) due to the Panda's weaker transmission. Pandas with diesel engines can be easily distinguished by a "MultiJet" badge on the right side of the rear licence plate.

Top speeds

150 km/h (93 mph) with 1.1 L petrol engine

155 km/h (96 mph) with 1.2 L petrol engine

160 km/h (99 mph) with 1.3 L diesel engine

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from Wikipedia.
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