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Fiat Panda 100HP Review & Road Test (2010)

Mon, 13 Sep 2010

The Fiat Panda 100 HP Review

It’s easy to get bogged down in what’s good and what’s bad in a car. The truth is that there are no really bad cars made any more, just degrees of good. Perhaps degrees of fitness for purpose – or fitness for the demographic the car is aimed at – is a better way of looking at it.

I have a distinct penchant for big, fast, petrol-engined cars. Always have had, always will have. And it would be easy to dismiss any car which is small, or small-engined or not as quick as I’m used to. But that would be a very silly point of view, especially doing this job.

So you learn to look at a new car from the point of view of the target demographic (well, to a degree). I know, it’s hard to believe that everyone doesn’t actually want the fastest, best handling and best looking car their budget can stretch to. But really, such people do exist.

There really are people (apparently, quite a lot of them) who are far more concerned about comfort or safety or whether the kids fit or economy or emissions or price or … anything but performance, handling and style. So we have to take that in to consideration when we review a car.

But even though I’m predisposed to big, big-engined cars I certainly ‘get’ the smaller car with a decent engine. Or the budget car that has a surprising set of on-road manners. Even cars that don’t drive particularly well or go particularly quickly but which do what they do very well.

So bearing all that in mind, you won’t be surprised that I try to get myself in the zone for a new car review. Let’s not make this sound a big deal – it’s not. I suppose it’s about imagining who you’d expect to be buying the car you’re about to review and see if it will do well what that target buyer is likely to be looking for.

Despite doing the ‘Buyer’s Shoes’ bit, you still have to look at its handling and performance and build quality and value and a bunch of other stuff. But with the ‘Right Hat’ on for that particular car.

So this week we have a Fiat Panda. Captain Slow drives a Fiat Panda. My ex-sister-in-law drove a Fiat Panda. Which makes me equate Fiat Panda with plodding economy and a demographic looking for a cheap and cheerful city car which is decent enough to drive but which won’t raise you heart rate.

So even though the Fiat Panda we have coming is the Fiat Panda 100hp, the same target demographic jumps to mind. Yes, there’s a decent amount of power for the size of the little Panda, but it’s just going to be a bit quicker than the regular Panda and a bit sportier looking.

Isn’t it?

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By Cars UK