Pandaring to a younger crowd

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“If you go down to your Fiat showroom today You’re sure of a big surprise…”

Fiat’s cuddly Panda is back in the news with the freshly minted Young and Young+ versions. And, for once, the customer will not have to grin and bear it. You see, Fiat is offering a lot more for a lot less with the latest incarnation of its evergreen supermini.

Performance is courtesy of the tried and tested 8V 44 kW, 1.2-litre powerplant which is now exclusively available in the Young and Young+ Pandas. 102 Nm of torque for this mill comes in at a very accessible 2500rpm. The 0-100km/h dash is dispatched in 14 seconds while a very laudable 5,6 L /100km in the combined fuel cycle is more than achievable. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard on both models.

There’s also a whole rainbow of new colours: Mambo Yellow, Tribal Violet, Cumbia Beige, Surf Azure, Azzuro Cappelini and Fiat’s signature pearlescent Funk White. To match the striking new hues there’s also a choice of three new cloth interior combinations – Grey/Blue, Grey/Beige and Grey Black – all featuring a unique circular Art Deco design.

First up is the new Fiat Panda Young, a model which definitely offers more than just the bear essentials. Here’s an overview of all the standard goodies:

  • Body-coloured front grille with chrome-plated inserts
  • Body-coloured bumpers with black protective inserts
  • “Young” badging on the tailgate
  • 13″ steel wheels with new-design wheel covers
  • Follow-me-home lights
  • Fiat rolling code immobiliser
  • Heated rear window with rear wiper
  • Full-size spare
  • Multifunction control panel with trip computer
  • Key-operated central locking
  • Dualdrive electric power steering with City function
  • Manual Climate control
  • Electric front windows
  • Dash-mounted gear lever
  • Autolock
  • Rear padded headrests
  • Dual front airbags (passenger bag has manual deactivation)
  • ABS with EBD
  • Front seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters
  • Wiring for a stereo system with four speakers and a rear stylus aerial

Should you opt for the Panda Young+ , a few more treats are added to the standard menu in the form of 14″ alloy wheels, front foglights, “Young+” badging as well as a dash-integrated stereo system with CD, MP3 player and four speakers.

“We’re very excited to be launching the new Panda Young and Young+ models because we know they offer customers the very best value proposition within the entry-level segment,” says Oscar Rivoli, Managing Director, Fiat Group Automobiles SA.

“Within the past few months there has been a lot of activity in the supermini market segment with both Japanese and Korean competitors upping their game by bringing new and revised products to the table – all with the emphasis on value for money.

“The advantage the Panda has over its rivals, however, is that it offers the most complete package at the price. The Panda Young, for example, with a sticker price of just under R100 000 is the only budget supermini to offer a full complement of safety and comfort features including ABS with EBD, dual front airbags, air conditioning, trip computer and central locking as standard. And, for a price premium of just R5000 for the Panda Young+ you’re getting alloys, foglights and a dash-integrated stereo system – no compromise whatsoever.

“On top of this, you’re getting a decent-sized 1.2-litre four-cylinder powerplant that can more than hold its own around town and as an open-road cruiser. In fact, with reference to the latter, I defy anyone to test the Panda and not be impressed by its cruising ability – the flexibility, quietness and overall pep of the motor is without peer in this class of car.”

Prices (incl VAT & Environmental Levy)

Panda 1.2 Young R99 900
Panda 1.2 Young+ R106 900

Enhancing the ownership prospect, the new range of Fiat Pandas, as with other premium products in the Fiat stable, has 20 000 km service intervals (or once a year) and enjoys full after-sales support in South Africa thanks to a comprehensive parts inventory (housed and distributed in an a state-of-the-art facility) and the back-up of trained technicians at Fiat dealerships countrywide.

Fiat Auto South Africa offers a three-year / 100 000 km Warranty (three years on paintwork and five years on rust anti-perforation) as well as an optional three-year / 60 000km service plan on the new Panda models. The service plan is very affordably priced at just R4 750, 70 incl VAT.

The new models are covered by the AA Fleetcare roadside assistance for 12 months. The service is active 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is available by calling the dedicated toll-free number 0800 223 727.