The decades-overdue Mk2 Fiat Panda is as cute as the original but so much better, and pretty much the only used car you will ever need.
Need affordability and economy? Well, there are plenty to choose from, varying from boggo to off-road ready to sporty.
The 1.1-litre petrol engine will return 56.5mpg, but the bigger 1.2-litre offers the same economy along with slightly more performance. There might be a fractional difference in insurance, but otherwise it just comes down to the showroom specification. The 1.3-litre diesel beats them both, getting 65mpg, and all three are in the £30 VED band.
It does pay to check the specification. The fact that Active trim brought only a tape player is irrelevant. That it doesn’t get a split-folding rear bench while all other models do is notable, though. Dynamic trim will get you a CD player and even air conditioning. Buy a Skydome just because of the name, never mind the hole in the roof. The boot is only a just-about-useful 206 litres, but the sheer charm of the Panda makes that bearable.
If you think the basic Panda is fun, the 1.4-litre 100HP will give you a warm glow. A sub-10sec sprint from 0-60mph isn’t record-breaking, but the seat of your pantaloons tell you otherwise.
And, of course, a Panda can take you just about anywhere. The hardy 4x4 variants aren’t as economical, but ultimately the Panda is one of the cheapest cars to run in any class.
Problems on early cars were head gasket failure. The timing belt should be replaced every 36,000 miles, so history is vital. Otherwise, you need to watch out for leaking suspension dampers, failing clutch master cylinders and dodgy electric power steering.
Ones we found