Manufacturing a product that amounts to more than the sum of its parts isn't easy but if you can pull it off, it's like being handed a golden egg laying goose that can forge licences to print money with its beak. The trick is to harness the strange, unpredictable forces of fashion to render the item in question cool, desirable and trendy, at which point you can pretty much charge what you like for it. Fiat had looked on while BMW delivered a master-class in this process with its new MINI. Figuring that it would like a piece of the action, the Italian firm set about remaking the Cinquecento for the twenty first century.
Models Covered: three-door hatch 1.2, 1.4, 1.4T petrol, 1.3 diesel (Pop, Lounge, Sport, Start&Stop, Abarth)
The second generation Fiat Panda was widely regarded as a first rate citycar but it wasn't particularly cool and was barely registering on the style radars of youthful trendsetters in the UK's urban centres. Then Fiat took the Panda platform and used it as the basis for a modern version of the classic 500 or Cinquecento of the late 50s. With its retro design, lively colours and cute shape, it had obvious similarities to the hugely successful BMW MINI and quickly had motorists taking notice.