Despite being on sale since 2011, Fiat has decided that its bijou city car, the Fiat Panda, needs only a handful of modest updates to keep it going for the 2017 model year. Minor revisions to the aesthetics and new infotainment systems are all the little bear gets.

The exterior design has been left well alone, with the only additions being two new wheel options – a new hub cap design for the standard 14-inch steel wheels and new silver (burnished finish on the 4×4 models) 15-inch alloy wheels. Also added are two new paint finishes, Amore Red and Colosseo Grey metallic.

Inside, the Panda gets a mildly redesigned steering wheel with a U-shaped centre spoke in either a silver or titanium finish, along with redesigned instrument cluster graphics for better legibility. The seat upholstery has also been revised across the range with new graphics and colours, plus contrasting stitching. The Easy and Lounge variants get a geometric pattern, while the 4×4 models gain shot fabric seat centres.

New for 2017 is the Uconnect infotainment system that is standard on the Lounge, 4×4 and Cross models. It incorporates Bluetooth 2.1, audio streaming, voice recognition, USB ports in the glovebox (for data) and the dashboard (for charging), AUX-in and MP3 compatibility.

Buyers can also connect their smartphone using the dedicated Panda Uconnect app on Android and iOS, enabling the phone (which can be hooked up to a holder on the dashboard) to directly control radio selections and playlists, manage calls and texts, check their diary or look up the weather.


There are also added features such as Find myCar, eco:Drive, Find Workshop and the my:Car – the latter displays service schedules and main items in the owners manual, as well as directing calls to roadside assistance services or Fiat customer care. Also accessible are music streaming services like Deezer and TuneIn, and there’s even a dedicated shortcut to preferred navigation apps like Google Maps or Waze.

Engine options remain the same as before, now Euro 6-compliant – there’s the 69 hp 1.2 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine (also available in dual-fuel petrol and LNG form), the 0.9 litre turbocharged TwinAir two-cylinder petrol in 65 hp, 85 hp and 90 hp variants, as well as a 95 hp 1.3 litre Multijet turbodiesel.