Jul 302015

Cars2A small practical hatchback is all the motor many require. But which is best?

Why Buy?
The Panda is a micro people carrier with an appealing boxy shape that is easy to own and drive with a promise of very small running costs. The Fiesta is part of our motoring fabric. A name that guarantees cheap running costs and delivers a fun driving experience too.

Which models?
The relaunched Fiat Panda from 2004 to 2011 was much larger and more practical than before, even though the boot space is a bit tight. The 2002 onward Fiesta was fun to drive, despite lack of space, and did its job for buyers who wanted predictable running costs.

Are they reliable?
The Fiat Panda has been a great car for Fiat as it has proved to be decently reliable and the Warranty Direct figures support this. The Fiesta is similar, with marginally less repair costs and spending less time off of the road too.

How much do they cost?
The cheapest Pandas are now around £500. Some can be quite scruffy though. Later models are around £4000 and tidy private examples are excellent value. Fiestas hold their value better prices start at £600 rising to £4500.

Sum Up: These are both good small cars which make a lot of sense if you want low running costs and an easy life. The Fiesta is sharper to drive, so may appeal to youngsters, whereas the Panda has a lot of style. Based on Warranty Direct figures the Ford will be cheapest to own.

Fiat Panda
Average Repair Cost: £283.53
Electrical: 19.67*
Axle/Suspension: 34.43%*
Steering: 13.11*
Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average to Good

* failure rate

Ford Fiesta
Average Repair Cost: £257.38
Electrical: 18.44%*
Axle/Suspension: 25.00%*
Gearbox: 12.19%*

Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average to Good