The Fiat Grande Panda Is Your Next Holiday Rental Car

The Fiat Grande Panda Is Your Next Holiday Rental Car

It’s not too often a new Fiat Panda comes along. The effortlessly charming original was introduced in 1980 and lasted all the way until 2003 in some markets. The second generation – you know, the one James May had – was comparatively short-lived, lasting from 2003 to 2012. That overlapped with 2011’s third-gen car, which is still in production now and shows no signs of stopping.

Nevertheless, there’s a new Panda in town, and clearly, it’s been hitting whatever a panda’s equivalent of a gym is, because it’s gotten chunky. It’s got a new name to boot: Grande Panda.

Fiat Grande Panda - side

Fiat Grande Panda – side

Don’t let that fool you into thinking this is some massive, two-tonne SUV, though: it’s still only the size of something like a Corsa or a Fiesta (RIP). It’s the first of a range of new cars we were promised by Fiat earlier this year in a slightly weird announcement poking fun at the Geneva Motor Show (also RIP) and will be on sale in a huge number of global markets later in 2024.

It sits on a new platform from parent company Stellantis called STLA Smart. Those bones are set to underpin the next generation of Stellantis small cars and are configured to take petrol, hybrid or electric powertrains, depending on the market. The Grande Panda’s set to be offered with the last two of those, and while specifics haven’t been revealed, it shares a platform with the new Citroen C3 and Vauxhall Frontera, both of which employ a 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder in their mild hybrid forms.

Fiat Grande Panda - rear

Fiat Grande Panda – rear

The boxy exterior is a clear throwback to the original Giugiaro-styled Panda, what with its offset grille badge and imprinted ‘Panda’ lettering on the flanks that calls back to the first Panda 4×4. Those very blocky, pixel-like headlights – as well as having a definite whiff of Hyundai about them – also apparently reflect the layout of the windows of Fiat’s iconic Lingotto factory in Turin. The more you know.

There’s no confirmation of pricing, tech or exactly when you’ll be able to order one of these cuties, but if you’re unsure about buying one, you’ll probably be able to give it an extended test when you’re handed the keys at the Avis desk at an unspecified European airport very soon.

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