I love my parents. They are good, honest folk, and I respect them tremendously.

But sometimes they come out with such illogical nonsense that I cannot help but wonder how we are related.

Exhibit A:

“Well, if [insert deviant friend’s name here] jumped off a cliff, would you jump, too?”

Is there a more absurd question?

No, Mum. I wouldn’t jump. I’m my own person. I think for myself.

And yet, metaphorically speaking, some people DO jump when people they admire tell them to jump. Which is ridiculous.

For years, a select number of automotive journalists have been singing the Fiat Panda’s praises. And rather than stop to think for themselves, a large proportion of the car-loving community have been lapping up these journalists’ words and mindlessly echoing their exaltations. But here’s the thing. They’re wrong.

The Fiat Panda is rubbish.

It’s endearing.

There is nothing–literally nothing–about the Panda that inspires affection.

Just look at it!

I’m sorry, are we looking at the same car?

‘Hideous’ doesn’t begin to cover it.

That the Panda’s design received approval from Fiat’s board of directors is nothing short of a miracle. And also bloody concerning. I cannot possibly be the only one thinking this.

None of the elements match. You get the sense that every panel was designed by a different person.

Granted, it’s memorable, but so are elderly men in budgie smugglers.

It’s disturbing. It’s brittle (zero-star Euro NCAP safety rating). It’s sad.

Sad? Why?

It’s sad to think that the Panda is from the company that brought us the… erm…


It has suddenly dawned on me that — 500 aside — Fiat hasn’t produced a single good-looking car in the last 40 years.

That’s not true.

Prove me wrong.

Fiat Coupe 20V Turbo. Check.

If I was feeling generous, I’d describe the Coupe as a poor man’s Aston Martin DB9 kit-car. But I’m not, so I won’t.

What I will say is that the Coupe has an underwhelming face attached to a catastrophic rear-end. A design nightmare, in other words.


What about the latest 124 Spider? That’s alright… isn’t it?

Time to hand in your eyes, buddy. You obviously don’t know how to use them.

Whatever. How’s the Panda inside?



You often hear journalists flippantly wielding the classic “it looks like it was designed by an infant” cliche.

It actually applies here.

Spend more than 30 seconds in a Panda (gosh, that sounds disturbing to type) and you’ll conclude that Fiat’s entire design department must be under six years of age. The interior contains no less than 25 ‘squircles’ scattered around, the tactile quality is on par with a Tupperware© container, and it reeks of try-hard.

You sound irked.

Do you know what really frustrates me about the Panda? I’ve spent days contemplating this article and I still have no idea who the Panda is for. It’s a car without a clear — or relevant — purpose.

Who in their right mind looks at a Golf/Focus/i30 and decides to go for a Panda?

Europeans. That’s who.

That’s a little racist…

No, it’s a fact.

The Panda lasted two years in Australia until Fiat realised Australians have taste and hence decided to pull the plug.

Over in Europe, however, the Panda is far from extinct. Fiat sold well over 100,000 of the critters in 2019 alone.

It must be doing something right if more than 100,000 backed it.

It’s because people mistakenly associate questionable design and bright colours with ‘character’. And because it’s cheap.

Also, just because a vocal group of people think something is brilliant, does not make it so.

What makes your opinion any different?

Answer me this. Would you honestly spend your hard-earned cash on a Panda over an equivalently price (used) Golf or Corolla?

I might…

No, you wouldn’t.

But a Panda has–

—Do not tell me the Panda has soul. It doesn’t. It’s a plastic Portaloo with headlights and dollar-store rims. There’s nothing ‘soulful’ about it.

We didn’t evolve this far to mindlessly accept the opinions of others as fact.

Think for yourself, you parrot.

What a hateful thing.

Share this post