This week, Niels van Roij Design released the Fiat Panda 4x4 Piccolo Lusso, an adorable restomod produced in collaboration with Kaeve Cars. It costs the equivalent of about £26,000, which doesn’t seem so bad, all things considered, but that’s still a lot of money to spend on an old Fiat Panda.
It’s not like getting an original one is much better - the best can go for more than £10,000. Not exactly small change for something which is rather old and thus not ideal as a daily driver. Perhaps the solution, then, is to look at the second-generation Fiat Panda 4x4.
No, it doesn’t have the retro appeal of the OG Panda, but it’s charmingly inoffensive and so focused on providing no-nonsense motoring, that you can’t help but love it. And now, you can pick one of these up for as little as £2,000.
The car you see here is a little more at £3,800, as it’s a slightly later ‘Cross’ model with the 1.3-litre diesel engine. This means you get chunky styling featuring tough plastic cladding, so you can take the car off-piste without worrying too much about the paintwork.
Just bear in mind it’ll need to be some fairly light mud-plugging - you get a bit more ground clearance than the average Panda and a basic all-wheel drive system which only sends torque to the rear wheels when necessary, but that’s your lot.
Even though the diesel lump is more potent, you’re still looking at some 18 seconds to get from 0-62mph, compared to an even more laborious 20 seconds in the 1.2 petrol. But still, the additional torque will make your life much easier once you’re up and moving.
The mileage for our used pick is low for the age at 78,000 (let’s face it - this isn’t a car you’re going to do epic road trips in), and it has 12 months’ MOT. It past the last test with no advisories, which is reassuring.