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Buying a Fiat

Can anyone here give me the straight facts on buying a Fiat (new)? I want to get a Fiat Panda 4x4 but I can’t find anyway to buy one in the USA, Canada or Mexico.

I read these get 58mpg highway and from the videos I’ve seen they appear more than ‘Jeep tough’.

The only new Fiat that you can buy in the US is the Fiat 500. It is manufactured in Mexico, in a Chrysler factory, and its engineering has been modified in order to comply with US safety and environmental regulations.

It might be possible to import a Fiat Panda 4x4, but after paying to have it transported and to have it extensively modified in order to comply with US regulations, you would wind up with a VERY expensive sample of this car. For the amount of money that you would spend (literally thousands of $$), you could buy one of any number of cars that were built for sale in the US, maintain that car for several years, and still have money left over.

And, then there is the question of maintenance and repair of–perhaps–the only Fiat Panda 4x4 in the US.
Back in the '50s & '60s, when Fiat last had operations in the US, obtaining parts (sometimes things as mundane as an oil filter!) sometimes took weeks. I wouldn’t even want to think of how long it would take you to get parts from Europe for this car, nor would I want to think of how many weeks or months your car could be out of service while awaiting parts.

If your goal is to have a totally unique vehicle in the US, you can accomplish that goal, but the cost will be VERY high.

The 58 mpg is based on the English Imperial Gallon. The US gallon is smaller.

Or 48.3 MPG, (83.267%) of that figure (still using the English MPG test, not our US current one).

My feeling is that Fiat brought more to the partnership than Chrysler did. Fiat has a proven track record in Europe (meaning they produce the kind of cars Europeans want to buy). I would be more willing to buy a Chrysler product ( a small car) because of the Fiat input than I would if this same small car did not have any input from Fiat. What I really think will happen is that the drain on Fiat from Chrysler will be overwhelming to Fiat and the partnership will disolve and so will Chrysler. Just my reading of the “tea leaves”. I have personally know more Chrysler auto workers than any other type so it is not like I am anti-Chrysler but it seems they have fallen a good bit too far.The strenght of the partnership may play into you wanting one of these cars. Perhaps there will be quality issues when the partnership moves into its last days.

Until our beloved Government can crash a Panda into a concrete wall at 45 MPH and have the occupants survive, you will not see one in the United States. You can no longer import any car into the United States unless it’s a U.S. certified model, period. That door was closed years ago…You COULD import one into Mexico, but in Mexico it would stay…You would own the only Fiat in Mexico!

58 MPG?? Not in the real world unless it’s a Diesel hybrid or something…

There’s no legal way to buy one, or any other European-only car, in the US. Only when they’re certified for US sales (emissions are a major issue, along with safety standards) and available from dealers will you be able to buy one. And don’t overestimate the reported mpgs for the Panda. Besides the Imperial gallon conversion, you also have to reduce the reported mpgs by about 20% to get close to what the EPA cycle would yield for highway mpgs. 40 mpg is good for highway, but not stupendous. Get a VW TDI wagon for about the same mpgs. And remember to factor in the higher diesel fuel cost.

“My feeling is that Fiat brought more to the partnership than Chrysler did.”

I agree. One way they helped Chrysler is upgraded interiors. The Chrysler 300 and 200 have significantly improved interior materials since the hook-up. The new Grand Cherokee benefited in the same way, too. Too many people recall the old Fiat. Just like Jaguar, I’m sure they have come a long way in the last 40 years. First they’ll introduce the 500, then I understand an Alfa Romeo product will be introduced. They have viable products and need a dealer network to work from. Chrysler and Dodge provide that, and a decent truck line-up.

Good point. The EU “Extra-Urban” fuel economy ratings are about as realistic as the circa 1985 EPA estimates were. So in the real world that 48 MPG is probably closer to 38-41 MPG still not bad at all, but nowhere close to the 58 MPG figure.

I would hold that urge! I would not be in the habit of investing thousands of dollars in an unproven commodity ? Even when this model becomes available, I would never buy a car that hasn’t been tested, reviewed and acknowledged by a plethora of previous owners as a worthwhile car with a history of competent performance under conditions faced in the good old US of A. Jeep tough is a fallacy if you’re talking about reliability and any one will make an ad to make a buck.

Well, it IS a diesel but I don’t think it’s a hybrid.

And espically not before a CR review is available:)

The diesel 4WD Panda has a 1.3L engine that’s good for a whopping 68 HP and a 0-100 KPH (62 MPH) time of 18-19 seconds. That’s pathetic even by economy car standards.

This is something folks ignore - we (in the US) have become used to performance that eliminates many of the ‘amazing mpg’ cars from sales here. 18 seconds 0-60mph? Not going to sell here in enough numbers to make the whole Fed approval circus worthwhile.