Fiat’s New Grande Panda Is So Cute I Wish It Had Cheeks I Could Squeeze

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Photo: Fiat

Today is an exciting day, as Fiat has revealed its new Grande Panda, a baby crossover-ish hatchback that is completely adorable. If you can believe it, this is only the fourth generation of Panda to emerge since 1980 when the original model was revealed, and that one was in production until 2003! While it probably won’t be offered with all-wheel drive unlike previous Pandas — there will be a still-small Panda SUV for that — the Grande Panda channels the original Panda 4×4 in overall spirit.

The Grande Panda is built on Stellantis’ Smart Car platform, which also underpins the Citroën C3 and other future models. At 157 inches long it’s smaller than other B-segment cars, though it’s about a foot longer than the old Panda and a couple inches longer than a new three-door Mini. Fiat has yet to detail the powertrains, but like its Citroën sibling the Grande Panda will be offered with fully electric or mild-hybrid internal-combustion options.

Side view of a yellow Fiat Grande Panda

Photo: Fiat

Who cares what powers it — look how cute it is! Fiat says “the new Fiat Grande Panda’s ‘Italianness’ becomes immediately apparent through its iconic and ironic Italian design which is synonymous with beauty.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. For such a diminutive car the Grande Panda has a strong stance thanks to blocky flared fenders, an upright greenhouse and an overall silhouette like that of the original car.

It has a distinctive face with pixel lights that Fiat says “reflect the windows on the façades of the Lingotto factory,” and the faux grille panel and front bumper have other gradiented pixel elements Fiat describes as being like a chessboard. The taillights have the same graphics as the headlights but rotated vertically, and both front and rear bumpers have silver skid plate elements. The two-spoke (?) wheels are incredible — Stellantis is doing some of the best wheel designs in the industry right now.

Rear 3/4 view of a yellow Fiat Grande Panda

Photo: Fiat

My favorite elements are the door skins, which have a silhouette of the Panda name embossed in them in big blocky letters. In fact, all of the branding and badging on the Panda is excellent. Fiat’s new retro logo, with tall and thin letters, is placed in the corner of the grille panel and embossed into the tailgate. The black C-pillar trim also has the Fiat logo embossed into it, and found in the black section of the tailgate is a 3D Panda script.

Fiat has yet to release photos of the interior, but the brand promises the Grande Panda “can carry five people and is perfect for comfortable family living and contemporary urban mobility.” More details will be announced before the new Panda goes on sale in Europe, the Middle East and Africa later this year, while the previous-gen Panda will remain on sale through 2030, now badged as Pandino. The Grande Panda will be followed by a new Panda model every year between now and 2027 — last year’s concepts previewed an SUV, a fastback crossover, a compact van and a pickup.

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