Is The 2018 Fiat Panda a Death Trap? Here’s the Crash Test Video
It did receive a measly 16-percent score in child protection.by Safet Satara, on
Back in 2015, EuroNCAP rated the 2014 Fiat Panda Cross with three-star safety rating. Four years before, the same organization - the European New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP), tested the car and granted it a rather high four-star rating. Fast forward to 2018, and a recent safety evaluation tallied the Fiat Panda up as erringly bad. It received zero stars after EuroNCAP safety test performed in Brussels.
Is this now a worse car than it was before? How did it devolve? How can anyone buy it?
Well, let me tell you right away, the 2018 Fiat Panda is still the same car that it was in 2011. It did not change - at all. However, the EuroNCAP testing procedure is not the same. It is dramatically stricter, now requiring far more in terms of active safety gear. It also uses different dummies for testing (with a system that recognizes potential injuries better than before), and it tests the car for speed assistance, lane support, seat-belt reminders, and automatic emergency braking. None of this was required back in the day.
To answer the question from the title of this article I have to tell you that the latest 2018 Fiat Panda is not actually a death trap. It is just a simple city car that actually “meets or exceeds federal safety requirements in every market in which it is sold.”
2018 Fiat Panda EuroNCAP Crash Test Rating Reveals Only A Part Of The Story
With that said, it is kinda sad that Fiat did not find the time, resources, or even bother to update it just a little bit.
The integration of some active safety gear as standard could have prevented the modern EuroNCAP to give the Panda a zero-star rating.
It is only the second car ever to receive such a rating - after lasts year’s zero star “triumph” by the Fiat Punto.
Now, the Panda failed to achieve competent results in any of the categories. It received points as follows:
- 45 percent of the total points in adult-occupant protection,
- 16 percent in child-occupant protection,
- 47 percent in protecting pedestrians, and
- only 7 percent in safety assistance category
This was not even enough for a single star at the newest EuroNCAP evaluation.
In that regard, Matthew Avery, Director of Research at Thatcham Research (which carries out Euro NCAP crash testing in the UK), said:
“Most troubling is that the Fiat Panda is seen as a good choice for young drivers and fledgling families. Where budgets are tight, consider a safer small car second-hand instead.”
I would not go as far as to agree with Avery, however. Back in the day when the Panda appeared, cars such as the Jeep Compass, the Toyota Urban Cruiser, and the Mazda CX-7 fared worse than it and got two, three, and four EuroNCAP stars respectively. If any of these are to be tested today, they would fare even worse than the Panda. Imagine a massive Mazda CX-7 getting equal or probably worse safety rating than a freaking minicar Fiat Panda.
The far more disturbing result was achieved by the newest Jeep member - the 2019 Jeep Wrangler. It gained only 1 star at the recent EuroNCAP test.
The problem with it is similar to the problem with the 2018 Fiat Panda - it lacks almost all of the safety assistance features which are standard on the cars of today.
“The Wrangler clears the one-star threshold but lags far behind its competitors,” said Euro NCAP Secretary General Michiel van Ratingen.
Basically, it has a seatbelt reminder and a speed limiter but nothing else. Not nearly enough for a better score. However, if this was 2011, or even 2014, I am fairly certain that the Jeep Wrangler would receive at least a four-star rating. Heck, in 2011, even a five-star rating would not be out of the question. But this is 2018 - a year when cars such as the Audi Q3, the Jaguar I-Pace, the Peugeot 508 and the Volvo V60/S60 set the standard with their intricate safety systems.
“The Audi Q3, Jaguar I-Pace, Peugeot 508, and Volvo V60/S60 have set the standard against which other are judged this time, and other manufacturers could do well to follow their example,” said van Ratingen.
“The I-Pace, especially, demonstrates that future vehicles will be good for the environment but also provide high levels of safety.”
No, the 2018 Fiat Panda and the 2019 Jeep Wrangler aren’t death traps. They are fairly safe vehicles, however, they cannot compete with the safety standards introduced by the latest line of high-end vehicles.
Read our full review on the 2018 Fiat Panda.