Fiat’s new Panda 4x4 may be readily distinguished from standard front-wheel drive versions by a 50 mm increase in ground clearance. In addition, revised front and rear bumper designs incorporate wide, integral body shields which fold underneath the bodywork to afford additional off-road protection. An engine sump guard is also fitted as standard.
In profile, the new 4x4 features large, bow shaped windows linked via blacked out door pillars to the rear quarterlight. This affords maximum glazing to the cabin space, whilst creating a graphic motif unique to the Panda range and hinting at the raised driving position and MPV practicality within. Bespoke, full-length, side rubbing strips further distinguish the 4x4 from front-wheel drive versions, and black aluminium roof rails are fitted as standard.
At the rear, a full height, top hinged tailgate, flanked by high visibility rear lamp clusters, is designed to offer full width access to the loadspace throughout the low-silled aperture.
Life on board
The ultra-compact exterior dimensions of the new Fiat Panda 4x4 - 1.60 m wide, 1.63 m high and 3.57 m long, with a wheelbase of just 2.30 m - belie an exceptionally spacious, flexible interior.
The car boasts an overall passenger room coefficient of more than 68%, one of the best in its class. And, thanks to an optional innovative, split/folding, sliding rear seat the copious luggage compartment may be quickly and easily increased.
The combination of a raised driving position, height adjustable seat, rake adjustable steering wheel and generous glazing offer the Fiat Panda 4x4 driver a comfortable, highly adaptable driving position allied to excellent all-round visibility. Unrivalled driver ergonomics have been achieved through painstaking detailing and the careful placement of switchgear.
Complementing a clear, functional driver’s instrument binnacle, the prominent centre console raises the gear lever to within the closest practical proximity of the steering wheel, allowing for quick, accurate changes with minimal physical effort. Careful consideration has gone into the placement of all other console based functions, with the stereo radio placed at the highest level to offer ease of access with minimal driver distraction.
Extensive cabin storage includes a glovebox, generous door pockets, centre console cup holders and a removable rear parcel shelf.
The seats, produced in accordance with principles developed by Professor Dal Monte, head of the Biometrics Department at the CONI Sport Medicine Institute, are exceptionally comfortable, devoting particular attention to passenger posture and lateral containment.
The new Fiat Panda 4x4 offers a choice of three rear seating solutions; one piece with two places, fitted as standard, and the option of either 50:50 split/sliding with two places or one piece with three places. All variants come with a one piece cushion incorporating an anti-submarining function, and a fully folding backrest for greatly enlarged load carrying capacity.
The one piece backrest can include a third, inertia reel seatbelt, whilst the two place, 50:50 split option offers even greater loadspace flexibility. Also being able to slide, this option boasts the added advantage of rake adjustable backrests and the ability to boost loadspace by 30 litres without the need to fold down either seat back. In all cases, the seat folding mechanism may be operated from inside either the passenger or luggage compartments.
A comprehensive range of accessories includes car mats, assorted loadspace nets including a dog containment screen, a demountable load compartment tray, transverse roof bars and a wide selection of child seats, including a bespoke Kiddy Isofix seat for children weighing up to 40 lbs.
Available in 10 body colours complemented by a choice of durable, grey/yellow or grey/red cabin upholstery finishes which are unique to the 4x4, the Panda is the only car in this class to have 99% of its interior surface lined, setting new supermini standards for quality and comfort.Published 31 January 2005