The third generation Fiat Panda 4x4 has gone on sale priced £13,950 for the TwinAir 85hp 4x4.
The compact Panda features 4x4 all-wheel drive system with two differentials and an electronically controlled coupling governed by an electronic control unit. By analysing the information received from sensors on the vehicle, the control unit can apportion power between the front and rear axles depending on the amount of grip available.
The system is completely automatic and does not need any driver input. In normal dry conditions, 98 per cent of the engine torque is transferred to the front wheels. This means the car handles in a very similar way to a front-wheel drive model and there is increase in fuel consumption or tyre wear. The Fiat Panda 4x4 features ESP (Electronic Stability Program) with ELD (Electronic Locking Differential) as standard.
Should you like the looks but not need 4x4 drive then you can opt for the Panda Trekking which features the Panda 4x4’s raised ride height but only drives the front-wheels. Prices for the Trekking model start at £12,450.
There is a choice of two engines, one petrol and one diesel for both models.
875cc TwinAir Turbo: - produces 85 hp in normal mode or 77.5 in eco mode. The 2wd Trekking model will do 106 mph and reach 0-62 mph in 11.5 seconds. The official combined fuel figure is 61.4 mpg and CO2 emissions are rated as 105 g/km. The 4x4 model has a top speed of 103 mph and acceleration figure of 12.1 seconds to 62 mph. On the combined cycle the fuel figure is 57.6 mpg and CO2 emissions are rated as 114 g/km.
1.3-litre MultiJet 2 turbo diesel – produces 75 hp. The 2wd Trekking model has a top speed of 100 mph and will reach 62 mph in 13.2 seconds. The official combined fuel figure is 67.3 mpg and CO2 emissions are rated as 109 g/km. The four-wheel drive model has a top speed of 99 mph and accelerates to 62 mph in 14.5 seconds. On the combined cycle the fuel figure is 60.1 mpg and CO2 emissions are 125 g/km.
Both engines come with Start&Stop and a Gear Shift Indicator (GSI) which suggests to the driver the optimum point to change gear in order to achieve the best economy.
The MultiJet 2 version of the Panda 4x4 sits 16cm above the ground while the TwinAir’s ground clearance is a still generous 15cm. The maximum angle of gradient that the Panda 4x4 can approach without any part of its bodywork touching the ground is 20 degrees (MultiJet). The maximum departure angle, or angle of gradient from which it can drive away without touching the ground, is 36 degrees (TwinAir) and its breakover angle at the top of a hill is 20 degrees. The Fiat Panda 4x4 features specially developed 175/65 R15 84T M+S tyres (Mud and Snow Tyres, not too be confused with winter tyres).
One of the key features of the Panda is the flexible seating options the driver’s seat now has vertical adjustment available while there are also multiple configurations for the rear seats. By sliding the (optional) rear bench into the fully forward position – 16cm of travel – the boot’s capacity is increased from 225 to 260 litres, making it one of the most spacious in its segment. Folding the rear seats down gives a load space of 870 litres, 36 litres more than the previous generation Panda.
Various seat configurations the driver’s seat is available with adjustable height while the front passenger seat can be fitted with a fold-down back rest. This creates a table that’s handy for picnics or as a worktop, and with the rear seats folded provides a space that’s more than two metres in length, allowing long loads to be carried.
The rear bench comes in standard two-seater guise with a folding unsplit back rest. But it is also available with the two seats sliding lengthwise, with a 50/50 folding back rest, three seats with folding backrest, and three seats with 60/40 split folding backrest.
Standard equipment on the Panda 4x4 and Trekking includes air conditioning, Blue&Me multimedia system, ESP, a CD/MP3 radio, 15-inch alloy wheels with Mud and Snow tyres, electric heated door mirrors, central locking with remote control, and rear head restraints. Options include features such as City Brake Control, a sliding rear seat and Blue&Me TomTom2 LIVE.Published 18 January 2013