Is your car your pride and joy, or are you ready for a change? Let us know and you could win a £300 John Lewis voucher | No thanks

FIAT Panda 4x4 (2005–2012)

Last updated 3 May 2017

Kerb weight 980–1090 kg
Warranty 3 years / 60000 miles
Servicing 12,000 miles

Full specifications

Driving

The Multijet is the same 1,248cc chain-cam 16 valve Euro 4 70bhp common rail direct injected diesel also found under the bonnets of Puntos, Ideas, Corsas and now even Combo vans. It's a great little engine, slightly longer geared in the Panda at about 27.5mph per 1,000 rpm in top, capable of 65mpg on the combined cycle and emits just 114g/km C02 and doesn't need a particulate trap. It weighs a bit more than the petrol engines, but not enough to make the car feel clumsy, and it's actually the fastest Panda with 0-60mph in 12.7 seconds and a top speed of 99mph.

The 4x4 is a different sort of animal with raised 165cm ride height and chunky 185/65 x 14 or optional 185/70 x 14 M+S tyres. Its suspension is stiffer so on the road its ride quality suffers a bit, but it corners flatter so the extra height does not seriously affect its handling. It's slow, though. Zero to 60 takes nearly 20 seconds.

A driveshaft to the viscous coupled rear diff spins at the same speed as the front driveshafts. When slippage is detected at the front, the coupling couples drive to the rear. There are no limited slip diffs, diff locks or anything else to worry about. All the driver has to do is drive. Unlike the original Panda 4x4, which has a solid back axle, the new one has an alloy-cased diff with independent driveshafts to the rear wheels, though the torsion beam type axle only allows the same movement between them as on two wheel drive versions.

Off road the system is astonishingly effective. Short overhangs, good ground clearance and a short wheelbase enable it to keep going in deep, muddy ruts and cross ridges you would have thought impossible. It even made mincemeat of the course at Thruxton 4x4 centre, romping around in second gear. With its relatively light weight of 980 kilos it should also be as good in snow as the old Panda 4x4 was. While big 4x4s sink into the stuff, a Panda 4x4 crushes only the top layer and then effectively drives over the snow.

So, if you live in a country area frequently snowbound in winter, or your house is up a rough and muddy track, or you go skiing a lot then the Panda 4x4 is ideal. However, as is the case with most 4x4s, we could see rather a lot of them in towns and cities, endowing their ‘toff roader' owners with fake 4x4 cred while never venturing off road.

Engines

Engine MPG 0-62 Top speed CO2
1.2 4x4 43 mpg 20.0 s 90 mph 155 g/km
1.3 MultiJet 4x4 54 mpg 18.0 s 94 mph 136 g/km
List Price from £14,865
Buy new from £12,772
Contract hire from £170.24 per month
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car