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FIAT Panda 4x4 (2012–)

Last updated 5 March 2019

Improvement in ride comfort. Outstandingly capable off road and in snow. Well equipped. Charming.
Disappointing Real MPG from TwinAir. Relatively expensive. Rear diffs still spring oil leaks.
Updated 5 March 2019

Report of badly corroded oil sump on 2015 FIAT Panda Cross (which engine not specified). Dealer quoted £600 and said corrosion has spread to catalytic converter.

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The Panda 4x4 is based on the Panda hatchback which was launched in early 2012. It continues a long tradition for small, capable Fiats 4x4s. This latest incarnation of the Panda 4x4 gets a torque on demand transmission system with two differentials which automatically alters the power between the front and rear wheels depending on the level of grip.

Like the previous Panda 4x4, the new model gets a chunkier look than the standard car with black body mouldings round the wheelarches, larger bumpers with underbody protectors at the front and back plus roof rails and unique 15-inch alloy wheels with 175/65 R15 M+S tyres.

Two engines are available and both get start/stop to save fuel. There's an 85PS 0.9 TwinAir Turbo and the 1.3 MultiJet II diesel with 75PS. The TwinAir Turbo has 40% more torque than the 1.2 Fire engine in the old Panda 4x4 which should mean better in-gear performance while the six-speed manual gearbox has a low-range first gear for helping with uphill starts. The downside to that TwinAir engine is that owners report that it can't live up to the claimed fuel economy figures in the real world.

The rear suspension is lighter than before to give better ride comfort and reduce noise while standard equipment includes stability control and an electronic locking differential known as ELD. Designed for slippery conditions such as ice and snow, this brakes the wheels with poor grip and transfers the drive to the wheels with more grip. It's manually switched on and works up to 30mph. Inside there's manual climate control, a CD stereo, electric door mirrors, central locking and rear head restraints.

If you like the 4x4 looks, but don't need the hardward, go for the Panda Trekking, which is offered on the standard hatchback. It's two-wheel drive, but much cheaper.

Fiat Panda Cross Road Test 2014

Owners' reviews

Brilliant car
Does what it says on the box.
Practical car and nice to drive but poor economy, build quality + reliability.
Great car for the money
List Price from £14,975
Buy new from £9,220
Contract hire from £170.24 per month

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