Paris 2012: Fiat Panda 4x4

The Panda 4x4 is the only four-wheel drive model in the A segment – and that’s why we like it. It’s different. So different in fact that you can bet hardly anyone in Britain will buy this new one. Which will be a shame if it’s anything like as good as the old one.

The new Panda 4x4’s torque-on-demand, permanent four-wheel drive transmission has two diffs and an electronically-controlled coupling. Traction is automatically distributed between the front and rear axle according to grip conditions.

It's the real-world Range Rover ... honest!
It's the real-world Range Rover ... honest!
Fiat says it’s as happy to tackle mountain mule tracks as it is the urban jungle. Not many mule tracks round our way, but the standard ESC stability control system and ELD (Electronic Locking Differential) function should be useful for scrabbling up more challenging sleeping policemen when council grit supplies run out two days into winter. The ELD function is switchable and operates below 30mph.

Two engine versions are available, both with Start&Stop: the new 85hp 0.9 TwinAir Turbo and the 75 HP 1.3 MultiJet II diesel. That TwinAir should be good in this application as it has 40 per cent more torque than the willing but basically gutless 1.2 Fire of the previous generation.

The rear suspension is lighter and both the ride and cabin noise are improved, says Fiat. It’s well equipped too with climate control, CD/MP3 radio, and what they call burnished 15-inch alloy rims.

Fiat will be showing another ‘regular’ Panda at Paris, the Natural Power. We only mention it because its TwinAir Turbo motor is dual-fuel, running on either petrol or methane. Insert your own jokes here, but it’s an interesting contribution to the debate and shows there’s life in the old IC engine yet.

Comments (74) Join the discussion on the forum

  • hora 01 Oct 2012

    thinfourth2 said:
    hora said:
    How do people cope with the 0-60?
    As they can use a thing called a window
    Quisto! Do you frantically gesticulate out of the window on the sliproad that you are trying to join the motorway and need assistance? tongue out

  • LuS1fer 01 Oct 2012

    The 500L interior is rather nice actually but the steering wheel itself is somewhat gash and better in the Panda. The exterior remains a sticking point but it's nowhere as near an absolute bar as the exterior of the Countryman.

  • Twincam16 01 Oct 2012

    LuS1fer said:
    Care to share where the stylish touches are hidden on that 500L abomination? wink
    The interior looks like this:

    As opposed to the Panda's, which looks like this:

    Actually, that Panda centre-console is a candidate for the 'life has been draining lately' thread.

  • LuS1fer 01 Oct 2012

    Care to share where the stylish touches are hidden on that 500L abomination? wink

  • Twincam16 01 Oct 2012

    McClure said:
    prg123 said:
    I like all fiat pandas they are great fun to drive,and very underrated

    - Pete

    But they should remain cheap'n'cheeful utility cars, if Fiat try to take them upmarket they'll ruin them.
    Cleverly, they sort-of are doing, but are managing to retain the utilitarian Panda at the same time.

    The 500L, a Panda-based five-door version of the 500, will be the one you can buy full of stylish touches and luxury options, but the Panda will remain cheap and simple:

View all comments in the forums Make a comment