Steve Cropley
21 January 2013

What is it?

How many cars do you know that have absolutely no class rivals, and have been that way for 27 years? There’s only one we can think of, the Fiat Panda 4x4, just launched in the UK in its third iteration.

What is it like?

It comes with just one (plush) cabin spec but buyers are offered a choice of Fiat’s 0.9-litre, 84bhp Twinair petrol engine (with standard six-speed gearbox) at £13,950, or a 1.3-litre 74bhp turbodiesel with five-speed gearbox for £1000 more. The model is closely related to the regular Panda, but has minor body mods, rides 50mm higher and has a 4x4 system consisting of a power take-off and tailshaft that leads (through an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch) to a rear differential.

The four-wheel drive system engages automatically when needed, using the ABS wheel speed sensors to divert as much as 50 per cent of torque to the rear wheels. On top of that there’s a Traction+ system that brakes spinning wheels and thus diverts torque to those that retain traction. By pushing the Traction+ button on the console a driver can prime the system to act more quickly and aggressively at speeds below 18mph.

Should I buy one?

Off road, the Panda 4x4’s capability and agility exceed the courage of most drivers. It is around 75kg heavier than corresponding 2WD versions, but very light indeed against regular 4x4s. On road, the extra suspension travel smooths the regular Panda’s slightly fidgety ride. The only drawbacks are a bit of extra body roll in corners, some extra tyre noise from the standard all-weather tyres and a minor loss of fuel consumption and performance. But for the driver that needs an affordable baby 4x4, no other car can match its combination of virtues.

Fiat Panda 4x4 Multijet

Price £14,950; 0-62mph 14.5sec; Top speed 99mph; Economy 60.1mpg (combined); CO2 125g/km; Kerb weight 1115kg; Engine 4 cyls, 1248cc, turbodiesel; Power 74bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 140lb ft at 1500rpm; Gearbox 5-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
24

Nice

1 year 44 weeks ago

I really like this little car! Very good value for money too.

Cyborg

Strangely attractive and

1 year 44 weeks ago

Strangely attractive and whilst all sorts of 4x4 don't appeal to me normally, this one does.

Would prefer the twin air though personally.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

.

1 year 44 weeks ago

I love the idea of a Panda 4x4. I've often thought a 4 wheel drive Citroen Berlingo would have been a marriage made in heaven for Country Dwellers.

 

 

 

no competitors?

1 year 44 weeks ago

Hmm.  What about the Daihatsu Terios? 

Functional...

1 year 44 weeks ago

... and unpretencious...  makes a lot of sense.  

Approved.

Bargain?

1 year 44 weeks ago

I would say that there's no way £15k is a bargain for this. The Dacia Duster will make life very difficult, unless Fiat go for their usual high discounts on list..

Good little 4X4 that has a competitor

1 year 44 weeks ago

How many cars do you know that have absolutely no class rivals, and have been that way for 27 years? There’s only one we can think of, the Fiat Panda 4x4...

 

I'd say the Suzuki Jimny is a pretty close competitor.

Where has all Japanese design went to?

Unrivalled for 27 years

1 year 44 weeks ago

Didn't the Subaru Justy come as a 4x4 for a few years?

Big S wrote: Hmm.  What

1 year 44 weeks ago

Big S wrote:

Hmm.  What about the Daihatsu Terios? 

Sadly no longer imported into the UK.

maxecat

Worth a bid?

1 year 44 weeks ago

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/used-cars/subaru/justy/used-subaru-justy-gl-ii-5dr-auto-staines-fpa-201301094848207

 

 

Where has all Japanese design went to?

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Our Verdict

A very fine multi-use little car that offers an enticing ownership proposition

Driven this week