Fleet News

First Drive: Fiat Panda 1.3 Multijet 4x4

Fiat
BIK List Price
£14,895
Fiat Panda 4x4/Trekking BIK list price
BIK Percentage
N/A
Fiat Panda 4x4/Trekking BIK Percent
CO2
125g/km
Fiat Panda 4x4/Trekking CO2
Combined MPG
60.1
Fiat Panda 4x4/Trekking MPG

Review

Fiat executives aren’t counting on another bout of harsh winter weather to give their latest model a flying start in the showrooms - but they do expect the return of the Panda 4x4 to win an enthusiastic welcome from a loyal band of aficionados.

After an absence of two years, the world’s most capable off-road city car boasts extra tenacity in the rough from major engineering revisions that include a sophisticated traction control system and revised suspension.

“We are fortunate enough to have a group of customers who have accounted for up to 600 annual registrations for the previous version and I would expect them to give a similar response to the new car.

“But I’d be happy to be proved wrong – a lot of interest has been shown in the 4x4 over the last few months and we will have no problem with supply if demand is higher.

“Traditionally, the Panda has been popular with midwives and vets but a growing number of people need to remain mobile irrespective of weather conditions and I think this would be useful transport for farmers, coastguards and mountain rescue teams. We’re already discussing its potential with the Forestry Commission,” Fiat UK senior product manager Rob Lake told Fleet News.

In the latest Panda bodywork, the third-generation 4x4 is bigger all round and boasts improved interior packaging, more versatility and one of the biggest luggage compartments in the A-sector. Powered by a start-stop equipped Multijet diesel motor, it drives with more agility than the performance figures suggest.

With a front strut suspension linked to a torsion beam rear layout, on-road ride comfort is good even though off-road prowess is significantly improved thanks to a smart drive system with two differentials and an electronic coupling that saves fuel by staying in front wheel drive for most of the time.

Pressing a button is all that’s needed for more challenging terrain. It switches in the electronic locking differential and worked well with the mud and snow tyres that are fitted as standard to help our test car splash, squelch and scramble its way around a tough course with impressive ease as power from the lusty Multijet diesel motor was sent to the wheels with the best traction.

Aided by a 16cm ground clearance and protected by underside skid plates, this is a mini SUV with stamina and abilities that belie its size. Based on the top-range Lounge version, the car carries a £2,700 premium but is well equipped with air conditioning, 15-inch alloy wheels, power mirrors and front windows, ESP, a multimedia system and steering wheel controls.

By Maurice Glover

Fuel costs
A clever electronic management system putting 98 per cent of drive through the front wheels allows the ultimate Panda model to make the most of each gallon on the open road.
CO2 emissions
Fiat’s second-generation Multijet diesel motor generates 30 per cent more torque than its predecessor and features faster-operating injectors for greater efficiency.
Residual values
Relatively low numbers of used examples should help maintain good values for the 4x4, which features significant improvements over the previous version.
Driver appeal
Backed by a reputation as a trusty family runabout, the latest Panda is even more versatile and user-friendly. In 4x4 guise, it is a remarkably strong performer off-road.
Running costs
With relatively spacious bodywork and five doors, the Panda is one of the biggest city cars and a sophisticated all-drive system gives it surprising go-anywhere abilities.
Top Speed
99mph
Fiat Panda 4x4/Trekking Top Speed
VED band
N/A
Fiat Panda 4x4/Trekking Ved
Fuel Type
Diesel
Fiat Panda 4x4/Trekking Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : N/A
4 Year 80k : N/A
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : N/A
4 Year 80k : N/A

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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Comments

  • m cowsill - 18/01/2015 12:47

    Best car I've driven with 4x4 in some years.and it does do 60mpg!just pulled a Vauxhall insignia out of a ditch,uphill on ice and it never spun a wheel,amazing.

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