The Fiat Panda 4X4
A very short four years ago, Fiat reintroduced the cute mini-SUV that is the Panda to the South African market once again. This model was a fun way of cutting through the gridlock of the city as the 4X4 models had been ditched in favour of more market friendly FWD models, namely the humorous Panda Easy and the Panda Lounge.
This week saw the introduction of the new facelifted model and the reintroduction of the most compact way to traverse mountains and get you through the roads less travelled. The facelift sees the return of the Panda 4X4, and as the name suggests, all-wheel drive is now offered by a “Torque on demand system”, supplemented by an Electronic Locking Differential (ELD) that aids in the provision of traction. More 4X4 trickeries include 150mm of ground clearance, model specific bumpers with integrated skid plates, protective side mouldings, and flared wheel arches. A three-mode terrain response system, designed to help assist in adventures, is also offered. On the interior, the 4X4 features a green fascia that encompasses the instruments and storage bins. The choice of either green, pumpkin or beige upholstery complement the leather door cards to add to the funky nature of the vehicle. Equally, two new flavours will be added to the palette of colours, these being Orange and Tuscany Green.
The top-spec duties are taken up by the Panda Cross which looks as though it’s been carbo-loading, boet, with its aggressive and rugged appearance. The skid plates and protective panels are available with an optional ‘Cross Plus Pack’ that allows for an Ultrashine silver colour to certain parts of the body work. The tow hooks are now finished in red and at the rear, the bumper now comes with underbody protection and a chrome tail pipe. The wheel arches and side mouldings with a ‘Cross’ embossed badging are complemented by roof rails to finish the rough and tough look. The Cross comes with different Lights and Fog lamps that feature LED daytime running lights in the lower section of the front bumper and Ground clearance is upped to 161 mm. A set of 15″ alloy wheels replace the steel rims of the lesser Easy and Lounge models.
Powering all models of the Panda is a 2-cylinder 0.9-litre TwinAir engine lifted from the 500. The Easy and Lounge Models feature an output of 63 kW and 145 Nm, driven through a 5-speed manual with drive to the front wheels or “panda paws” and is said to return consumption figures as low as 4.2 l/100km. The 4X4 features the same 63 kW engine, but has 6-ratios and returns 4.9 l/100km.
The Panda Cross offers an additional 3 kW to make 66 kW, driven through a 6-speed manual and is claimed to return the same figure.
The Panda Easy and Lounge feature a Bluetooth UConnect radio system with audio streaming, MP3 player, USB and voice recognition. Steering controls are optional on the Easy and Lounge and standard on the All-wheel drive models. The 4X4 model features a titanium finished dashboard, which is silver on the Cross.
Fiat Panda 4X4 Pricing In South Africa
Fiat Panda 0.9 TwinAir Easy: R184 900
Fiat Panda 0.9 TwinAir Lounge: R199 900
Fiat Panda 0.9 TwinAir 4×4: R229 900
Fiat Panda 0.9 TwinAir 4×4 Cross: R249 900
Inclusive in the price is a 3-year/100 000 km warranty and 3-year/100 000 km service plan with service intervals being every 15 000 km.