Fiat Panda 0,9 Twinair 4x4 Cross
Fiat SA has brought back its Panda, along with two quirky 4x4 versions
SOUTH AFRICANS are used to large, bulbous off-roaders, which makes this little 4x4 you see here something of small sardine among some very big sharks. Nevertheless, it boasts all-wheel-drive technology, a take-on-all-comers attitude and can lay claim to being the most affordable new SUV 4x4 available locally.
Parent company Fiat South Africa has been busy over the last few months, launching the Fullback, Giulia and Tipo, with this refreshed Panda the most recent addition. Fiat’s city car has the same compact proportions as its predecessor, measuring less than 3,7 metres long, with short overhangs front and rear making it ideal for crowded cities.
Missing from its local roster for a couple of years, Fiat SA took the opportunity of the Panda’s international facelift to relaunch the car here with a range that comprises four offerings. The A-segment contender essentially comes in two flavours – front wheel-drive and new four-wheel- drive options – and there are two trim levels with each drivetrain variant. Easy and Lounge are the two options for FWD, while the AWD models are labelled 4x4 and Cross. The latter model, pictured here, boasts different bumpers and roof rails along with extra cladding and decals along the flanks to set it apart.
The cabin features a roundedsquare graphic for many of the trim items, such as the audio controls and gear shifter, a touch that should go down well with the younger target audience. Thankfully, the steering wheel is a more traditional circular item with a flattened bottom. Other changes to the interior include a new design and fabric type for the seats.
Interestingly, unlike many of its newer rivals, Fiat hasn’t bothered with a full-colour, large-screen infotainment system, offering instead a Panda Uconnect app that is available on all versions except the entry-level Easy derivative. One highlight of the app is the