City car crossed with real off-road style
BEING able to offer something truly unique in the increasingly competitive SUV segment is no small achievement but in the FIAT Panda Cross that’s exactly what you get – a car like no other.
In 2006 SUVs accounted for around seven per cent of the total car market in Europe whereas today they account for approximately 20 per cent, and yet despite the proliferation of models in the past decade the new FIAT Panda Cross remains a truly unique offering by combining the genuine capabilities of a proper off-road vehicle with the efficiency and practicality of a versatile city car.
The technological upgrades of the FIAT Panda Cross make it the most capable vehicle in its class by some margin – more so even than the award-winning FIAT Panda 4X4 on which it is based – yet it is a car that could still be chosen purely for its low running costs, day-to-day practicality and general ease and pleasure of use. The aesthetic enhancements not only provide some visual clues to the all-road potential of the FIAT Panda Cross, they also perform the functional role of protecting its bodywork, lights and mechanical components, both in extreme off road conditions and the rough and tumble of city traffic.
No other car can offer such extreme cross functionality, but then FIAT does have more than 30 years of experience in city car innovation: The FIAT Panda was the first to be offered with all-wheel drive in its segment, as well as the first to be powered by diesel, methane and LPG. More recently it pioneered City Brake Control in its segment, a safety feature that is ideally suited to city cars but until that time was reserved for larger luxury vehicles.
It’s this reputation for practical innovation that has consistently kept the Panda amongst the best sellers in its class – it currently occupies the second spot in Europe, just behind its stable-mate, the FIAT 500.
The new FIAT Panda Cross builds on the combination of versatility and style which has always been a hallmark of the range-topping Panda 4X4 versions.
In keeping with the distinctive looks of its predecessor, the front end of the new FIAT Panda Cross is dominated by a chunky new bumper which features scratch- and bumpresistant corner sections and a large, functional skidplate which is further embellished with a pair of easilyaccessed tow hooks, In profile, the FIAT Panda Cross features protective wheel arch extensions.
The 15-inch alloy wheels feature a five-spoke V design and a burnished metal finish, while the rear end also benefits from some functional revisions, including a new bumper and distinctive new light clusters,
Terrain Control offers FIAT Panda Cross drivers the possibility of adjusting the vehicle’s driving characteristics according to how it is being used: There are three modes: Auto, Off-Road and Hill Descent Control.
The FIAT Panda Cross also benefits from versatile all-season 185/65R15 Mud & Snow tyres.
Larger than those of the standard Panda 4x4, these tyres were specially developed to ensure optimum traction and responsiveness on wet and dry surfaces, as well as snowcovered roads, while also ensuring excellent off-road performance.
For more information please visit www.FIAT.co.uk.