City car crossed with real off-road style

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - MOTORS -

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.

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