29 December 2014

Fiat's Panda Cross pricing announced

The new Fiat Panda Cross will go on sale in the New Year priced from €22,745, writes Trish Whelan. It combines the capabilities of a proper off-road vehicle with the efficiency and practicality of a versatile city car.

Fiat claim it is the most capable vehicle in its class by some margin, even more so than their Panda 4x4 on which it is based.

Enhancements provide some visual clues to the car's all-road potential while also protecting its bodywork both in extreme off-road conditions and also in the rough and tumble of city traffic.

Fiat know what they're talking about, as its Panda was first to come with all-wheel drive in its segment. More recently, it featured City Brake Control, a safety feature ideally suited to city cars but at that time, reserved for larger luxury cars.

Power is from upgraded versions of the 1.3 MultiJet II Turbo-diesel engine, now with 80hp, and with DPF as standard while maximum torque is 190 at 1,500 rpm. This engine can shift the Panda Cross from 0-100km/h in 14.3 seconds and on the combined fuel economy cycle, returns 4.7 L/100km with C02 emissions of 125g/km.

In profile the Panda Cross features 15-inch alloy wheels, protective wheel arch extensions, thick side mouldings with 'ultrashine' inserts, matching roof bars and special 'Cross' badging in rear door inserts, distinctive new light clusters and a chrome tail pipe.

The Panda Cross features 'Torque-on-Demand' all-wheel drive, Electronic Stability Control, Electronic Locking Differential and Hill Descent are all offered as standard while a new Terrain Control drive selector offers the driver the choice of three driving modes depending on conditions - Auto, Off-Road and Hill Descent Control.

Its specially developed all-season oversized tyres are larger than those of the standard Panda 4x4. The car can tackle a maximum gradient of 70 percent and lateral gradients of up to 55 percent and has increased ground clearance.

Also offered as standard is automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity with a USB port and steering wheel controls, a satellite navigation dock, heated electric door mirrors, remote central locking, height-adjustable driver's seat and steering wheel, front fog lights, ESC system and special alloy wheels. Some optional packs, which include rear parking sensors, darkened rear windows and the City Brake Control system are available.