08 September 2008

Panda Cross: no jokes, please

New 4x4 Panda breaks Top Gear's big pun machine

Fiat Panda Cross

This is the new Fiat Panda Cross. It's going to be a serious struggle, but we're going to ignore the obvious 'How do you make a Panda Cross?' joke and tell you about the new midget 4x4 without any reference to enraged subcontinental bears.

The Panda Cross is, says Fiat, the cheapest diesel 4x4 on the market. Powered by Fiat's 70bhp 1.3-litre turbodiesel, it'll give you 54mpg and produce just 136g/km. No word on performance yet, but given the previous Panda 4x4 took a full 20 seconds to hit 60mph - 20 seconds! - we're not expecting stellar acceleration.

But the big news here is the four-wheel driveness. The Panda Cross has a viscous coupling four-wheel-drive system with a electronic diff lock, which means it should cope with some pretty serious terrain. Don't forget that the previous Panda 4x4 took on the Paris Dakar rally. It may even have finished.

You also get strangely coloured side protection strips, equally strange new bumpers and curiously cross-eyed new light clusters. The whole thing will cost you just short of 12 grand, which might just make it the cheapest way to the top of a Welsh mountain.

[Hear that straining, cracking sound? That's Top Gear's big pun machine overheating...]

Steal his bamboo. There. We cracked. Happy weekend.

Now share it...

What do you think?

This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Please read Top Gear's code of conduct (link below) before posting.