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Is the new Fiat Panda City Cross all the city supermini you need?

Jacked-up urban commuter isn't the fastest tool in the box, but it is one of the most useful

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The stats on the new Fiat Panda City Cross probably won’t have you struggling to breathe, because a 69bhp 1.2-litre with around 75lb ft of torque isn’t exactly earth-shattering.

Or anything-shattering, to be honest - 62mph comes in a languorous 14.5 seconds and 96mph is a pretty tame top end  - making it one of the slowest-accelerating cars out there. But there’s always been a place in Top Gear’s automotive toolbox for a Panda, for no other reason than it’s a useful little supermini.

The City Cross is pretty much as you’d expect: a Panda Cross (which lists at just over £15k) with front-wheel drive only, reasoning that you don’t need AWD for tarmac, but might appreciate some suspension travel for speedbumps and potholes. It costs a fiver under £13k, with the standard Panda 4x4 weighing in at 14-grand.

There are the usual side-mouldings, chunkier bumpers and roofbars of the full Cross variant, a couple of colours available (Minimal Grey and Electronica Blue - the latter exclusive to the City Cross), and a decent dose of character. There’s also the point that we have, during fairly extensive testing, figured out that with the right tyres, a front-wheel drive Panda will get pretty much anywhere a full-on Panda 4x4 will.

This or a Suzuki Ignis as the best kind of slightly jacked-up urban commuter?

Specs
Price: £12,995
Engine: 1.2-litre, 69bhp, 75lb ft of torque 129g/km C02, 51.4mpg (combined)
Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Speed: 0-62mph in 14.5 seconds, 96mph top speed.

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