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Road Test: Fiat Panda 0.9 TwinAir [90] Cross 4x4 5dr

£16,080 when new
7/10
Road test score

Car specifications

Budget
£16,080
Brake horsepower
90bhp
Fuel consumption
57.6mpg
0–62 mph
12.00s
CO2
130g/km
Max speed
104Mph
Insurance Group
10U

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In Fiat’s triumvirate of Pandas With Off-Road Pretensions, the Cross is king. Below it lurk the Trekking (which effectively is a standard FWD Panda with chunky tyres) and the 4x4, the all-wheel-drive TG favourite that in 2012, we crowned SUV of the year.

The Cross is a Panda 4x4 with a little more where it matters. More ground clearance, more underbody protection - more stuff that makes it better when the going gets muddy.

In normal road driving, the Panda is FWD, but Off-Road mode locks it in AWD at speeds of up to 30mph. There’s even Hill Descent Control - a first, we reckon, on such a tiny car.

On-road, it’s a jacked-up Panda, but off it, this thing is just astounding. With a big poke of the throttle, the Panda scrabbles up surprisingly steep slopes. There’s a moment of inaction as the power is meted out, and then an almost turbo-like whoosh as the rear wheels bite and you fly over whatever obstacle it was you were trying to cross.

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But charming as it is, the Cross doesn’t make much financial sense. The 4x4 is certainly capable enough, and it’s £1,650 cheaper. That’s where we’d put our money.

 

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