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.
There’s a four-wheel-drive system, operated by a Terrain Control switch of the type more usually found on much more expensive, and larger, off-roaders. It offers three modes: automatic for normal driving (largely front-wheel drive unless the car detects a wheel struggling for grip), off-road (the system is set for tricky surfaces) and hill-descent (the car is slowed automatically on steep slopes, useful when inching down rocky crags).
Even the engines are upgraded for the new FIAT Panda Cross: The 0.9-litre TwinAir Turbo engine sees its maximum power increased to 90hp and equipped with a six-speed gearbox. The 1.3-litre MultiJet II Turbo-Diesel engine also enjoys a 5hp boost in power to 80hp.
The front end of the new FIAT Panda Cross is dominated by a chunky new bumper which features scratch and bump-resistant corner sections and a large, functional skidplate - finished in silver "ultrashine" and enhanced with cooling perforations in the Panda's signature "squircle" shape.
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 2014 FIAT Panda Cross goes on sale in the UK early in Q4 2014 priced from £15,945.
For more information on our of new FIAT range, click here