Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fiat Panda 4x4 0.9 TwinAir

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fiat Panda 4x4 0.9 TwinAir

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Keenan

THIS Panda is adapted for the wild and has the roar of a lion.

The 4x4 version of Fiat's city mini is a versatile beast that will appeal to those who want a compact car that can tackle country tracks and the urban jungle with equal aplomb.

It is powered by an award-winning 875cc two-cylinder Rottweiler that sounds like a supercar when revved and offers instant acceleration.

Some will find the TwinAir engine a bit too noisy but I thought it exemplified the get up and go spirit of this car and indeed brought a smile to my face. It's also quite smooth to drive thanks to an efficient six-speed transmission.

The third-generation Fiat Panda 4x4 went on sale earlier this year - 29 years after the original appeared on Britain's roads.

It offers the same fun character, versatility, style, functionality and good use of space as its predecessors, but with improved comfort and technology.

Fiat are marketing it as a smart solution for drivers who want city car features without trading the passenger room and comfort of a five-door, or the go-anywhere Fiat Panda 4x4 0.9 TwinAir Price: PS13,995 ? Mechanical: 85bhp, 875cc, 2cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox Max speed: 103mph 0-62mph: 12.1 seconds Combined mpg: 57.6 Insurance group: 7 CO2 emissions: 114g/km BiK rating: 14% Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles ability of a full SUV.

That's a lot of boxes to tick, but the Panda 4x4 makes a decent fist of it.

Although it is small the styling leaves no doubt this is a 4x4 as Fiat fit body-coloured muscular bumpers with satin aluminium finished skid-plate.

The 'don't mess with me' look is completed by black side mouldings with 4x4 logo plus black wheelarches and side skirts as well as natty 15-inch alloy wheels fitted with mud and snow tyres.

The 'go anywhere' feel is accentuated on the model I drove by a metallic paint job - a PS450 optional extra. …

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