Car group tests

Fiat Panda 4x4

Don’t be fooled by the tiny dimensions of the Fiat Panda 4x4, because underneath its city car exterior beats the heart of a true 4x4.

Fiat Panda 4x4 2013

Don’t be fooled by the tiny dimensions of the Fiat Panda 4x4, because underneath its city car exterior beats the heart of a true 4x4.

Fiat Panda 4x4 review

A raised ride height and chunky body cladding give a clue to the Fiat’s go-anywhere potential, but the real star of the show is the impressive four-wheel-drive transmission. Plus, you get special steel bash plates, black plastic bumpers and wheelarch extensions and raised suspension which means you can venture further off road than most current road-biased SUVs.

In combination with the standard all-weather tyres, the electronically controlled set-up guarantees traction in all conditions. Plus, Fiat has fitted a differential lock that delivers extra grip when the going gets really slippery.

There's also a Fiat Panda Trekking model - it's not a 4x4, but it gets the cool off-road extras for about £1,500 less. It's nearly as good off-road as the 4x4 version, too.

Elsewhere it’s standard Panda, which means a cheekily styled and practical interior, agile handling and a choice of characterful two-cylinder TwinAir petrol or frugal four-cylinder MultiJet turbodiesel engines.

The 225-litre boot and 60:40 split folding rear seat back only add to the practicality on offer in this beefed-up Panda - although it's probably not much bigger than the standard Panda, it certainly lets you take all your passengers wherever they need to go - even if it's down a very tricky mufd track.

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