New Panda 4x4 Takes Top Honour: SUV Of The Year

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SLOUGH, UNITED KINGDOM – Dec 6, 2012: The new Fiat Panda 4x4 has scooped its first major magazine award.

The latest four-wheel drive version of Fiat’s hugely popular Panda city car has just been named SUV of the Year in the prestigious 2012 Top Gear Awards. The award’s judges put the new all-terrain Panda ahead of many very capable – and far more expensive – competitors, particularly praising its ride, comfort and off-road ability.

Special mention is made of the new Panda’s award-winning two-cylinder 0.9-litre TwinAir engine which is coupled, in this instance, with a manual six-speed transmission and a short first gear to give excellent off-road traction and phenomenal grip on slopes.

“It's good off-road. Sure, it might not have fancy locking diffs, but there's a clever electronic traction system, ample ground clearance and a low first gear,” says the Top Gear judging panel.

“Traction on slopes is remarkable, partly because the tyres are suitable, and partly because the Panda is light enough that there isn't much gravitational pull to defy. But it's got other talents. Long motorway hauls aren't torture if you opt for the six-speed TwinAir version.”

“This is the third edition of an outstanding car that has sold more than 6.5 million examples, and the 4x4 version has always been an important part of the mix,” says Elena Bernardelli, marketing director, Fiat Group Automobiles UK Ltd. “Already we are receiving great reports from the media and plenty of interest from customers.

“And to receive such an important award for Panda 4x4 is fantastic news – especially when the recognition comes from such an influential organisation. I hope this is the first of many more honours for Panda 4x4.”

Available with a 1.3-litre MultiJet 2 turbo diesel engine as well as the petrol TwinAir unit, the new Fiat Panda 4x4 features, as standard, Start&Stop and Gear Shift Indicator (GSI) for greater economy. The car returns 60.1mpg (MultiJet 2) and 57.6mpg (TwinAir) on the official Combined Cycle, while CO2 is just 125 g/km (MultiJet 2) and 114 g/km (TwinAir).

Starting at under 14,000 the Panda 4x4 represents superb value for money, especially when a huge standard equipment list is taken into account. This includes climate control, ESP stability control, ELD locking differential, burnished 15-inch alloy wheels, driver, passenger and window airbags, height-adjustable driver’s seat, radio/CD/MP3 with six speakers, and protective side strips.

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