Meet Smokey Nagata

The man behind the legendary twin-turbo V12 Toyota Supra build.

First sprint in Merc's ferocious C 63 S

'You can feel how taut the steering is, how sensitive the accelerator is to inputs', writes Charlen Raymond.

Fiat's refreshed Panda range: 4x4 and Cross in SA

2017-08-22 09:34

Image: Quickpic

Midrand – Fiat has launched its refreshed Panda in SA, with the range including the 4x4 and Cross versions for the first time in nearly a decade.

Since launching locally in 2013, the Panda range has expanded from the Easy and Lounge versions in front wheel drive to include the new 4x4 and Cross versions.


Dimensions remain the same at 3.6m long, 1.6m wide and 1.5m tall. The wheelbase is 2.3m long. It has a front track of 1 410mm and a rear track of 1 400mm.

New features are the two fresh body colours and the two novel rim patterns. The two contemporary liveries perfectly reassert the different expressions of Panda. The pastel Amore Red emphasises the dynamic nature of the city car, and the metallic Colosseo Grey, with its modern technical undertones, highlights the all-rounder mood of the city-SUV range.

Gallery: 2017 Fiat Panda

The hub cap design on the 15” steel rims, which are standard on the Easy and Lounge trim levels, confers dynamism and robustness, while the 15” alloy rims on the 4x4 and Cross derivatives combine elegance and character.


Image: Quickpic

The steering wheel is pleasant to the touch and enhances ergonomics by adopting a modern double central spoke matched with the dashboard and seat upholstery. The Easy version offers, on request, radio controls and leather upholstery, which are standard on the Lounge version.

The 4x4 comes with leather upholstered steering wheel, radio controls and titanium finish, which becomes silver on the Cross.

The graphics of the instrument panel have also been updated to improve the overall readability thanks to a more modern design.

The seat fabrics are entirely refreshed with new graphics and colours for all trim levels. The new colour combinations and the fabric weave are embellished with contrasting stitching. The Easy and Lounge versions have geometric elements that are current and elegant at the same time. The interior of the Panda 4x4 is enriched with shot fabric in the centre to convey an idea of sophistication and robustness at the same time.

With its five doors and large opening angles, the Panda can comfortably accommodate up to five people and has the largest boot, Fiat claims, in its segment; 225litres that expands to 870litres when the rear seat is folded down.

Panda UConnect

Image: Quickpic

The Panda with the Easy trim level features a radio and manual climate control system as standard equipment, whereas on the Lounge, 4x4 and Cross versions the standard equipment includes the new UconnectTM infotainment system with Bluetooth 2.1, audio streaming, a USB port located in the cubby, a dash mounted USB recharging port as well as voice recognition.


The engine line-up features Fiat’s unique two-cylinder 900cc3 TwinAir petrol engine producing 63kW of power at 5500 r/min and 145Nm at 1900 r/min driving the front wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission on the Easy and Lounge versions and a 6-speed manual transmission on the 4x4. The Panda Cross features a slight power increase with 66kW driving through a 6-speed manual transmission.

Panda 4x4

Image: Quickpic

The Automaker says that as the only 4x4 model in the A-segment, the new Fiat Panda 4x4 is the successor to the International best-seller which first appeared almost 30 years ago.

Panda Cross

Image: Quickpic

As its name implies, the Panda Cross is able to traverse difficult terrain thanks to its all-wheel drive and its Electronic Locking Differential. The Panda Cross customer is looking for a vehicle with large off-road vehicle credentials, yet the advantages a compact size vehicle can offer.

For this reason, although the Fiat Panda Cross has a distinctive style, making it recognisable and, it has been designed to optimise off-road performance with a stylistic language typical of an SUV.

The front features a brand-new bumper incorporating a generous skid plate in a body colour is standard on the Cross but customers have the option of ordering the Cross Plus package that consists of skid plates and door protection panels in silver ultrashine colour as well as alloy rims and red tow hooks.

The Cross also features new light clusters and new fog lights integrated with the logo holder bonnet trim, and new DRLs with LED technology, built into the skid plate.

Side-on, certain specific elements stand out, such as the pronounced wheel arches, mouldings with ‘Cross’ badge and the new roof bars that mimic the finish of the skid plate. The 15" steel wheels feature a unique hubcap design ensuring damages done to the rims off road do not cost a great deal. The rims feature 185/65R15 all-season tyres.

The rear end is characterised by a distinctive look, a new bumper with under-body protection continuing the design and finish of the front skid plate, the protected light clusters and the chrome tail pipe.

The Panda 4x4 and Cross versions are equipped with a "Torque on demand" transmission system, with two differentials and one electronically controlled coupling. On the 4x4 derivative, this is a permanent four-wheel drive system managed by a control unit which, by analysing vehicle signals, distributes traction to the front and rear axles according to the road conditions. The advantages of this system include fully automatic operation and zero maintenance.

Compared to its 4x4 sibling, the Panda Cross takes the 'Terrain Control' a step further by offering selector-controlled AWD features based on the driving conditions. The 'Terrain Control' lets the driver select three different modes: Auto, Lock, Hill descent.

Connected to the TwinAir Turbo engine, a 6-speed manual transmission makes its debut on the new Panda 4x4 and Cross.

Exclusive Mopar®-branded services and accessories

Transforming your car into a unique, personalised item: that’s the aim behind the wide, extensive range of accessories and services created by Mopar, the reference brand for services, customer care, original spare parts and accessories for the Fiat-Chrysler brands. As well as offering more than 450 000 original spare parts, Mopar also provides the Group's customers, in over 130 countries, with a catalogue that includes nearly 25 000 high-quality accessories.

Numerous special accessories are available for the Panda, such as the 15" alloy wheels, mirror caps and red hub caps, tyre valve caps with the Fiat logo, bicycle holder and the "personality" interior kit; the handy coat hook and velvet mats with the Panda logo.


In a programme devised to entice buyers of older, less environmentally friendly vehicles into a Fiat brand vehicle, the FCA Environmental Scrapping Campaign; “THE BIG DEAL”, aims to draw in owners of older, or even scrapped vehicles, and trading them into a new or used environmentally friendly Fiat vehicle.

The Campaign focuses on 3 transaction types, consisting primarily of a scrapped vehicle deal; customers will be offered up to a maximum of R40 000 by the dealership on receipt of a Scrapping Certificate for their old vehicle. This is to be used towards the purchase of a new or used Fiat vehicle.

In order to qualify for this campaign, customers will be required to produce a Scrapping or Deregistration Certificate of Vehicle, proof of Ownership (Natis Doc, or alternative) as well as proof that vehicle was registered in the name of the owner within the last 6 months.

Customers wishing to take part in the campaign that have not yet scrapped their vehicle would need to do so in person at the relevant licensing department. The vehicle then needs to be deregistered on eNatis and at the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Vehicles that are eligible for deregistration or scrapping include those that have been declared unfit for operation on public roads, have been stolen and not recovered, have been permanently demolished or have become exempt from registration.

In the event a customer does not qualify for the above campaign, Fiat dealerships will offer two further trade in programs to ensure customers are able to drive away in the Fiat of their dreams.

All Fiat vehicles are available from dealerships countrywide and carry a 3 year or 100 000km warranty and service plan.

Read more on:    fiat  |  south africa  |  hatchback  |  panda

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.