For young and dynamic customers, the Fiat Panda Cross immediately conveys solidity and robustness owing to its typical SUV style, with all the advantages that only a compact car can offer.
Style and dimensions
Every detail of the Panda Cross has been designed to make it immediately recognisable and distinctive, with a stylistic language typical of an SUV.
The front-end features a brand-new look, thanks to the new bumper, which features a generous skid plate in a satin titanium colour for the protection of mechanical components with a design of holes which reinterprets the Panda’s characteristic “squircle” motif. The robust, off-road character is highlighted by tow hooks with an immediately recognisable new design in a brilliant red. The light clusters too are brand new, thanks to the headlights and new fog lights integrated with the logo holder bonnet trim, and to the new DRLs with LED technology, built into the skid plate.
From the side, certain specific elements, such as the pronounced wheel arches, mouldings with ‘Cross’ badge and the new roof bars which both take up the finish of the skid plate, stand out. The 15″ alloy wheels feature a 5-spoke V design and a burnished metal finish.
The rear end too is characterised by a highly distinctive look, a new bumper with under-body protection which takes up the design and finish of the front skid plate, a new burnished light cluster and the chrome tail pipe.
Taken as a whole, these details lend it an extremely sophisticated appearance and immediately communicate dynamism and agility.
On the inside, the Panda Cross is also characterised by a refined passenger compartment with great personality. The seats have a flamed natural fabric with a technical appearance featuring brown ecoleather side containment strips to match the trim on the door panels. The front seats are characterised by the burnished Cross wording on the backrest, obtained with a polyurethane insert.
The dashboard fascia comes in a new copper colour to set off the striking new satin titanium finish of the dashboard. The same finish is used for the central console, on two levels, where the brand-new Terrain Control selector is fitted. The equipment is competed by the steering wheel, with built-in controls, and the leather gear knob.
Thanks to five doors and its passenger room of a higher segment, the new Panda Cross is an authentic City SUV, in that it efficiently combines its smaller external size – 370 centimetres long, 167 centimetres wide and 166 centimetres high – with a surprising internal volume. Suffice it to say that the boot is one of the biggest in its segment (225 litres) and there are as many as 15 storage compartments, including the practical two-level central tunnel console, an exclusive of the 4×4 and Cross versions.
“Torque on demand” all-wheel drive and ELD (Electronic Locking Differential) function
The Panda Cross is a vehicle with strong personality, which knows how to win over the most demanding customers, lovers of adventure and life in the open air. For those customers, the new version uses a “Torque on demand” transmission system, with two differentials and one electronically controlled coupling. This is a permanent all-wheel drive system managed by an electronic control unit which, by analysing vehicle signals, distributes traction on the front and rear axles homogeneously and proportionally according to the road grip conditions. The advantages of this system include fully automatic operation and zero maintenance.
The Panda Cross features the ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system with ELD (Electronic Locking Differential) function as standard. This system provides additional assistance while driving and setting off on slippery terrain (snow, ice, mud etc.).
Dedicated Terrain Control selector for lovers of off-road driving
As on top-of-the-range SUVs and all models with a decidedly off-road vocation, the Panda Cross too offer lovers of off-road driving the possibility of selecting four-wheel drive according to the driving conditions, with a choice of three modes:
- AUTO – Automatic distribution of drive between the two axles in accordance with the grip of the road surface
- LOCK – The four-wheel drive is always active for optimal off-road use, with distribution of torque among the four wheels, achieved by braking the wheels that are losing grip (or slip more than the others) and thus transferring the drive to those with the most grip. This function operates under a threshold of 50km/h.
- HILL DESCENT – For optimum handling of particularly steep hill descents or when going down extremely bumpy routes.
To ensure maximum grip on any road surface, the new model benefits from ‘All Seasons’ 185/65R15 tyres – larger than those of the Panda 4×4 – developed specially to ensure optimum drivability and traction on snow-covered roads, along with extremely responsive steering, for driving pleasure on wet and dry surfaces, as well as excellent off-road performance.
The suspension system of an all-wheel drive car has two main tasks to fulfil. It must ensure all typically 2WD features such as passenger comfort, handling, roadholding and safety, and at the same time it must provide better characteristics for tackling any type of terrain, particularly off-road. Engineers worked to reach both objectives. Levels of absolute excellence have been reached with a particular eye to comfort and off-road performance. For this reason, two tried and tested layouts were chosen: an independent MacPherson arrangement at the front and an interconnected wheel with torsion beam layout at the rear, specifically developed for the all-wheel drive version. With respect to the semi-trailing arm solution of the previous generation, the rear suspension is lighter and provides better ride and acoustic comfort with the same off-road performance as before.
The Panda Cross is at ease on rough and challenging terrain, as demonstrated by its generous ground clearance (16 cm) and by its excellent typical off-road angles: 24° (approach), 33° (departure), 20° (ramp breakover) and 31.5° (70%) of climbable gradient. In particular, compared to the Panda 4×4, the approach angle has been improved by 3 degrees, so it can tackle a greater inclination of the ground without touching with the front of the car, and the departure angle by 1 degree.
The Fiat Panda Cross is available with two engine options, both with Start&Stop: the new 90 HP 0.9 TwinAir Turbo and the 80 HP 1.3 MultiJet II diesel.
Both offer an additional 5 HP compared to the equivalent units on the rest of the Panda range, to ensure greater performance while highlighting the top-of-the-range positioning of the Panda Cross.
The forerunner of a new family of Fiat two-cylinder engines, the 0.9 TwinAir Turbo engine deploys maximum power of 90 HP (66 kW) at 5500 rpm and a torque of 145 Nm at 1900 rpm (constant up to 3000 rpm). In addition, for more “eco-friendly” driving and reduced fuel consumption, you can simply press the ECO button on the dashboard, which limits torque to 100 Nm at 2000 rpm. This engine, in a combined cycle, offers consumption of 4.9 litres/100 km and CO2 emissions of 114 g/km.
Again with a view to respect for the environment coupled with driving satisfaction, the new Panda Cross can be equipped with the 1.3 MultiJet II turbodiesel with DPF as standard, which delivers a maximum power of 80 HP (59 kW) at 4000 rpm and generous torque of 190 Nm at just 1500 rpm. A masterpiece of technology in miniature – complete with all its accessories, it weighs approximately 140 kg – the diesel engine belongs to the second generation of MultiJet power units and is equipped with a fixed geometry turbocharger with intercooler, optimised for torque delivery at low rpm. In the combined cycle, the 1.3 MultiJet II engine records just 125 g/km of CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of 4.7 litres per 100 km.
Specific 6-speed transmission
Together with the TwinAir Turbo engine, a specific 6-speed transmission is offered on the new Panda Cross. This transmission has a short first gear to accentuate the model’s off-road characteristics, ensuring optimum setting off during hill starts. The short first gear is also useful in tackling more difficult terrain, as it allows the vehicle to proceed at a very low speed with the engine idling, ensuring the maximum vehicle control typical of off-road models.
Standard equipment and options
The new Panda Cross is the top-of-the-range model as its complete and unique standard equipment demonstrates. This includes: automatic climate control, CD/MP3 radio with Blue&MeTM system with steering wheel controls, specific 15″ alloy wheels, electric door mirrors, central locking with remote control, rear headrests, height-adjustable steering wheel, fog lights, steering wheel controls, leather steering wheel and gear knob, height-adjustable driver’s seat, ESC system complete with ELD and ‘All Seasons’ 185/65R15 tyres. Moreover, a vast range of optional equipment and accessories is available, to further enhance its mainly urban or off-road use as required. These include the heated windscreen, the privacy windows and the innovative City Brake Control system which last year received the ‘Euro NCAP Advanced 2013’ award.
The Panda Cross offers the innovative ‘City Brake Control’ on request. This active safety system detects the presence of other vehicles or obstacles in front of the car and automatically brakes if the driver fails to intervene promptly to avoid collision or mitigate its consequences. Winner of the prestigious ‘Euro NCAP Advanced 2013’ award, the device was designed to assist city driving and always operates when the car speed is between 5 and 30 km/h. Active every time the car is started, the system can be disabled and enabled at the request of the driver.
In detail, the ‘City Brake Control’ system employs a LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) laser sensor, positioned on the upper part of the windscreen, which dialogues with the ESC (Electronic Stability Control) system. Depending on certain parameters (such as road surface conditions, vehicle dynamics and trajectories, position of obstacles and condition of the tyres etc.), by cutting in the system can completely avoid or mitigate the consequences of a collision.
The sophisticated device integrates three functions: Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Prefill and Brake Assist. While respecting the driver’s wishes, who remains in full control of the car, the AEB activates emergency braking when a collision appears inevitable and the driver fails to react, thereby actually anticipating their reaction. The “Prefill” function, on the other hand, prefills the braking system to provide a quicker response both when Automatic Emergency Braking intervenes and if the driver brakes. Brake Assist, last of all, identifies emergency situations and, if collision is imminent, the system becomes more sensitive, lending power to the braking action to permit a reduction in stopping distance.