Caught: Fiat Panda 4x4 May Preview A Small Jeep For Europe

#Fiat, #Jeep

As you may have noticed, small car sightings in the States are on the rise, prompted by volatile fuel prices. Also, B-segments cars aren’t the penalty boxes they used to be, as proven by the 2012 Chevy Sonic, 2012 Toyota Yaris, and 2012 Hyundai Accent, all of which offer tons of tech, quality, and affordability.

Unlike the States, small cars in Europe are a dime a dozen and include the Fiat Panda, which is Fiat’s second-best selling car, right behind the slightly-bigger Punto. Fiat has just taken the wraps off the third-gen Panda and now it’s preparing to unleash a four-wheel drive version of its diminutive city car. The folks over at Motor Trend recently caught the Panda 4x4 testing its road-gripping capabilities out in the snow, wearing a few bits of camouflage and a set of meaty winter tires. It also appears to be riding higher than the normal Panda. Aside from that, the two and four-wheel drive are pretty much identical. Powertrain choices will likely carryover from the two-wheel drive version, which include a tiny 875cc, two-cylinder, TwinAir turbo rated at 84 hp.

As you would expect, the Panda slots below the 500 in terms of refinement, style, and price (it’s about 35 percent cheaper than a base 500). Additionally, the Panda 4x4 could be a preview of what to expect if Fiat green lights a rumored Jeep based on an upcoming B-wide platform, which will underpin a number of future Fiat and Chrysler products. The micro-Jeep would be bigger than the Panda but likely smaller than the Compass and our sources said it would have true off-road capabilities. Also, the new Jeep will have a more likely chance of making it to the States than the Panda, though anything is possible when customers (and money) talk.

Despite sales of the 500 tempering in the U.S. market, more practical, five-door B-segment cars seem to have a bright future here. Do you think Fiat would have better luck selling the less-expensive Panda over to our shores? What would the Panda need in order to succeed in America? And what about a micro-sized Jeep?

Head over to Motor Trend for more shots of the Fiat Panda 4x4.

Source: Motor Trend

Im Norwegian, and recently bought one. I am soo happy with my choice! I was after a small car that can stay on the road, even in the worst wintertime. And it does:)Its not a spacious car, id recommend it to a one-, or 2-people-household. Its not for kids and shopping. But that also means its lightweight, it will drive on the surface of lots of snow, instead of burying down.Its easy to drive:) Parking is a dream.In Norway Fiat has a poor reputation, but this car... its perfect for these conditions
To my opinion, Panda has all chances to be a success in North America. If it save all features (price, economical engines, versatility) similar to that in Europe, it should be successful here. I watched Youtube and heard from people who drove this car how good it is, especially considering its affordable price. Who would mind saving $5000 instead of buying dated Yaris, which consumes much more gasoline ? I am sure that people who does not need expensive cars would buy it. And after people try it on the road, will be confirmed in its versatility and comfort not worse as in Fit or Civic, it will by very successful.

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