Fiat’s compact 4×4, based on the Panda city car, was chosen for its handling and chunky off-road styling after finishing ahead of 11 other vehicles in the category.
The Panda Cross makes use of Fiat Group’s 1.3-litre 16v MultiJet turbodiesel, a versatile engine also used on the Fiat 500, Grand Punto, Doblo and even Alfa Romeo models such as the 147.
Costing £13,695 on-the-road, the Panda Cross includes ESP and Hill Holder for off-road driving and electric power steering as standard.
"The Panda Cross has loads of style but plenty of substance too," say the awards’ judges. "It’s great fun in town, a rough diamond on B-roads and pretty acceptable on the motorway. And it can do remarkable things off road."
First released in 2008, the Panda Cross provides off-road ability, but in keeping with the frugal city car, also returns 54.3mpg on the combined cycle. CO2 emissions are as low as 136g/km, making it one of the cheapest 4x4s on the market in terms of vehicle excise duty, which stands at £110 per year.
"The Panda Cross is one of a long line of Pandas that have surprised and delighted customers for years," says Elena Bernardelli, marketing director, Fiat Group Automobiles UK and Ireland. "I am pleased that it is still collecting top honours – it certainly deserves them."
The Fiat Panda Cross differs from the Panda city car in looks, with redesigned front and rear lights and styled cladding down the flanks.
The Fiat Panda Cross has previous picked up the Top 4×4 Award from 4×4 and MPV Driver Magazine shortly after its launch.