Fiat Panda 4×4 named SUV of the year

This represents the first major motoring award given to the new Panda 4×4, which is set to start from just under £14,000.

The Panda 4×4 is a more rugged and dynamically altered version of the city car, now sporting stockier and tougher bodywork, along with a permanent four-wheel drive powertrain supported by an electronically controlled coupling.

The Fiat Panda 4×4 was picked by Top Gear magazine’s judging panel ahead of many other vehicles with off-road pedigree.

The panel placed particular praise on the Panda 4×4’s 84bhp 0.9-litre TwinAir petrol engine, which is connected to a six-speed manual transmission with a short first gear function for improved traction and grip particularly on slopes.

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

They added: “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”.

The Fiat Panda 4×4 also offers a comprehensive list of standard equipment to buyers, including a CD/MP3 Radio player, a climate control system and 15″ alloy wheels.

UK motorists can look to order a Fiat Panda 4×4 at Perrys Fiat Dealerships based in Amersham, Aylesbury and Portsmouth.