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The National Driver BLOG

The Spectacular Fiat Panda Trekking

| 23 Oct 2012 | No Comments

Designed to look like a mini-Land Rover, Fiat’s Panda 4x4 and the four-wheel drive Trekking models are a unique addition to the off-roader segment. Available with two-wheel-drive transmission as well, the new Panda looks great and comes with an abundance of character.

Trekking – Abundance in a Small Package

Fiat Panda’s flagship 4x4 model remains the sole four-wheeler in the automobile market to have crammed a four-wheel drive transmission into a supermini. If you are game for the features and appearance of the Panda 4x4, but want an economical option in terms of running costs, then Trekking it is. State-of-the-art equipment and awesome looks characterise the new Fiat Panda Trekking.

Fiat labels this new version of Panda 4x4 as a City Utility Vehicle, abbreviated as CUV. The new Trekking is an apt missing link between the flagship version of Panda 4x4 and the remaining models in its supermini series.

Engine Options

Like the original model, Fiat Panda Trekking comes with a choice of either a 1.3 litre MultiJet diesel engine with a power output of 74bhp, or a 2-cyl 875cc TwinAir turbocharged petrol version. The diesel engine automobile comes equipped with a 5-speed gear system, while the petrol version gets a new 6-speed gearbox.

Also, the diesel engine is quite audible, literally growls from under the bonnet; whereas the petrol engine is far more silent and sounds closer to a scooter. While on the move, the loud diesel engine raises its volume further and the sound is further intensified at high speeds with the whistling of wind about the bottom of A-pillars and side mirrors in the entire Panda 4x4 and Trekking range.

The torque generated from this engine is a respectable 190Nm, raised from the previous 145Nm. The engine offers strong acceleration as well as meets off-road low speed need with equivalent ease.

More Features and Pricing

The new Fiat Panda Trekking is estimated to be priced at £12,500, about £1,500 cheaper than the Panda 4x4; and the standard model will come with the same list of high-end equipment as the latter. Also, at 80kg lesser in weight and complexity than the equivalent version of 4x4, it has an improved fuel efficiency of 67.3mpg and a carbon emission rate of 109g/km.

The 15-inch alloy wheels, climate control feature, sturdy underbody protection, centralised locking and latest MP3-compatible stereo system come as standard equipment on this Fiat CUV. Trekking sprints from 0-62mph in 13.2 seconds and goes to the top speed of 100mph.

Test driving the new Fiat Panda Trekking at Fiat’s Balocco test circuit amidst tarmac, gravel and log segments gives a fair idea about its abilities, which are almost identical to the Panda 4x4. Trekking has its ride height increased by 47mm, exactly like Panda 4x4; that and the added suspension ascertains extreme comfort during on road and off-road travel.

Trekking is also characterised with a unique Traction+ system on its front axles, due to which brakes get the ability to prevent slipping of wheels and also the grip performance of wheels is enhanced. This places Trekking at par with the Panda 4x4 when it comes to off-road performance. Fiat Panda Trekking will be up for sale in a few days, beginning November 2012.

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