Thursday – Panda Shoots & Leaves

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Last, sunny day with the Panda 4×4. A memorable week which has left me totally undecided about the merits of a tiny four-wheel drive based on a supermini.

Whether you think the Fiat is cute or contorted, it does turn heads. The upright styling doesn’t do it for me, even with the extra body mouldings and chrome scuff plates front and rear. The Panda is just too small for the off-road make-over.

Inside, the ‘squircles’ design theme is taken to the limit and gives some of the dash dials an awkward look and feel. This is especially true of the heater dials, which look like they have melted in the sun. While the door handles are awkward to grip.

There’s room for four adults, just, but you wouldn’t want to be travelling too far in the back. The boot is a decent size and there are plenty of storage spaces – many more than bigger cars usually offer.

Overall, the Panda 4×4 works best in an urban environment, or as a second car for those bad winter days of ice and snow. As that is a luxury few of us can afford, I’m not entirely sure who will buy the Panda 4×4, despite it’s excellent off-road abilities.

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