• Jul 12th 2009 at 4:24PM
  • 10
Could this or something like it be the next Trail Rated Jeep here in the United States? Possibly, if current speculation that Fiat will bring its long-running Panda line to the U.S. in 2011 to fill the hole left by the expected cancellation of the mostly unloved Jeep Compass and Patriot twins.

Fiat's latest edition of the Panda is called the 4X4 Adventure and it's already painted up in a Jeep-appropriate green hue that's supposed to 'emphasize the car's bond with nature and Fiat's eternal special attention to the environment and sustainable transport.' Powered by a choice of four cylinder engines ranging from a 1.2-liter unit with just 60 horsepower to a 1.3-liter Multijet mill with a slightly more respectable 70 horsepower, this Panda is likely to be a fuel sipper.

Drivers in Italy get first crack at the new Panda 4X4 Adventure and Fiat promises to roll the new model out in the rest of Europe in short order. Pricing starts at 14,100 Euros (a shade under $20K in U.S. dollars), though that's not directly comparable to what it may cost if it ever makes it Stateside since it also includes value added taxes.

[Source: DueMotori.com]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I rode a Panda a long time ago and distinctly remember the feeling of riding in a death trap. The seats were basically a piece of canvas stretched over a tubular frame. The whole thing made you pine for the relative safety of a Citroen 2CV! I just hope things have improved significantly since my teenage years.

      D.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sounds like you are referring to the original '80s Panda desgned by Giugiaro (who also designed the original Golf). I also had one of these for a number of years, and besides the city-car design, also had incredible reliability and was able to take me through a good stretch across Europe on a single tank. Today Fiat has safety ratings which are second to none. All of the more recent models have the maximum Euroncap rating of 5 stars. That includes the Fiat 500, which was the smallest car ever to receive such a rating at the time. This honor now goes to the Toyota IQ, which is also an excellent vehicle. The reason the IQ even exists (and for that matter the Fiat Topolino project) is the marvellous feat of non-engineering that is the Smart, in terms of fuel-efficiency, safety rating, cost, passenger seats and engine size.... I think the logical thing would be to compare '80s cars with '80s cars.....
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would love to see the feisty little panda over here.
      Love, love, love it...
      However, I expect they will mess it up completely by putting some idiotic engine choice that has around 140hp but only returns 22mpg and then when nobody is interested decide it was because we didn't want small cars here.
      I am still slightly hopeful though that one of these companies gives americans a chance at truly fuel efficient engines.

      - Mike
        • 6 Years Ago
        Word!

        Ever since Toyota stopped making the Tacoma on a truly small frame we haven't seen a decent small 4x4 in the US. I don't know why they don't understand the value in small, fuel efficient, off road vehicles! Just look at the resale value of the 4x4 Tacomas before 2005 (smaller body); WAY overpriced because nobody makes a fuel efficient 4x4 any more. Let's see if Fiat can figure it out.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Great idea if Fiat wants to kill the Jeep name. The Compass is bad enough this would be heresy. If they want to bring it over keep it badged as a Fiat. Jeeps should retain the off road cred, why not a hybrid or a fully electric Jeep like they showed at the Detroit show?
      • 6 Years Ago
      This thing needs a diesel. I can't imagine the meager torque output from a 70HP engine. I drove a '91 Metro(about 50HP) and it sure wasn't up to off-roading. The Compass was a mistake that jeep should not repeat.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Multijet engine is a diesel. It's also only 1.3L, so the output is not bad considering the size. Plus, being a diesel, it's big benefit is torque, which is what moves weight.

        Consider the 1.9L VW TDI that powered numerous cars over the years. It was rated at only 90hp for the vast majority of its life. It also powered vehicles quite a bit larger and heavier than the Panda.

        The Panda is quite small and light, weighing in around 2,000lbs. Granted, it won't be a sports car, but the performance won't be bad. Problem is, today's consumers expect fast vehicles and consider anything that doesn't do 0-60 in 6sec or less to be dreadfully slow.

        That said, I'm not sure this will make the best Jeep, but I think it could be something like the original Suzuki Smaurai which is also quite small and light. Though admittedly, those Samurais are much more bred for off-road duty than a Panda would be.

        Similarly however, many of those early Samurais are now being converted to diesel power(often using VW TDI's) to increase efficiency and power for off-roading.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ugly, ugly, ugly.

      If people don't buy it's because it looks like crap.

      Changing the front end/grill work would do wonders for the vehicle.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree. That thing will never sell due to its sheer ugliness. On the plus side it will probably be the end of Jeep so there will be less Chrysler to bother us in the future.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks awfully outdated, straight from the early 90s.
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