What am I looking at?
The special edition FIAT Panda 4×4 Antarctica, created to celebrate both 30 years of the Panda and the half million sales milestone.
So what’s new?
FIAT has taken the standard specification Panda 4×4 and thrown kit at it. On the inside you get special grey and orange upholstery and there’s tinted rear privacy glass in addition to the standard 4×4’s air conditioning and an electronic locking differential for when the going gets slippy.
On the outside, all Antarcticas are finished in white, with a black roof, orange detailing, special 15-inch alloy wheels and… well we’ll call them unsubtle and unique badges.
What powers it?
The Antarctica gets the same engine choices as the standard 4×4, so you can pick from the 0.9 litre TwinAir petrol or the 1.3 litre Multijet diesel. Either will return around 60mpg combined – 57.6mpg for the petrol and 60.1mpg for the diesel – and they’re in tax bands C and D respectively.
Both engines are paired with a manual gearbox, returning the 60mph sprint in 12.1s for the petrol and 14.5s for the diesel and both running out of steam around 100mph.
How much will it cost me?
The petrol version of the Antarctica will set you back 14,895, while the diesel costs 15,895 – both 900 more expensive than their standard 4×4 brethren.
Only 300 of these Antarcticas will be available for the UK, so you’ll need to get in quick if they take your fancy – particularly as the Panda’s developing quite the waiting list.
Though the Panda’s probably the class leader when it comes to dinky, budget 4×4 transport, the Suzuki SX4 and Dacia Duster both make good cases for themselves. If it’s just a small 4WD you’re after, the Suzuki Jimny is much more of a go-anywhere choice but it’s far less of an accomplished car than the others.
In a line…
A deserved salute to one of the best all-weather small cars there is.