Well, top marks to the marketing team at Fiat for trying to be fun and cute with the names of the new Panda line. With a name like “Panda”, cute is kind of in the order of the day. However, the name of the new diesel powered Panda, the Fiat Panda Trekking, inevitably conjures up mental images of round and cuddly black and white critters with backpacks going on a long journey – kind of like a cross between Kung Fu Panda and the book/documentary Walking Home From Mongolia.
Well, I can keep the cute bit, at least slightly, but not the cuddly part: the new Fiat Panda Trekking has added a macho twist into the styling, giving it a higher stance and transforming it into a sort of crossover between the fun little hatch we all know and love, and a 4×4. The Fiat Panda Trekking isn’t a 4×4 (it’s got front wheel drive) but it has got a bit of extra ground clearance and traction control (known as Traction+) that will make it a bit more at home on back country roads. The Traction+ package comes on top of the ABS brakes and the stability control.
I can also keep the long journey bit, as the Fiat Panda Trekking has been designed to be frugal on the diesel. Its little diesel engine (1.3 litres) is economical (exact figures for Australia aren’t available on the official Fiat Australia website yet) and is low on the CO2 emissions, too. This thriftiness is aided by Stop/Start technology, which is just perfect for all that waiting at traffic lights that the Fiat Panda Trekking is likely to be doing with the typical buyer. This little engine isn’t the world’s gruntiest but puts out a respectable 55 kW hp of maximum power and 190 Nm of maximum torque. This is ample for getting you from A to B cheaply and quickly, and the target market for the Fiat Panda Trekking isn’t likely to care too much about speed and power, so the designers have done their homework well.
When it comes to the design of the Fiat Panda Trekking, the newly coined word “squircle” just has to be used (yes, the Fiat team came up with “squircle”, or at least they came up with the Italian equivalent). A “squircle”, for those who haven’t guessed already, is a square with rounded off corners and a slight bulge in the middle – kind of like a very full wool bale or a marshmallow. This shape has been used as the signature for the interior and the exterior design – it’s rather hard to find anything on the Fiat Panda Trekking that isn’t a squircle, except for the Fiat logo on the nose and the steering wheel – and the 15-inch alloys wheels, of course. Even the manual gear shift lever (it’s got five gears) is a squircle rather than the traditional globes found in other cars. The overall effect is to give the Fiat Panda Trekking chunky, fun looks.
The Fiat Panda Trekking also has some design features that set it apart from its other Panda stablemates (or littermates, as befits something named after a type of bear (I’m not going to get into a taxonomic debate here, OK? I’ll call it a bear!)). It has specialised bodykit, Trekking seats that come heated, fog lamps and a heated windscreen. Some of the very many accessories that can be used to customise your Fiat Panda Trekking include a snowboard rack, so you can end up with a little car that can end up handling the cold conditions of the road to the ski slope without the rear window misting up.
There are gazillions of accessories for customising your Fiat Panda Trekking, ranging from decals (featuring squircles, of course), badges and coloured wing mirror covers through to more practical things like rear cargo nets and dog divider nets that stop the pooch in the back of the hatch wriggling through into the cabin.
Naturally, a fun modern car like the Fiat Panda Trekking will have plenty of bells and whistles for the driver and passenger to play with. Climate control, electric wing mirrors, USB and Aux input for the six-speaker audio system, height adjustable driver’s seat are just a few of the offerings. The design team have really had a lot of fun with making sure that this little five-door hatchback has lots of storage space – there are even storage compartments in the steering wheel.
Current model series include:
For any more information on the Fiat Panda Trekking, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Fiat dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!