The award comes from the specialist magazine 4×4 and MPV Driver, whose panel of expert judges put the new all-terrain Panda at the top of a list of extremely capable, and more expensive, competitors.
The judges praised the Panda’s off-roading capability, style and affordability but particularly highlighted the car’s 1.3 16v MultiJet turbodiesel engine – previously unavailable in a right-hand drive Panda 4×4.
“The diesel engine has made a star out of Fiat’s baby off-roader. It’s a viable motorway cruiser now, while bringing out the fun side of the Cross’s handling on twisty roads, something that is never at the expense of a surprisingly comfortable ride,” says Bob Murray, editor, 4×4 and MPV Driver.
“The Panda Cross rewrites the rulebook for baby 4x4s in most areas, emerging as a capable all-rounder at a time when small is increasingly beautiful. We say it is the best new 4×4 launched in the past 12 months.”
At £11,995 on-the-road, the Panda Cross is the cheapest diesel 4×4 available in the UK.