Have you ever driven through Rome? The place itself is beautiful. Bursting with history, flavours, and elegance. Each morning I’d gaze out of my window and admire the way the sunlight glistened off of the cobbled roads and follow the maze of side alleys as far as I could see until I became dizzy.
The roads are works of art. But like art, I certainly wouldn’t want to drive on them. Because of this, I struggle to understand how anybody gets anything done.
How does the local forno receive the ingredients they need to produce their succulent ciabatta? I can’t see a large hatchback fitting around some of those corners, let alone a delivery van. That’s why the Fiat 500 was so popular. It’s tiny, and therefore, easy.
Fiat enjoys the creation of ‘easy cars’ – its latest being the Panda City Cross. The Italians define it as a city crossover, whatever that is, but the main difference between it and the Panda Cross comes with the deletion of the drive shaft that takes power to the rear wheels.
No longer are the two engine choices available either, instead packed away neatly is a 1.2-litre petrol engine, producing 69hp. And while it may not be as off-road worthy as the Cross, the ride height is still raised and the lower panels are protected by chunky plastic. A front skid plate is available as an option, too.
In fact, the whole car can be specced to look exactly like the Cross if you wish, including the 15 inch wheels which make the whole car that much more appealing. Two paint colours are also new to this model: Minimal Grey and Electronica Blue, the latter being exclusive.
Nothing much has changed with the interior except for a copper dashboard if you tick the checkbox next to where it says ‘style pack’. But if you’re like me then this won’t attract you. What will attract you is the masses of space you didn’t expect such a small car to possess.
Now I understand. This is the answer to my ciabatta question. This car was made to traverse the narrow streets of a city like Rome while carrying the ingredients for my lunch. This is how the Italians get things done.
The Fiat Panda City Cross will cost from £12,995 OTR and is now available to order.