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Old 06-08-2008   #1
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Panda Cross - prices

I managed to get a short test drive of the Panda Cross yesterday afternoon and thought you all might like my first impressions.

The car seems well screwed together and has an immediate impression of being solid and hard wearing. I'm not too impressed by all the plastic bits on the bodywork. I drove a dark green car which has bright sand coloured "protection" panels along the sides. I suppose they would be useful if the car was regularly used off road, but look a bit Fisher Price to my eyes. They would look much better if moulded in a colour to match the paint scheme. They also rather clash with the grey plastic trim at the front and rear. The plastic tray on the roof doesn't seem to have any particular function but the roof bars could be useful. The seats are nice and supportive, but strangely, with all this emphasis on off road potential, the middle seat panels are a pale cream colour which would soon get dirty.

The tiny spotlights look a bit silly in the huge plastic mounts. They seem to be this size as they also carry a pair of pressure washers directed at the headlights. Underneath the engine bay is a huge tubular metal sump protector. This is a much more serious affair than that fitted to the petrol 4X4 and should be really useful off road. The spare wheel bay was empty - the sales staff thought there was only a get you home inflator kit, but like the rest of the car's spec, they hadn't received any detailed information from FIAT.

The demo car had a spilt/folding rear seat, manual aircon, curtain airbags and a leather steering wheel. It may, or may not, be fitted with Bluetooth and electric windows. There was a panel missing from between the seats and lots of wires were visible. The salesman explained that this is how the car was delivered, which is a bit worrying. The car was very low on fuel when we drove away and we were a bit surprised when the voice of a nice Italian lady filled the car with some sort of warning message (I don't speak Italian) and a little icon started flashing on the dash panel. This meant that we could only drive a few miles at quite a steady pace.

The engine, as expected, is a little gem and pulls strongly from very low revs. Once warmed up, it's quiet but there seemed to be a lot of road rumble from the low profile tyres. We didn't get the chance to drive on any fast A roads but it wouldn't surprise me if long journeys became quite tiring from the noise. There's a "diff lock" button on the dash but obviously we couldn't really try this out apart from seeing that a little light came on when pressed.

I came away from the dealer with more questions than answers. FIAT seem very slow in telling the dealers exactly what the spec will be and what is "extra". The saleman we dealt with was very good, but only had the pre-release general info fax from FIAT. The UK brochure is still being printed and the car still hasn't appeared on FIATs website in the UK. The car is 11,995. We were told that this price included everything that we saw on the demonstrator. Frankly, I have my doubts. If you look at the websites for FIAT France and FIAT Italy, sliding back seats, metallic paint, bluetooth etc. are at extra cost. (Cross 17,900 euro, sliding seat 250 euro, bluetooth 350 euro, metal paint 400 euro, Total 18,900 euro which would be 14, 862!) If this is true, the Cross as we saw it would actually cost around 13,000, which is starting to get more than a bit pricey. You can get a 4X4 petrol from FIATSupasaver.com for 7695 - the difference would buy an awful lot off petrol at today's prices. When I asked the service manager about likely servicing costs, there was a lot of tooth sucking and head shaking, but reading between the lines, I get the impression that the Cross could cost nearly double the 2WD Panda diesel to service. There's also the question of depreciation which could be horrible. I'm starting to think that this is a classic case of buying used - there might be quite a few Cross demo cars coming up for sale in six months time?

I do have FIAT data on fuel consumption, which is more cheery news.

Urban 42.1 mpg
Extra Urban 67.3 mpg
Combined 54.3 mpg

and CO2 of 136 would would make road tax 120 a year.

I liked the car a lot and it would be ideal for us. We have a small summer house in the forests of Sweden. A standard size 4X4 is simply too big for the 20 Kms of tracks leading to the house. The Cross would get us in and out whatever the weather conditions, I'm confident of that. BUT at the moment we do this sort of thing in a bog standard Citroen C3 diesel, so do I really want to spend potentially 14,000 for the added security?

I'm waiting for FIAT to send me more price information before we decide to ask for a longer test drive. What's worrying is that when I rang FIAT UK Customer Relations to ask for a price list, the young lady there quite firmly told me that the Cross was NOT available in the UK. When I explained that we had in fact driven one that very afternoon, she told me I was "confused" and that it was an ordinary Panda diesel. When I insisted on having the right facts, I was promised a return phone call "within the hour". I'm still waiting.

It makes you want to cry.

Today, after a lot of work by my local FIAT saleman, I've managed to get some more pricing info for the Cross. I have tried FIAT Customer Relations (again) who promised to ring me back with full information (again) but haven't bothered (again). Typical.

Anyway, the standard car is 11,995. For this price you get orange paint, manual aircon, ESP, a leather steering wheel and gear knob, locking diff, 15" alloy wheels, space saver spare and a CD/MP3 player.

Extras are:

Split/sliding rear seat 200
Bluetooth 200
Metallic paint 375
Side airbags 200

My salesman worked this out from the vehicle consignment note which accompanied the car when it was delivered. Crazy way to do business, but we got there in the end.

The demo car which I drove would cost 13,020 with the extras fitted. We cannot find a price to upgrade aircon to climate control, but a guess would be 200 as for the FIAT 500.

There is currently a 0% finance offer from FIAT on the Cross, which might be considered essential for a potentially 13,500 car.
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Old 06-08-2008   #2
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Re: Panda Cross - prices

This pricing is, quite frankly, bonkers.
It puts a Panda 4x4 variant into the price range of a higher class of 4x4.
The pricing of the petrol 4x4 itself in Britain was a bit odd compared with the rest of Europe as we only had the top of the range Climbing which was discounted from its launch. Now we have a Diesel variant that is astronomically expensive.
I suspect Fiat are trying to make a bigger profit than they can manage with the rest of the Panda range in UK. Sadly, as the Panda Cross will hardly sell at this price, this profit will be negligible. It would be better to sell Diesel 4x4s in basic spec, steel wheels, narrower tyres, less body armour, and try to capture a bigger market.
I know I will be holding onto my petrol 4x4 until it falls apart as no additional fuel economy with the Cross can go anywhere to make up for the additional cost. The slightly better performance would be nice but not at such a cost.
Maybe, in 2-3 years time after huge depreciation I might be tempted to pick up a low mileage, used Cross.
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Old 06-08-2008   #3
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Re: Panda Cross - prices

The Italian voice on your test drive was probably asking you to pair your mobile with the Bluetooth...
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Old 06-08-2008   #4
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Re: Panda Cross - prices

There is one in my dealership in Cardiff. I loved the look of it and that's coming from someone who owns a 43 year old Land Rover. It did look like it would cope quite well off road but it would be totally impractical to use low profile road tyres on alloys off road.
I sincerely hope people don't buy these as a serious off road vehicle because they'll ruin a nice motor. They would be a good car for snow, ice and difficult country lanes only.
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Old 06-08-2008   #5
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Re: Panda Cross - prices

Oh dear, Fiat obviously don't wanna sell many Crosses in the UK, judging by that price, plus the exposed wires between the seats, Fiat UK saying the Cross isn't available in the UK, etc.

Just when you think theyre turning a corner, along comes their (Fiats') next cock up. Gotta love em.
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Last edited by JTD_Liam; 06-08-2008 at 22:21. Reason: Incorrect wording
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Old 07-08-2008   #6
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Re: Panda Cross - prices

The cross that I looked at had all terrain tyres fitted? the salesman was also willing to sell me the car same spec as you described for 11500 and also told me that they would throw in the metalic paint saving nearly 900 but if you read the other thread the finance with the MJ trade in fell through.

Fiat Finance also valued the car at 12001 and would only finance at that price.....
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Old 07-08-2008   #7
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Re: Panda Cross - prices

my local dealer (oldham) had a green cross on ramps outside this morning, I was planning to stop and have a nosey later on. I'll post up what price they'll do it for.
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Old 07-08-2008   #8
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Re: Panda Cross - prices

i got my b/w cross in switzerland, 2 months ago.
got it with Split/sliding rear seat, Bluetooth, Metallic paint, lock fuelcap, panda-carpets, and Side airbags.
its costs 27000 SFr, which is around 13100GBP.
i think its worth that price and i would buy it again.
greez, nick
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Old 08-08-2008   #9
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Re: Panda Cross - prices

There was one outside TJVickers yesterday - sticked up at 11795 i think.

Absolutely bonkers pricing - its a jacked up city car for goodness sake - yes its not half bad off road and its got a bit of kit to differentiate it from the norm, but its still a Panda.


On the subject of fiatsupsaver, the guy at TJV said they themselves will not supply FSS with cars for that money, so be wary as to whether they actually have a car at the stated price.
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Old 08-08-2008   #10
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Re: Panda Cross - prices

Quote Originally Posted by doctorchris View Post
This pricing is, quite frankly, bonkers.
I agree, and somewhere a long time back on this forum, did the maths to show that the fuel savings are wiped out by the higher purchase and servicing costs for a 'theoretical' diesel 4x4, and the case is even weaker with the Cross's even higher starting price.

But, that said:
Quote Originally Posted by doctorchris View Post
Maybe, in 2-3 years time after huge depreciation I might be tempted to pick up a low mileage, used Cross.
I'll race you for it (there won't be many to choose from!)

Pete
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