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Gurney

Angry Panda

Having been towed out of a field for the 3rd time in the VRS I have finally come to the belated conclusion that I have the wrong car. Spending most of our lives either in the Lakes or Scotland or Chamonix finding parking for some nutter trail race the penny has finally dropped, we need an economical utilitarian go anywhere vehicle.

The VRS has been pretty good, fairly quick, spacious and reliable and it makes a nice noise when asked. Downsides, it likes a drink of synthetic, the DSG rattles like a bunch of angry American snakes (they all do that sir and per Google indeed they do) and despite the fact I have a set of winter tyres and wheels because they are never on when you need them it's entirely useless off-road which to be fair it's makers never regarded as a priority.

I have looked at Cacti - good ground clearance, stick a set of Goodyear Vectors on and it would fit the bill but for some intangible reason it didn't gel. Never did get to drive one.

Renault Captur, love the looks and I could get a half decent dual clutch box, again I got no further than a sit and play.

Pug 2008, this has a clever traction control on the driven wheels and whilst I wasn't as happy with the exterior/interior it did meet the criteria better than the Cactus/Captur. One of my staff bought one, it lasted a whole 2 weeks before the gearbox frambagulated itself on the 13th floor of the office stacker. Oh what fun we had arranging a breakdown truck that would fit in the restricted height of the car park. I was a bit put of.

Fiat Panda Trekking, like the Pug clever electronics sort front wheel grip out in awkward situations plus it also has all season M&S tyres which arguably are even more important. I went to see one and there on the forecourt was a very recently arrived Panda Cross in "Tropicalia" yellow. Now I don't need the abilities of even the Panda 4x4 never mind the Cross and besides it looks like someone has attached Velcro to the body and ram-raided Halfrauds.

It was a TwinAir no problem for me as I loathe Diseasils. The Yeti TD140 was an excellent car but I thought the engine was Shite and I only averaged 40 mpg whilst paying 4p a litre extra for doing Farmer Giles impersonations. The TA of course is notorious for getting nowhere near the EEC stats but I am reliably told it is possible providing you drive like a nun With 11 points on her license after a heavy night on the communion wine.

I thoroughly enjoyed driving it, despite appearing to be eleventy one feet off the ground and contrary to several journos I did not need to call out nautical terms such as Jibing or tacking as it heeled over at every corner. The twin made the most odd noise when going for it then faded to a distant hum when cruising I also seemed to be in no danger of contracting vibration white finger. To cut a long story short I bought one, arrives Decemberish. Loved the yellow and the red so of course bought a Tuscany Green version. Way more off road capability than I actually need but I WANTED it. Full Scamper spec, think the only option I haven't ticked is the city brake doohickey. Kind of looks like a Barbour Welly in green, very huntin/shooti/fishin. I will have to get a flat cap and start wearing tweed.

Roadrunner

Sounds good. I look forward to the pics.
him

I may be half asleep and it might be obvious, but which one did you buy?

PG

him wrote:
I may be half asleep and it might be obvious, but which one did you buy?



I think the Panda Cross. With a Twinair. Is that right?
Martin

him wrote:
I may be half asleep and it might be obvious, but which one did you buy?



I'm guessing it's a Trekking rather than a Cross?

Trekking



Cross



I'll wait for the answer before I comment á
Giant

I didn't realise these even existed! I really like the previous generation, was very utilitarian, the Cross (I think!) looked almost Micro Land Rover.
I'm not such a fan of the latest squircly Panda.
Stuntman

I love the idea of these clever Pandas.  Well done - I look forward to your reporting on it as an owner!
Gurney

It's a Cross. The one I test drove was the double of the piccy Martin posted. Pretty it ain't - too tall and narrow (as was the Labia) but it's not something you would mind getting slutched up to glory and this seems to happen with monotonous regularity, either my fishing exploits or Steph's fell racing are to blame for that.

Can't find any Cross pictures in the Tuscany green but if you imagine the Trekking Martin posted plus added carbuncles you have it

To be honest the Trekking/4x4 is far easier on the eye
Frank Bullitt

Brilliant, such wonderful cars - relatively inexpensive too!

I prefer the current model to the old one, but they all drive well.

Was your colleagues 2008 the 'EGC' semi auto model? If so, they all do that sir...
Gurney

It was the EGC, a software flash seems to have cured it.

One thing the Cross has which is new to me though probably not to Fordophiles is a heated front screen. Almost looking forward to some filthy weather to test it out.

I am also thinking the Cross will look a little more restrained in the green rather than the retina burn yellow.

Always fancied an off road Panda, every time I go skiing it seems that Alpine Europe would grind to a halt if it wasn't for the Panda 4x4, you even see original versions still scuttling along.

Surely VW could do a "trekking" fancy anti slip, all season tyres and a jacked Up Up. Remember seeing a concept though I am not sure it had the tyres/diff. Surely there is a market?
gooner

Sounds good. My wife loves her previous gen Panda, which is very utilitarian but all the better for it. What Skoda vRS do you currently have?
Michael

There would be one of these in my dream garage. Enjoy!
Roadsterstu

Definitely the considered choice. Nice one! I think the current gen Panda with it's rounded off corners has gelled into a cracking design. A good combination of style and practicality.

I look forward to the pics!
Gurney

Gooner I have a Fabia VRS. It's a thoroughly enjoyable warm hatchback just not suited to what I currently need out of a car.
PhilD

Good work! A quick google reveals I can't tell what a  4x4, Trekking, and Cross actually are (is one 2 wheel drive?) but agree with those who love the Panda.
gooner

Gurney wrote:
Gooner I have a Fabia VRS. It's a thoroughly enjoyable warm hatchback just not suited to what I currently need out of a car.


Good car that, my dad had a mk1 vRS Fabia but I agree it's probably not cut out for off roading. The Panda seems a very logical choice.
Gurney

The Trekking is a new idea it is identical in every way to a Panda 4x4 - raised ride height, M&S tyres and high spec but instead of 4wd it has a a clever traction + control which works at the push of a button on the driven front wheels, works very well and for 99% of the time (inc me) it's all the get out of jail you would need. Of course not hauling round the extra 4wd gu bins saves weight and motion lotion.

The 4wd is a constant in the Panda range, there has always been one and it endows the Panda with far more serious off road abilities than the vast majority of soft roaders.

The Cross is always the uber Panda 4wd, even more off road ability and a range topper they have used in the past. It's even higher riding, has more power, terrain response, bigger tyres, revised springs and better approach angles and under body armour.

It seems short of a Defender there is little to touch them off road as the light weight affords it a unique advantage. Way more ability than I would need.

Nice to have something in the bank though.
Giant

Have googled Panda Cross Tuscany green it would appear from lack of images that you're getting quite a unique car, there were none that I could see! 4x4 Pandas have a 'I don't care about image, it's about function' style which is very appealing and unusual in this image obsessed world in which we reside. Look forward to seeing pictures. Hope it arrives bef˘re any bad weather does!
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Giant wrote:
Have googled Panda Cross Tuscany green it would appear from lack of images that you're getting quite a unique car, there were none that I could see!

From Fiat UK's website:

Sponsored by a writing instrument company? Wonder if you could get custom "Angry" signs made for the rear doors etc ?
PG

Giant wrote:
... 4x4 Pandas have a 'I don't care about image, it's about function' style which is very appealing and unusual in this image obsessed world in which we reside..!


That's what makes them so appealing. It's about the function not the style. But of course, that function gives them a style that others can only dream about.
Giant

PG wrote:
Giant wrote:
... 4x4 Pandas have a 'I don't care about image, it's about function' style which is very appealing and unusual in this image obsessed world in which we reside..!


That's what makes them so appealing. It's about the function not the style. But of course, that function gives them a style that others can only dream about.


Indeed, if Top Gear's Cool Wall still existed, it would be Sub Zero, through virtue of not trying to be cool or fashionable
Bob Sacamano

Giant wrote:
PG wrote:
Giant wrote:
... 4x4 Pandas have a 'I don't care about image, it's about function' style which is very appealing and unusual in this image obsessed world in which we reside..!


That's what makes them so appealing. It's about the function not the style. But of course, that function gives them a style that others can only dream about.


Indeed, if Top Gear's Cool Wall still existed, it would be Sub Zero, through virtue of not trying to be cool or fashionable


I think there's plenty of Italian style and coolness going on there, some of the design touches are trying just a bit too hard. That said, the Panda is on our list as a possible replacement for the 500, depending on whether or not the dog can fit in the back.
TreVoR

If I didn't need the space then a Panda 4x4 of some description would have been ideal for me.
Martin

I assume you're all referring to the the original Panda 4x4 when talking about not trying to be cool, function over form etc? áSurely all the stick on bits that the Cross has are exactly the opposite?

It sounds ideal for the brief in this case, hopefully it will turn out áthat way!
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Looks great - we'll all be interested to see what real world mpg you get!
Racing Teatray

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
Looks great - we'll all be interested to see what real world mpg you get!


Twinair's are very susceptible to how you drive them. I suspect my wife gets double the MPG out of hers than I do. That's because I can never resist revving the nuts off it.

Good choice. I like Panda 4x4s. My father is on his third but not sure the current one is last gen or this gen, having never actually seen it.
PhilD

Martin wrote:
I assume you're all referring to the the original Panda 4x4 when talking about not trying to be cool, function over form etc? áSurely all the stick on bits that the Cross has are exactly the opposite?


Pre-facelift Cross looks great, and just on the right side of not trying too hard.
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Racing Teatray wrote:
I like Panda 4x4s.

A car for Brazil?
PhilD

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
Racing Teatray wrote:
I like Panda 4x4s.

A car for Brazil?


This is starting to remind me of Death in Paradise  
Bob Sacamano

I suspect a Panda 4x4 would be very expensive in Brazil.
Gurney

I suspect I will fall into the "Rev the nuts of it" category it also seems you can forget economy till at least 5000 miles have passed, still, judging from the drive I had at least I will have fun not achieving the quoted figures.

I think the current Cross tries a bit too hard on the styling front, yes it's more capable off-road but....

I am irresistibly drawn to it nevertheless, don't know why

 
Gurney

Hooray....and Bollocks!



It's arrived!

And bollocks it just wrote off a brand new Nissan Puke driven by a whale that walks - or in this case drives on Trinity way in Manchester.

The angry Panda has a dinged bonnet/radiator/bumper/skid plate and cracked number plate/headlight lens but everything works and I drove to work as normal this morning (it happened 5:30ish last night). Whale boy (late teens early 20's) and 25 stone minimum decided to turn right after the filter arrow had just changed to a straight green. You get about 3 to 4 seconds after the filter arrow goes out to clear the junction then it's just a matter of waiting for a safe gap. He didn't bother, damned near caught the car on my right and I T boned him. Cue lots of bent Nissan bits.

Of course it wasn't his fault and to cap it all the car he just missed to my right contained two Asian lads and the young daughter of one of them. They were not best pleased and even less so when he racially abused them in a tirade that lasted a good 5 minutes. They have left me their details as you would imagine.

My insurance company says worse possible scenario is that I would have to pay half my excess, rather not but we shall see.
TreVoR

Nice. Utter pisser about the accident already!  
Roadsterstu

It looks (looked) nice. I like that. Quirky, a bit different.

Sorry to hear about the RTC with Fat Bastard. Hope it is sorted quickly and there are no injuries.
Martin

I can't see the picture at work, but I bet you're seriously annoyed about having an accident so soon, I'd be distraught.

I hope it gets fixed quickly and without any financial pain.
Gurney

Cheers guys, no injuries although the Cross nearly harpooned the Whale mother (who was fortunately rather more rational than he was).

Interesting little critter, the TwinAir sounds like something electrical purchased from Ann Summers which has just been thrown in a Wasp's nest whilst your accelerating then...silence once your up to your chosen cruising speed.

Only done 400 miles so far so no real chance to get to grips with it yet.
PG

Re: Hooray....and Bollocks!

Gurney wrote:
... Whale boy (late teens early 20's) and 25 stone minimum.....


Whale boy   Great description. Maybe the Japanese could come and harpoon him and drag him off for dismemberment?

Gurney wrote:
....They were not best pleased and even less so when he racially abused them in a tirade that lasted a good 5 minutes. They have left me their details as you would imagine.

Perhaps he needs a visit from the local constabulary for such an outburst?

And a total pisser about the damage.
gooner

That's a bugger about having an accident so soon. I wasn't sure about your description, was it your fault? Or did get actually go when he wasn't supposed to?

Otherwise the car looks good, I quite like the squarecle shaped Panda, though the wife prefers her mk2.
Racing Teatray

Ouch ouch.

Was it the human cetacean's own Puke, or that of mummy rorqual (was she similarly proportioned)?
Boxer6

I'm with you on the looks - quirky, but somehow alluring at the same time.

Pisser about your incident; hope it turns out the right way - for you!
Frank Bullitt

That is a major pisser to say the least, hopefully it will get sorted to your satisfaction.
Gurney

''Twas the cetaceans own Puke, swanky alloys and a private plate as well, naturally it was out in the dark due to the curfew imposed upon Pukes out of consideration for old Ladies and small children.

As to whose fault I was on the inside lane of a dual carriageway and had just moved off as the lights had turned green. Whale boy was turning right on the opposite carriageway. You get a filter light then it goes to a green light and you have 3 to 4 seconds before the lights turn green for the main carriageway (where I was) he can not have turned on a filter light as my lights would still have been red. He just chanced his flippers and scored a big fail. Missed the Asian lads in the outside lane by a gnats pube and as he shot in front of them arrived neatly so as I could T bone him.

"Why didn't I stop" he wailed as I haven't yet perfected the art of seeing clean through adjacent cars I had only milliseconds to react. Fortunately I was only doing about 20-25 mph having just got away from the lights and was a car length behind the car in the outside lane.

AXA my insurer say worst possible scenario is 50/50.
gooner

Only trouble with 50/50 is that it sounds like there's less damage on your car so you'll still end up paying through the nose. His case is indeed that you should have stopped, but I can see how the car in the outside lane would have blocked your view. If he went after the filter had turned off, perhaps you have a strong case for him to answer. Trouble is you have no proof and he'll probably deny it! The Asian lads could be a good witness if you gave their details and might be happy to drop him in it following his racist outburst. Of course it could also depend on whether your insurance company are willing to fight it.
Gurney

Filter light would def have been off, been through that piece of road for 15 years and the main carriageway does not get a green till the right turn has been on a green (not a filter arrow) for at least 3-4 seconds. Lots of CCTV there too.
gooner

Gurney wrote:
Filter light would def have been off, been through that piece of road for 15 years and the main carriageway does not get a green till the right turn has been on a green (not a filter arrow) for at least 3-4 seconds. Lots of CCTV there too.


I don't doubt you Gurney, but he'll probably argue that he had the filter and I doubt your insurer will chase the CCTV when they can just agree to a quick 50/50 settlement. You'll have to fight for them to pursue a better outcome than that.
Boxer6

gooner wrote:
Gurney wrote:
Filter light would def have been off, been through that piece of road for 15 years and the main carriageway does not get a green till the right turn has been on a green (not a filter arrow) for at least 3-4 seconds. Lots of CCTV there too.


I don't doubt you Gurney, but he'll probably argue that he had the filter and I doubt your insurer will chase the CCTV when they can just agree to a quick 50/50 settlement. You'll have to fight for them to pursue a better outcome than that.


And even then they'll simply tell you to "do one", if LV from a couple of years ago are any guide.

I fucking hate insurance companies, even more than HMRC!    
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Can you get the police involved or is this a civil mattter? He shouldn't have been where he was - on your side of the road - unless he had good reason to be there , ie filter on (which it wasn't) or no traffic coming.

Hopefully you will be able to pressure your insurance co to get his insurance co to respond.

About 15 years ago, someone reversed into the front of the Scenic when she changed her mind about staying in a queue for a car park and didn't look in her mirrors first.  I notified my insurance co within hours but the other party took a few days to notify hers.  I'd already arranged for repairs to my car to be carried out as the healamp aim had been altered, not quite rendering the car unroadworthy, but IMHO unsafe to drive at night.  I got my excess back within a few weeks
Gurney

The police were called by the Asian lads after Whale boy quoted chapter and verse of the NF manifesto at them. They weren't interested however and never did show.

Gooner you are undoubtedly right, can't see them busting a gut over this and to live up to their legalised banditry image I will be surprised if I get better than 50/50 from AXA.

Already had the car assessed and providing they can get the parts - a big if with an oddball Fiat they are confident it will be repaired before Christmas.

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