Jeep and Fiat score in top 4X4 awards

The legendary Jeep Wrangler has once again demonstrated its off-road prowess by scooping another major honour: 4x4 Magazine’s “Extreme 4X4 of the Year”. The specialist magazine’s panel of experts placed the iconic American off-roader ahead of some extremely capable competitors, including the Land Rover Defender.

The judges praised the Wrangler’s awesome off-road capability, its style, and its high level of standard equipment. “For the second year running, it’s the all-round package and value for money that means it out-scores rivals to take our top spot,” explains Hils Everitt, editor of 4x4 Magazine.

The Wrangler 2.8 CRD Sport manual requires just 7.1 litres of fuel per 100km (on the combined cycle ) and has a CO2 figure of 187g/km which places it in VRT Band E. Prices for the entire Jeep range will be revised for June 2011 when Fiat Group Automobiles Ireland takes over the distribution of Jeep vehicles in Ireland.

Fiat also scores a 4x4 win

Meanwhile, the rugged Fiat Panda Cross has scooped 4X4 Magazine’s “Budget 4x4 of the Year” award, beating out competitors like Suzuki Jimny and, again, the Lada Niva. The judges were impressed by the Panda’s off-road capability explaining that: “The full-time 4x4 system shifts torque to the wheels with the most grip, just like a full-size 4x4.” According to the editor of 4x4 Magazine, Hils Everitt, the Panda Cross boasts as much “all-terrain capability [as] most owners ever need”.

Although the Panda Cross isn’t currently on sale in Ireland, in light of our ever-harsher winters a 4X4 version of the all-new Panda will be offered to Irish customers when the model goes on sale towards the end of 2011.

Prices and specifications will be confirmed closer to the new Panda’s launch but Fiat Group Automobiles Ireland tells us that it is determined to ensure the new model will be Ireland’s most affordable all-wheel drive vehicle, with a high level of standard specification factored in.

The current Panda Cross features ESP with Hill Holder, an electronic differential lock, air conditioning, and alloy wheels as standard, while its fuel consumption figure is 5.2L/100km (combined cycle ) and its CO2 emissions of 136g/km place it in VRT Band B.

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