Fiat's new Avventura is high on the desirability quotient and is sure to attract a ton of buyers to the company's showrooms, says Faisal Ali Khan of MotorBeam.com
Fiat has always offered some good cars in the Indian market but somehow due to lack of marketing and dealership network, the automaker hasn't struck gold in the Indian market. This is in spite of Fiat being present in India for a really long time.
Fiat has gone aggressive and started setting up its own independent dealership network last year.
The company has announced plans to launch four new models in 2014, three of them have already gone on sale and the latest is the Avventura crossover.
Fiat cars always have a design flare which immediately attracts people. The Avventura is based on the Punto Evo and thus many of its design elements are shared with its hatchback sibling.
However, Fiat has given the Avventura some distinct design cues including a rugged front bumper, all round body cladding, roof rails and a tail gate mounted spare wheel. The Avventura also gets 16-inch alloy wheels as standard across the range.
The car does look attractive and macho which makes people give it a second glance almost all the time.
The interiors of the Avventura are shared with the Punto Evo as well. However Fiat has made multiple changes to the cabin.
The Avventura gets different colours on the dashboard with an Alcantara type grey finish in the centre. The dual tone interior looks good and the brown finish on the door pads and seats go well with the theme of this vehicle.
The Avventura also gets a compass and inclinometers on the top of the centre console which is a nice touch.
Cabin quality is good and the vehicle feels very solid although plastics are a bit hard and fit-finish could have been better.
There is decent amount of room in the cabin but tall passengers will want more room at the rear. The driving position is far from perfect but one does get used to it with time.
The vehicle comes equipped with quite a lot of features and even the mid-trim gets a lot of equipment as standard.
The spare wheel isn't conventional like seen on SUVs, one has to open the spare wheel cover outward then open the tail gate upwards.
Fiat is offering the Avventura with two engine options. The petrol motor is the 1.4-litre unit which generates 90 PS and 115 Nm.
This unit offers decent drivability and although not as free-revving as similar capacity motors, the performance offered is adequate for most conditions. The FIRE mill won't set your pulse racing but impresses with the flexibility if offers.
It's mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox which has decent shifts, the clutch is light too. The ARAI certified mileage of the petrol Avventura is 14.4 km/l which is quite low compared to competition.
The diesel Avventura is powered by the now ubiquitous 1.3-litre Multijet engine which is offered in the higher state of tune, equipped with a variable geometry turbocharger.
This oil burner thrusts out 93 PS and 209 Nm, offering a good mid-range punch but has quite a lot of low-end lag which hampers in-town drivability.
The clutch is well weighed but the gearbox isn't smooth and feels a bit notchy. The ARAI certified mileage of the diesel Avventura is 20.5 kmpl.
Fiat has increased the ground clearance of the Avventura which is now 205 mm. The company has worked on the suspension and has given the car an anti-roll bar at the rear.
The balance between ride and handling is fantastic, body roll is well contained and the car is quite fun to drive.
The hydraulic steering offers excellent feedback at all times and the grip on offer is tremendous. Braking performance is excellent too and so is the ride quality, the Avventura taking most things in its stride with utmost ease.
The Fiat Avventura is a great effort and the Italian automaker has put its best foot forward to develop this car.
While rivals are offering pseudo SUVs, the Avventura is more genuine to the concept of a crossover, although it still isn't a 100 per cent crossover.
While it doesn't have engines which give it heart thumping performance, the car does impress in multiple ways.
Priced between Rs 711,000 and 987,000 (on-road price in Mumbai), this Fiat is a good option for those looking for style and driving involvement.