Auto focus

Fiat ‘crosses-over’ with the Avventura

Debabrata Sarkar | | Updated on: Mar 12, 2018
31BL_FIAT1

31BL_FIAT1

BL31_FIAT2

BL31_FIAT2

BL31_FIAT3

BL31_FIAT3

BL31_FIAT4

BL31_FIAT4

BL31_FIAT5

BL31_FIAT5

BL31_auto_Fiat_Avventura.eps

BL31_auto_Fiat_Avventura.eps

Built on the Punto Evo, is the Avventura just a lot of cladding or is it a honest crossover?

Ever since the Ford EcoSport turned out to be a raging success, manufacturers have been scrambling to try their hand at a small crossover hatchback. Fiat joined the party last with the Avventura, which they had showcased at the Auto Expo at the beginning of the year, and by the look of it, they have managed to do a good job with it. You may argue that like the Cross Polo and the Etios Cross, the Avventura is also basically a Punto Evo with a shot of steroids, but then you’d be wrong.

Design

For starters, Fiat has put in a fair bit of thought and effort with the Avventura. Instead of simply re-designing the bumpers for a more aggressive stance and slapping on some cladding, Fiat has gone ahead and added a spare wheel which sits on the rear bumper and looks pretty cool, roof rails which can take on a Thule kit or even a cycle rack and a trio of instruments on top of the dash reading out information regarding the direction you are heading in, and tilt and pitch angles. The Avventura also sits 10mm higher than the Punto Evo making for ground clearance that is as impressive as the Duster at 205mm. Consequently, they have managed to improve on an already impressive, well-proportioned design that is the Punto, with the right amount of aggression and macho thrown in.

Cabin

The re-designed dash that features in the Punto Evo makes an appearance in the Avventura as well, with the addition of the three dials at the top of the dash. The smooth, curvy design on the centre console looks clean and the contrast provided by the soft touch plastic which mimics an alcantara finish adds a bit of finesse. The air-con controls, however, feel neglected and fail to match the same level of quality. Interestingly, Fiat has chosen not to introduce the Emotion variant with the petrol engine, so if you want climate control, steering mounted controls and the Blue & Me system you have to opt for the diesel variant. The contours on the supportive front seats take a bit of getting used, but keep you comfortable. Legroom in the rear seat is just about adequate and can get tight in case you are a tall driver. Boot space is also pretty generous with the deep recess and the folding rear seats giving you enough room to play around even with larger loads.

Performance

On the move, the Avventura, equipped with a 1.4-litre petrol engine in our test car, makes 89bhp and 115Nm of torque. Performance is relaxed, especially with the 1,190kg kerb weight that it has to carry around. In the city, the light clutch and smooth gearshifts make it easy to potter around with the ratios on the five-speed manual gearbox – not demanding too many gearshifts. On the highway, the engine ticks over at 3,000rpm while doing triple digit speeds. However, you need to really work the motor to get some bit of enthusiasm out of it. Fiat’s stumbling block with the petrol engine, however, is its relatively poor efficiency – even the manufacturer claims only a best of 14.4kpl on a highway run. The 1.3-litre diesel motor is rated for more power and torque and delivers better efficiency at 20.5kpl.

The lack of poke is especially disappointing with the beautifully balanced chassis on the Avventura, which with some suspension tweaks and the addition of a roll bar also rides incredibly well. While body-roll remains noticeable, the re-worked suspension along with the fatter 205/55 tyres wrapped around special 16-inch rims keeps the car planted around corners and you will rarely hear a tyre let out a squeal even when you push it hard. Ride quality over broken surfaces also is excellent.

Bottomline

It is difficult to imagine any manufacturer reaching the level of popularity that the EcoSport managed, especially with the way the Cross Polo and the Etios Cross have fallen by the way side, but if there was one promising contender, it has to be the Fiat Avventura. Not only is it an excellent car to look at, but it rides and handles very well too.

The diesel powertrain is the better bet and likely to be the more popular choice for obvious reasons. And with prices starting at ₹5.99 lakh for the petrol variant and ₹6.89 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for the diesel one it makes a pretty good case for itself.

Published on October 30, 2014
COMMENTS
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like

Recommended for you