2012 Fiat Strada

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The new generation Fiat Strada was launched at the beginning of 2012 and compared with the old generation it features a radically changed exterior design together with a more upscale interior and stronger engines.

The vehicle is manufactured in the FIASA plant in Betim (Brazil) and continues the success of its predecessor.
The new generation Fiat Strada is available in three versions namely Working, Trekking and Adventure. There are also offered three body styles including Short Cab, Long Cab and Crew Cab configurations.

Until now, the Strada wasn’t available with a Crew Cab version and the addition of this new configuration is welcomed, as its makes the vehicle even more versatile being able to appeal to a wider range of customers.

The new Fiat Strada is equipped with a 95 hp engine which meets the latest Euro 5 emission norms. Prices range from $ 16000 for the 95 HP 1.3 MultiJet 16v Working Single Cab version to $ 20000 for the top-of-the-range 95 HP 1.3 MultiJet 16v Adventure Crew Cab version (exluding taxes).

Design

Fiat Strada

The new Strada has is a truly eye catcher and features a modern and aggressive design which copes great with its utilitarian genes. The front is dominated by a wide black grille that bares the company’s logo in its center.

The hood features a clean design and didn’t receive any crease which makes it pretty dull. The headlights however are fairly nice and we like their modern design which helps the vehicle to stand out from the crowd. The main lights are fitted with single-lens for the Working model and double-lens for the Trekking.

The neat bumper is seamlessly integrated into the rest of the body and it’s fitted with two round fog lamps that flank the two air vents grouped in a single rectangular box.

The Adventure model has a black grille and chrome-plated inserts framed by an insert which continues over the wheel arch protection. The Long Cab and Crew Cab versions have lengthwise roof bars and spoiler with integrated third brake light.

The new Strada keeps the same overall dimensions as the previous model with 4409 mm length (4457 mm for the Adventure version), 1664 mm width (1740 mm for the Adventure versions) and a wheelbase of 2718 mm.

The tailgate is opened by rotating the Fiat badge in its housing, a neat trick also found on some Volkswagen models.

Interior

Renault Kangoo

The vehicle has a spacious and airy cabin with plenty of leg and head room for both the driver and passenger. The material used for the dash and doors is hard, cheap-feeling textured plastic that sounds hollow when tapped with a finger. On the other hand, everything inside seems well fitted and the entire cabin has the potential to survive the grueling indignities of commercial duty.

The overall design is simple yet practical but we would’ve liked to see more storage places as we’re surprise to notice the lack of cup holders. Luckily most of the controls are intuitively placed and easy to reach.

The instrument cluster has also an intuitive layout and it’s four white faced gauges are easy to read. There is also a central information display which keeps you posted on various vehicle stats.

The seats aren’t the most comfortable units you’ll find around, but they offer decent side support and are covered in well-padded cloth with vinyl used on the sides and back for easier cleaning. To help you get more comfortable, there are fore and aft seat adjustments but they are a bit hard to use.

The driving position is pretty good and we also like the confident feel inspired by the three spoke steering wheel. Outward visibility is also part of the first class and the plate sized lateral mirrors offer a good rearward visibility.

Engines and performance

Fiat Strada

Power comes from a 1.3 Multijet 16v Euro 5 Engine which offers a maximum output of 95 HP with 200 Nm of torque achieved form as low as 1500 rpm. The engine is equipped with variable geometry turbocharger and intercooler and has an average fuel consumption of 5.3 liters/100 km.

This is the same unit that can be found at the Grande Punto and Linea and despite its limited power it feels pretty lively. It’s also offers a capable low down torque which permits it to deal easy with generous loads. Regardless of what load you’ll carry at the back, the engine won’t lose its punchy feel and will continue to offer the same driving experience.

Keep your foot plated on the accelerator pedal and you’ll hit 100 kmph in merely 13.5 seconds which is far from being impressive. Top speed is also average being rated at 169 hp.

Fiat Strada Engines Specifications

EnginehpNm@rpm
1.3 Multijet95200 @ 1500

Ride and handling

Fiat Strada

The Fiat Strada has a pretty harsh ride and finds it hard to keep the road bumps far from your spine. The hydraulic assisted steering however permits you to do sharp turnings without too much fuss, but you can expect to some directional instability in strong winds.

Overall the handling is at par with what you’ll usually find in this segment but the brakes don’t include ABS so the stopping power is average.

Verdict

Fiat Strada

The fully equipped Fiat Strada offers one of the most aggressive exterior styles find in this segment. Apart from its rugged and purposeful look, the vehicle has a generous payload capacity which makes it a capable and reliable work horse. The engines are also tried and tested and offer proper performances with a good fuel consumption. You won’t complain about the ride and handling either and the build quality is also decent.


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