Fiat’s India journey hasn’t been smooth enough as the Italian automaker wasn’t able to capture the minds of the mass market. That could change with the company’s latest offering, the Fiat Avventura. It’s no secret that we Indians love SUVs and even crossovers are finding good flavour with a majority of buyers, case in point being the Ford EcoSport. While it will take Fiat sometime to bring in a compact SUV, the Avventura crossover should serve the purpose well in the immediate future and although it looks like an athletic Punto Evo, there is much more than what meets the eye. This is one car which has the potential to change Fiat’s fortunes in India overtime, or can it? We had to drive it to find out just that.
DESIGN AND STYLE ;
Take a look at the new Avventura and it definitely appears to be far more interesting and muscular than the existing crossovers which are already present in the Indian market. Although you will still find the presence of extra black cladding all around the vehicle in order to make it appear tough looking but there is no doubt in the fact that it still somehow it manages to attract your second glance with its appeal.The front of the car seems a bit overdone but other might think differently, the front of this crossover gets a huge stylish set of pulled back headlamps we saw projector units fitted to the Concept variant but unfortunately the production version received only halogen units. The rest of the front has a stylish new Fiat grille along with a muscular lower grille available along with skid plates and underbody protection. The Avventura which was showcased at the 2014, Auto expo also had daytime running lamps on its front lower bumper which is a very common feature that is now available in almost all the other stylish vehicles in the Indian market in order to increase their overall appeal but the Avventura does not receive any instead it gets fog lamps which too comes in handy.
Take a look at the side profile of the Avventura and you will notice the presence of bigger and stylish 16 inch alloy wheels which definitely looks cool and will definitely attract the attention of the young generation. Beside the bigger alloy wheels you will also notice that Fiat has increased the overall ground clearance of the vehicle than their actual Punto hatch and believe it or not the Avventura comes with an amazing 205 mm ground clearance. Lastly the Avventura does not actually get fake roof rails only for the styling purpose instead the Avventura comes with aluminum roof rails which you actually can use in real life situation.Walk towards the rear of the car and you will notice that the spare wheel has been fitted at the back of the vehicle it also gets a elegant wheel cover with the words Avventura written all over it take a closer look and you will notice that the spare wheel has actually been mounted with an arm which has been hinged with the rear bumper of the Crossover. The tail lamps and the rear bumpers also look new and add the aggressive look to the car.
CABIN AND COMFORT ;
The interiors of the Avventura are contemporary. Fiat has upped its ante with the new instrument panel styling, however the only downside this has is its resemblance to the interiors on the Punto Evo and the Linea. The quality of interiors is good and it has the soft-touch feel too. There is one downside to this soft touch, it seems that the material could easily get dirty. The Avventura comes in three variants: Active, Dynamic and Emotion. The mid-variant Dynamic gets in-dash music system with USB and aux connectivity, power windows, 16-inch wheels. The Emotion gets airbags, rear AC vents, Blue and Me, steering mounted controls, rear defogger and rear wiper too.Fiat Avventura interior 1
The first row of seats is spacious, with good thigh and back support. There is a lot of stowage space in the door pockets and some near the centre console too. The Avventura doesn’t have much knee and head room in the second row for six feet people. The boot of the Avventura isn’t humongous, but opening it is still a little tedious.
ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;
As said above, this CUV is available in both petrol and diesel engine options for the buyers to choose from. All the petrol variants are equipped with a naturally aspirated 1.4-litre, FIRE engine that displaces 1368cc. It is integrated with 4-cylinders and 16-valves based on DOHC valve configuration. It is further incorporated with a multi-point fuel injection system that allow it to produce 88.7bhp at 6000rpm in combination with a peak torque output of 115Nm at 4500rpm, which is rather decent for Indian road conditions. On the other hand, its diesel trim are fitted with a 1.3-litre Multijet engine, which also has turbocharger. This 4-cylinder based power plant is also based on double overhead camshaft valve configuration and it can displace 1248cc. This motor is incorporated with a common rail fuel injection system, which enables the vehicle to deliver a decent fuel economy. It can belt out a maximum power of output of 91.7bhp at 4000rpm that results in 209Nm of commanding torque output at 2000rpm. The car maker has skilfully mated both these engines with a 5-speed manual transmission gearbox that sends the torque output to the front wheels.
The oil burner comes with a common rail based fuel injection technology that enhances its fuel economy. This motor has the ability to return around 17 Kmpl approximately within the city limits, while this figure goes up to 20.3 Kmpl on the bigger roads. While the FIRE mill has a multi point fuel injection system. It can generate a minimum of 12 Kmpl on city roads and this figure goes up to a maximum of 14.4 Kmpl on highways.The turbocharged 1.3-litre mill has the ability of churning out a maximum of 91.7bhp at 4000rpm in combination with a peak torque of 209Nm at just 2000rpm. Meanwhile, the other motor belts out 88.7bhp at 6000rpm and generates a commanding torque output of 115Nm at 4500rpm, which is rather good for Indian road conditions.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
Just like the Punto, this is one aspect were the Avventura does quite well. The steering feels well weighted and confident while cornering or changing lanes at high speeds and offers great feedback. The hydraulic steering feels slightly heavy while manoeuvring through busy roads but gets lighter as you gain speed. Like most Fiats, the ride quality over rough roads is impressive with the passengers rarely being bothered by jolts and judders that are common on the roads of India.The petrol version feels easy to drive in the city and on the highway mainly due to its light clutch. That said, the dead pedal is a little intrusive and is a hinderance for people with larger feet. One might find oneself having to shift gears a little more than required though as most of the power and torque in the petrol engine is at higher revs.
The Fiat Avventura is one of the best handling cars we have driven in a while, not surprising since it is based on the Punto. It might not have the overall solidarity of the Polo or the first generation Grande Punto, but it is certainly better than everything else in its segment.The 205 section tyres combined with the 16-inch wheels offer great grip and compliment the suspension setup brilliantly. As we mentioned earlier, the Fiat Avventura feels great irrespective of how hard you throw it into a series of bends. Body roll isn’t an issue either and the braking with its ventilated discs up front and drum brakes at the back is strong and stable.
BRAKING AND SAFETY ;
Braking system is formed by the ventilated disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in rear. Other vital braking features inset to support the brakes affixed in front and back comprise of anti-lock-braking system along with electronic brakeforce distribution, these two vital features are deprived in the base variants. Standard safety features on board are automatic door lock, central door locking, door open indictor, fire prevention system and immobilizer with rolling code. Some of the preeminent safety equipment available exclusively on the range topping diesel trim are front airbags with early crash sensors, passengers airbag deactivation, 3-point ELR seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters and height adjustable front seat belts.
The Avventura powered by Abarth, like the Punto Abarth, certainly checks all the necessary boxes in the checklist to pass for a hot hatch. You could get either of them at Rs 9.95 lakh (ex-Delhi), and which one you choose is simply a matter of personal taste. But what disappoints me about these cars is that Fiat didn’t finish what could have definitely been a really great car. You’re paying Rs 9.95 lakh for what should be a performance-oriented vehicle through and through, and not for a something that can be a great performance car if you spend some more money on it. Don’t get me wrong though, I really do appreciate Fiat for bringing us a relatively affordable hot hatch. But as a package that rolls out of the factory, it just doesn’t seem complete.
Fiat Avventura Active 1.3l Multijet Diesel Ex-showroom Price is 7,12,150/- and On Road Price is 8,07,979/- in Agra. Fiat Avventura Active 1.3l Multijet Diesel comes in 6 colours, namely Bronzo Tan,Exotica Red,Hip Hop Black,Minimal Grey,Pearl White,Zafferano Orange.