Fiat Avventura Review
You should always give your 100% in everything you do, a quote as timeless finds its relevance everywhere in life. An ideal thought which should be followed by all unless you want to do something just for the heck of it, exactly how the Etios Cross and Cross Polo stand when crossovers are considered.
Taking a step towards the adventurous kind, Fiat has made a serious attempt in making a crossover for real. They have taken extra efforts to make the Avventura capable of taking tough roads and not be a pseudo poser on/off road.
With an increased ground clearance, high altitude inclinometer and a macho rear spare wheel, this should be your ideal weekend getaway to anywhere solution. We give this small yet tough hatch some rough road teasing to learn if it is the best out there...
Italians are known for making elegant and beautiful cars and every Fiat car boasts of the same but then it is really impressive to see how designers at Fiat styled this one. They have pushed the envelope a lot further by getting its dimensions, character and proportions right.
It feels as if the Punto Evo visited a gym and worked out extensively to build those muscular flares as seen all over the design. The nose of the Avventura has not been borrowed but pronouncedly redesigned to leave a strong impact. There are brushed aluminium bash plates on the front and rear bumper with a strong housing around the fog lamps. The short lid boot with a mild profile running along its length is similar to the hatch.
Its gets the quintessential for crossover side plastic claddings with Avventura embossed on the front doors, way better than just mere vinyl as seen on the Cross Polo. The dull grey finished roof rails are more than aesthetics as they form hook points for mounting a Bike (Cycle), kayak and anything else. Making it more off-road capable are those 205/55 R16 tyres with solid alloys which come standard on all variants.
At the rear, there is a macho spare wheel which makes it suit the crossover tag. It looks unique...very unique but then this uniqueness comes at a price of convenience. Unlike Ecosport’s tailgate which has a spare wheel mounted on it, this one comes as a separate assembly mounted on a metallic bar hinged to the rear bumper.
To open the tail gate, one has to swing open the spare wheel first and then open the tail gate. The same has to be repeated vice versa. This arrangement is nice for a jungle or an adventurous outing but then imagine doing this drill everyday for mundane purposes. Just to make it a bit more interesting, the tail gate can be unlocked only by the remote key as there is no option inside.
Ignoring the hassles of its functionality, the overall design of the Avventura strikes a positive impression. It looks contemporary compared to anything else sold under a similar category.
The interiors of a Fiat have never been about glossy features as the focus is on interior comfort and joy. The build quality is top notch with excellent fit and finish. It feels premium with soft touch buttons and well cut interior trims.
The front dashboard has been tweaked with two tone interiors and a soft touch suede finish on the lower section. Door trims get fabric insert. The second ‘cool’ aspect, which is also a first in class, is the high terrain gauge. Sitting above the central AC vents, this gauge has a compass along with a horizontal-vertical inclinometer. The latter shows the horizontal and vertical angles of a vehicle. Not that they are highly effective as the Avventura will never travel on a typical SUV terrain but then it adds to the novelty making the otherwise black and grey interiors feel more exciting.
If they give you an option, please choose the front seats as they are the best in terms of comfort with a doable legroom and headroom. The rear passengers have to compromise on roominess especially if they are tall. The only thing comforting for them are the rear AC vents.
Fiat’s very own Blue & Me infotainment system is only available on the Emotion variant. It gives an access to pair phones via Bluetooth and also features SMS readout. On all the Fiat cars that I have driven including the Linea, Punto Evo and now the Avventura, never could I pair my Smartphone via Bluetooth. Other entertainment sources continue to be USB and Aux-in which help connect IPod and other media devices.
Enough space on the front door pockets to hold a litre class liquid container. Instead of cup holders, it gets intermittent recess sections on the central console which can hold parking tickets, wallet etc. The rear door trims get a narrow storage pocket. The boot space has got an extension with the help on an excluded rear spare wheel which stands generous at 300mm.
Numbers remain similar to that of Punto Evo as Fiat’s 1.3 Multijet Diesel makes 93 PS of power and 209 Nm of torque while the 1.4 Fire Petrol engine produces 90PS of power and 115Nm of torque. Both these units are married to a standard 5-speed manual transmission.
The main change comes in the form of an increased ground clearance which at 205mm makes it equivalent to a Duster and Ecosport. Fiat has further tuned the suspension to make it more soft road compatible and at the same time reduce its body roll. The 205/55 R16 tyres give it more potential to be driven on uneven roads and surfaces.
Inside city and traffic, the diesel is not the right option as the evident lag under 2000 rpm is troublesome. The Avventura too feels a lot heavier in being hauled anywhere and thus one has to keep shifting to lower gears to make the diesel unit squeeze out power at the right time. The shift quality isn’t that great especially for a hurried driving. Adding to it, the Avventura doesn’t get parking sensors or a reverse camera leaving it completely on human judgement. With a smaller rear view area along with the spare wheel, it gets more uncomfortable.
But the real ambience to make the Avventura feel more suited is on rough roads, as the tuned suspension, raised ground clearance and a bit of engine tuning makes it feel good on hard surfaces. Once the tachometer crosses the 2,000 mark the lag diminishes. The ride is rock solid and stable at high speeds. Even while taking turns at great speeds, wider profiled tyres hold on the lines with great confidence.
One more strong reason for Avventura’s well behaved off-road stance is courtesy to the newly added rear anti-roll bar which makes it feel in-control while negotiating a quick manoeuvre around corners. The additional equipments over the hatch have also increased its weight but then with the tuned suspension and an effective post mid range throttle response, the demerits of the added flab aren’t highlighted.
The newly inspired confidence by the high terrain gauge and macho bash plates didn’t encourage us to take it over SUV domain but we did manage to throw it on rocky surfaces. If it was the Etios Cross or the Cross Polo on the same terrain, they would have screamed for mercy as their standard ground clearance doesn’t leave any room with the lowest point bottoming almost everywhere unlike the Avventura which felt natural on these surfaces. Increased space between the wheel arch and tyres has also raise the travel area for the wheels. It delivered a combined fuel efficient of 15.5kmpl.
|Price (Ex-Showroom Mumbai)||Rs 8,73,303|
|Power in PS/RPM||93 / 4000|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||209 / 2000|
|Gears||5 / MT|
|Wheel base mm||2510|
|Fuel tank capacity L||45|
|Tyre Spec||205/55 R16|
|Fire prevention system||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Central door locking||Yes||-||Yes||Yes|
|ABS with EBD||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Rear Fog lamps||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Front fog lamps||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Body color Door handle,ORVM||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Dual tone dashboard||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Driver seat height adjust||Yes||No||No||No|
|Distance to empty indicator||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Power windows||Front & Rear||Front||Front & Rear||Front & Rear|
|Remote key less entry||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Electricaly adjustable ORVM||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Rear windows wiper&washer||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Leather wrapped steering and gear knob||Yes||No||No||No|
|Rear foot level AC vents||Yes||No||No||No|
|Automatic climate control||Yes||No||No||No|
|Steering mounted controls||Yes||No||No||No|
|Blue & me with USB port||Yes||No||No||No|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||Emotion Multijet 1.3||1.05 TDI||1.4 VD|
|Price (Ex Showroom Mumbai)||Rs 8,73,303||Rs 8,32,000||Rs 7,67,000|
|Power in PS/RPM||93 / 4000||89 / 4200||67 / 3800|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||209 / 2000||230 @ 1500||170 @ 1800|
|Wheel base mm||2510||2469||2460|
|Fuel tank capacity L||45||45||45|
|Tyre Spec||205 / 55 R16||185 / 60 R15||185 / 60 R15|
Should you consider this adventurous offering? They have styled the Avventura unlike any other car in the segment. It gets more than just pseudo claddings making it look unique. The rear spare wheel is not convenient to operate but unarguably it does add to the overall appeal. The interiors feel good with the two tone treatment. Might not be the best in terms of comfort though.
The Avventura is not your everyday office car as the dimensions and lack of features are not suited for an urban background but instead it’s the best for that weekend getaway. Where most feel sceptical to take their regular hatchbacks on long journeys owing to uneven roads, the Avventura is the perfect solution to it. The new changes have definitely given it a new character and it is indeed the best when it comes to hatched crossovers.