The Fiat Avventura is the newest car to enter the crossover hatchback segment. We find out it has what it takes to woo Indian audiences.The cross hatchback segment has never really been popular in India, which is why the segment has never really been explored by any manufacturer until recently. This might be due to the fact that the Indian audience has always been interested in the more traditional body styles like the hatchback, traditional sedan or SUV, and in recent times, the compact sedan or SUV. This year though, we have seen a spate of new cross hatchbacks from the Volkswagen Cross Polo, to the Toyota Etios Cross and now, the all-new Fiat Avventura.
First, let’s look at the exterior design. The big spare wheel cover that will be offered on all trims is tastefully styled, and I think, is the defining design element of the Avventura. What’s interesting though is how the spare wheel is mounted on the tailgate. Although it appears to be attached onto the bootlid, it actually sits on an arm that is hinged on the bumper. While it looks simple, the entire mechanism required some really clever engineering. The aggressive styling carries over to the front, with an all-new bumper that has the tough-looking cladding integrated into it, and a pseudo skid-plate that completes the crossover motif. In fact, there are aggressive design bits everywhere you look.
And it’s not just aesthetics. The roof rails are made from aluminium, serving two purposes. One, it keeps weight at the top at a minimum (hence not raising the centre of gravity by much) and secondly, the strong metallic construction makes them suitably functional. The Fiat Avventura also wears bespoke16-inch alloy wheels and larger wheel arches to facilitate chunkier rubber (both will be standard across trims). However, what fundamentally sets this crossover apart from the likes of the Volkswagen Cross Polo and Toyota Etios Cross is that the Fiat has been raised by 20mm over the already high-riding Punto Evo. The results? The Avventura’s belly rides a good 205mm over the ground; same as the Renault Duster.
To keep dynamics intact, Fiat has recalibrated the suspension set-up and added an anti-roll bar at the rear. The anti-roll bar is very similar to that found on the Linea but has been fine-tuned here. Then there are the fatter 205/55 tyres that, besides elevating aesthetics, are quite grippy too. All of which adds a significant 65 kg(approximately) of weight. And these changes are quite evident from behind the wheel.
The cabin of the Avventura is similar to the Punto Evo but Fiat has made multiple changes to differentiate the two cars. Our test car was the mid-level Dynamic variant (there is no Emotion trim in petrol) so some equipment was missing but the vehicle is still quite loaded for a lower trim. All the features offered on the Punto Evo are present on the Avventura but what’s more are the three pods which sit right above the centre AC vents. Now the Avventura isn’t an off-roader, power is still fed to the front wheels so having a compass and tilt meters (for both axis) serves little purpose, it’s still cool though. The dashboard gets the dual-tone treatment and the middle part is finished in soft touch velvet like grey colour which is very unique. The seats and doors pads are finished in brown, they use artificial leather and look really good. Audio quality is good for a stock unit but the lack of Bluetooth streaming continues to be a grave omission. All windows roll down with one touch but only the driver’s rolls up with one touch. The Avventura has double blade wipers and they do an excellent job.
Fiat cars are always well appreciated for their build quality and the Avventura impresses as well, it feels like a tank and there is a solidity which even German cars can’t match. Fit-finish is good but the plastics are hard, the big glitch we found with the quality of the car was the finish on the arm of the tailgate mounted spare wheel. The cabin is a nice place to be in, there is good interior room too although the rear bench has just adequate space while lacking on under-thigh support and headroom is an issue for tall passengers. The seats are firm and offer good comfort but the headrests are a tad too hard. There are quite a few storage bins (the glovebox is small though) including door pockets, ticket holder below the right most AC vent, seat back pocket, centre console and a nice cup holder between the front seats for the rear passenger. Ergonomics are decent but the steering is too far ahead towards you, there is dead pedal though and visibility all around is better than average. The boot has good capacity and the space saved is used to store the toolbox.
Avventura comes with a 1.4-litre petrol or 1.3-litre multijet diesel engine options. The petrol engine produces 89bhp of power and 115Nm of torque. The petrol engine is a tad noisy compared to several engines that are quieter. This engine is good to drive in the city though there isn’t much power to take off from the red light in the initial gears. There is sufficient power and it is good enough to drive even on the highway. It returns about 10-11 km/l in the city.Fiat Avventura 3
The 1.3-litre engine churns out 92bhp of power and 209Nm of torque. Fiat has worked on the gearing and the drive is drivable and the need to change gears in traffic doesn’t generally arise, but the engine doesn’t even have that punch we get in the diesel cars. Highways and open roads is where this engine shines and driving in city is decent. The fuel efficiency too is good, as the Avventura returns an efficiency of about 15km/l in the city and highway it bumps up to 18km/l.
One depart where the Fiat outclasses most of the competition is the absorption of road shocks and bumps, giving the passengers in the cabin maximum comfort. The Avventura doesn’t feel jittery even at high speeds, this is despite the increase in ground clearance to 205mm. The Avventura is still the same, fun to drive and there is no other option that is this pliant. One downside of the Avventura is its turning radius.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
The Avventura has been fitted with an Independent Wheel Suspension with McPherson Struts, Helical Coil Springs, Double Acting Telescopic Dampers and Stabilizer Bar at the front while the rear has been fitted with Torsion Beam, Helical Coil Springs and Double Acting Telescopic Dampers, this suspension system has been worked upon and made specifically stiffened so that it not only can glide over rough road sections but also reduces body roll because of the increased ground clearance.
As already mentioned above the Avventura has an impressive ground clearance of 205mm and it also gets wider tyres which will provide more grip on any surfaces. Now as far as the stopping power of the Avventura is concerned it gets ventilated discs at the front and drum brakes at the rear.
SAFETY AND SECURITY ;
It comes with crucial safety aspects, which provides good protection to the vehicle and for its passengers as well. It has automatic door lock, central locking system, door open indicator and fire prevention system. The advanced immobilizer with rolling code that safeguards it from theft and any unauthorized entry. Meanwhile, its top end variant has some additional features like height adjustable front headrests and anti lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution, 3-point ELR seat belts with pre-tensioner and load limiter. In addition to these, it also has front air bags with early crash sensor and passenger airbag deactivation function, central locking system, automatic door locking system and several other aspects.
The Avventura isn’t a half hearted effort like the Volkswagen Cross Polo or the Toyota Etios Cross, instead it’s a splendid job done by Fiat and they really deserve applaud for it. Right from design to ride and handling, the Fiat Avventura manages to tick all the right boxes. It isn’t perfect but the desirability it offers is difficult to match at its price point. Fiat is positioning the Avventura as a CUV (Contemporary Urban Vehicle) and from what we gather, this is a car which really deserves to be a hit in the Indian market, it’s a vehicle which fares very well in most parameters.
Fiat Avventura Active 1.3l Multijet Diesel Ex-showroom Price is 7,14,941/- and On Road Price is 8,26,949/- in Chennai. 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.Exchange your car for Fiat Avventura.