Fiat launched the Avventura in India on 21st October 2014. And this is the Italian carmaker’s ticket to get into rising compact SUV and crossovers market that has been getting popular here. Avventura has to compete with the likes of Volkswagen Cross Polo, Toyota Etios Cross and Ford EcoSport. The concept car was shown at the Auto Expo 2014 and interestingly the actual production model did not deviate much from that prototype.
The price for petrol version of Fiat Avventura starts from Rs. 5.99 lakhs and for the diesel from Rs. 6.89 lakhs (ex showroom prices Delhi).
The 1.4 litre FIRE petrol engine of this crossover which is also used in the Linea, churns out 89 bhp at 6000 rpm and 115 Nm of torque at 4500 rpm. For the diesel trims the unit is unsurprisingly the efficient 1.3 litre multijet motor that generates 92 bhp at 4000 rpm and 209 Nm of torque at 2000 rpm. Both the engines are paired with 5 speed manual gearbox.
In the past one year (between October 2013 and October 2014) Fiat has sold lot more of Puntos than Lineas and in a country where hatchbacks are so popular, such sales pattern is expected. While Avventura is essentially a Punto Evo crossover it looks quite different with all its claddings and raised ground clearance. To give it a distinct identity Fiat baptised it Avventura which implies ‘adventure’ in Italian.
For an aggressive styling, this compact, 5-seater SUV gets striking bumpers with thick black cladding and there is scuff plate to complement the rugged crossover look. The power bulge on the bonnet drops down towards the Fiat logo. And the radiator grille has subtle touches of chrome. Headlamps have the same ‘reindeer’ design as the one for facelifted Punto Evo but they come with a smoked effect.
The meaty plastic cladding continues over the wheel arches and all round the car. The wheel wells look large for 16 inch anodised alloys covered in 205/55 R16 rubber. Viewed form the sides the Avventura looks pretty similar to the Punto Evo so it’s only the cladding and the thick band on the door panels that give it a differentiating look and feel.
It is at the rear where Fiat has given special touches to the design of their compact SUV. The spare wheel looks like it’s mounted on to the tailgate but is actually hinged to the chassis through the rear bumper. And for all the variants it has a brawny looking cover with the Avventura monogram. To keep the cover from being stolen, Fiat offers a loop on the clamping mechanism where you can put your own lock. This attribute as a whole is sound piece of engineering by the company’s technicians. The tail lamps mounted vertically on sides of rear windscreen look nice when lit especially in dark. Reflectors housed in skid plates on the bumper also add to the tone of hefty stance.
Anyone who has been inside the facelifted Punto and Linea will find the Avventura’s cabin a familiar zone. The top end version (Emotion) has ambient illumination for the dual tone dashboard. Instead of the very common beige –black theme, it has black and grey combination which looks fresher. Chrome surrounds for the AC vents, controls on the centre console, and the dials look good but the quality of leather could have been better. Emotion and Dynamic variants have integrated CD/MP3 and FM radio player. USB and Aux-in devices can be connected to the centre console. The Emotion spec also gets Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition and SMS readout features along with steering mounted controls.
Manual HV air conditioning with foot level rear air circulation is standard for base and mid level trims and Emotion gets automatic climate control with rear AC vents in addition to foot level rear air circulation.
The materials used for seat upholstery is a mix of leather, perforated leather and fabric. Front seats have Avventura monograms and driver seat is height adjustable in top two variants. On the rear seats while the under-thigh support is good, the legroom and headroom is restricted for tall people or when the front seats are slid back for tall occupants. In the top two variants you get ABS with EBD and the Emotion version comes with front airbags and 3 point ELR seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters.
Opening in a two-step mechanism, the boot of Avventura needs vertical and horizontal space - this may feel little impractical in some situations.
For body colours, the array includes Bronzo Tan, Zafferano Orange, Pearl White, Exotica Red, Minimal Grey and Hip Hop Black. The different variants are priced as follows (prices, ex showroom Delhi):
Fiat Avventura Active Petrol: Rs 5.99 lakhs
Fiat Avventura Dynamic Petrol: Rs 7.05 lakhs
Fiat Avventura Active Diesel: Rs 6.89 lakhs
Fiat Avventura Dynamic Diesel: 7.65 lakhs
Fiat Avventura Emotion Diesel: 8.17 lakhs
How well does the new car help Fiat to revive its dipping share in the Indian market is now to be seen.