Road Test

Fiat Avventura First Drive Review

By   |   09 October,2014

Introductions please?

As it is quite obvious this is the Fiat Avventura which will soon arrive at the showrooms. This is an important launch for Fiat India- probably the most important in recent years as it aims to grab a slice of the crossover segment. As you will discover below the Avventura is more than just a Punto Evo sprinkled with some off-road jewellery. The Avventura will be launched early next month and Fiat is working on having a price-tag below its main rivals which is good as the Avventura is a highly desirable product with immense potential.

Have to say it looks good.

Yup it does and while the Punto Evo looks good the Avventura has even more presence. There are barely any changes over the concept which was shown at the Auto Expo which means the Avventura knocks its rivals out of the park for sheer presence and everywhere we went it attracted stares. Let us start with the front as the black cladding along with the skid plate makes the Avventura look tough and it gels well with the aggressive front-end.

Move to the side and the roof rails, cladding and the stunning 16 inch alloys wrapped in bigger tyres gives the pukka crossover look. Look closely and you will also spot the increased ground clearance which now at 205 mm is more than the Ford EcoSport and which gives it some off-road kudos- a crucial point separating it from its main rivals like the Cross Polo.

Move to the rear and the spare wheel grabs your attention. It is standard on all variants and is the defining feature of the design. It looks great and it is not fixed to the rear bumper instead an easy mechanism is required to put it aside and access the boot. The level of quality that has gone into all this is great and as a result the Avventura will win many hearts on its looks alone.

What about the interior?

Inside there are some changes over the updated Punto Evo dash. You will immediately notice the compass and the clinometer above the ac vents in the centre console which comes handy when you are off-road in your Avventura. Elsewhere the dash and doors get a new material which looks and feels good plus it goes with the character of the car. I also liked the seats which combine leather and fabric which is a nice touch considering our weather.

The other change is the button for opening the boot and other than that its the features taken off the Punto Evo. Space is same also and considering the size we would have liked more headroom and legroom at the rear.

Shall we go for a drive now?

I was waiting for that. On offer in the Avventura are two engine options and here Fiat will not offer a 1.2 petrol and the 74 bhp 1.3 diesel which is good because it would just not be enough to match those looks or the extra weight. Instead you have the 90 bhp 1.3 diesel and the 1.4 petrol.

We had the diesel and just like the Punto Evo there is a bit of a lag at the start but shift through the gears and the strong performance comes in. It is a great cruiser also because of the updated suspension, the increased ground clearance and more weight have not dented the ride/handling of the Avventura. Ride quality continued to be very good indeed.

Other things remain the same like the heavy steering and the not so slick gearbox- but you get used to it quickly. Our drive was short so we did not have the time to put the Avventura on bad roads but suffice to say that it will handle decent off-road stuff though it lacks 4WD.

So what do you think finally?

We think the Avventura is a desirable crossover that will apppeal to many. For most the rugged and eye-catching styling will be enough to sign the cheque but go beyond that and you will see Fiat has put in a serious effort to make the Avventura a proper crossover. With a starting price of Rs 5.99 lakh the Avventura is the most desirable Fiat launched and surely deserves success.