Based on the Punto Evo, the Fiat Avventura comes with a host of cosmetic and feature upgrades that makes it more than just another crossover without leaving a hatchback’s comfort zone.
A long wait since it was first showcased at the Auto Expo earlier this year, Fiat has finally launched the Avventura crossover in the country priced from Rs. 5.99 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). Fiat’s third major launch in the past one year after the Linea and Punto facelift, the Avventura is all set to open doors for the automaker into a completely uncharted territory in the niche but growing hatchback-SUV crossover segment. With limited competition coming from the Toyota Etios Cross and Volkswagen Cross Polo, the Avventura is packed with petrol and diesel engine options available with Active, Dynamic and Emotion (only diesel) variants, making a compelling case for itself.
Design – Without a second glance, a lot of effort has been made to make the Avventura visually different from its hatchback sibling. While the Punto Evo underpinnings are evident, it is the front and rear bumper along with the extensive body cladding that make a big difference. Additions include a tweaked front grille, new black bumper with silver cladding encompassing the fog lamps that give a skid plate like appearance. The brawny appeal is accentuated on the side profile with black body cladding on the belt line, wheel arches, door handles and roof rails. The ground clearance of 205 mm also adds to the SUV-like presence on the crossover.
At the rear, the main change is of course the new external spare wheel which is one of the cleverest additions seen on the Avventura. Instead of the tail gate, the spare wheel is attached to the bumper that houses the reflectors and is finished with silver cladding much like the front. Compared to the Punto Evo, the Avventura is marginally larger in size measuring 3989 mm in length, 1706 mm in width and 1542 mm in height; the wheelbase remains the same at 2510 mm.
Interiors – Once again, Fiat’s effort does not go unnoticed and the additions are clearly visible inside the cabin. The Avventura borrows the dashboard layout from the Punto but is finished in a new dual-tone shade. Stacked on top of the centre console are the three new gauges including the digital compass and inclinometers that show the incline difference of up to 40-degrees. The boot space measures at a healthy 280-litres, while the overall seating arrangement remains unchanged.
Coming to the features list, the Fiat Avventura gets leather wrapped steering wheel and gear knob, dashboard ambient lighting, 60:40 split rear seats, automatic climate control, rear AC vents, Blue & Me voice recognition, SMS readout and steering mounted audio controls. The MID screen on the instrument cluster comes standard across the range, while there is a provision of a dead pedal on the crossover. The vehicle also gets functional roof rails.
Engines – The Avventura shares its powertrain with the Punto Evo and no changes have been made to the power figures on either of the engine options. Petrol power comes from the 1.4-litre 4-cylinder FIRE engine producing 90 PS at 6000 RPM and 115 Nm of torque at 4500 RPM. The mainstay engine however, will be the diesel that is the tried and tested 1.3-litre 4-cylinder Multijet motor with Variable Geometry Charger (VGT) producing 93 PS of power at 4000 RPM and 209 Nm of torque at 2000 RPM. Both the engines are paired to a 5-speed manual transmission as standard, but have been slightly modified for better performance compared to the Punto Evo.
In terms of performance figures, the Avventura does not disappoint despite the additional weight and does the 0-100 km/hr sprint in 13.89 seconds on the petrol and 14.64 seconds on the diesel version (VBOX tested by us). The driving dynamics are enhanced with an anti-roll bar at the rear that keeps the crossover stable even with the additional ground clearance. The car rides on 205/55/16 tyres wrapped in diamond cut alloy wheels, while stopping power comes from discs at the front and a drum brake set-up at the rear.
Safety – The Avventura comes equipped with some neat safety tech including dual front airbags, ABS, 3-point seatbelts with pre-tensioners and height adjustability feature. However, all of these features are available only on the top-end diesel variant, while the mid-level petrol gets only ABS on offer. Clearly, Fiat is betting big on the diesel version to pick up sales, as it has been the case with most Punto Evos as well but the company has gravely neglected the petrol version in the process.
Fuel Efficiency – Fiat India states that the ARAI certified fuel efficiency figures for the Avventura stand at 14.4 km/l on the petrol and 20.5 km/l on the diesel version.
A segment yet to grow, the Fiat Avventura showcases the true potential that a hatchback based crossover can provide. Priced reasonably well even undercutting certain variants, the Avventura locks horns with the Volkswagen Cross Polo, Toyota Etios Corss and Ford EcoSport providing the practicality of a hatchback along with the off-road prowess of an SUV. The crossover will attract those who do not wish to compromise on build quality or driving dynamics, while also making sure to have some fun on the weekends. The automaker is also working on expanding its dealer and after sales network in the country with more to open over the next year.
Make sure to check out our exhaustive reviews of the 2015 Fiat Avventura –
Fiat Avventura Petrol Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi) –
* Avventura 1.4L Active – Rs. 5,99,064/-
* Avventura 1.4L Dynamic – Rs. 7,05,066/-
Fiat Avventura Diesel Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi) –
* Avventura 1.3L Active – Rs. 6,89,065/-
* Avventura 1.3L Dynamic – Rs. 7,65,064/-
* Avventura 1.3L Emotion – Rs. 8,17,065/-