First Drive: Fiat Fiorino Cargo Adventure

Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fiat has added a new Adventure model to its baby Fiorino van range, offering a lukewarm off-roader capable of traversing wet and muddy slopes with more security than a regular light van.

 The Adventure spec, available with either 75hp or 95hp versions of the 1.3 diesel engine, signifies the addition of Traction+, an electronic differential lock system that improves grip in conditions such as mud and snow without increasing fuel or maintenance costs, according to Fiat. It’s not as competent off-road as a proper 4x4 system, but there’s nothing on the market smaller or cheaper than a VW Caddy that offers all-wheel drive, and the Traction+ is plenty able enough to negotiate muddy fields and lanes. Fiat also claims there is no impact on fuel or maintenance costs, which isn’t the case with full 4x4 systems.
The Adventure comes with higher ground clearance, and adds butch cladding and extra protection to the underneath and sides, while the payload is also 50kg higher than a standard Fiorino Cargo at 660kg. The extra kit, payload and capability does, though, come at a price, with the Adventure costing £650 more than the equivalent Fiorino Cargo SX trim.
The 95hp engine delivers perky performance with a slick five-speed manual gearbox helping to provide sharp and responsive handling, and stop/start comes as standard. But the ride quality leaves a bit to be desired. Once out of urban confines, where the little Fiat is definitely more at home, the bumps and jolts on faster roads become jarring, and the wind, road and engine noise grow to intrusive levels.
Also, there is no bulkhead to protect the passenger from unsecured loads entering the cabin, though the passenger seat does fold down to reveal a useful table for the driver, as well as offering greater load length. There is a decent amount of storage space in the cab too, considering the size of the van.

 

Verdict

Offers something different for firms needing a rugged small van with a degree of off-road ability



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