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Fiat Strada: first impressions

by ace
Fiat Strada: first impressions

1998. Brazil loses Tim Maia. And also the football World Cup final for France. Google, a small search engine, appears. James Cameron's Titanic is a smash hit, winning Oscars in 11 categories. Fiat launches the Strada compact pickup.

2020. 5 World Cups take place – Brazil wins one and hosts another. Google is indispensable in the lives of millions of people, in addition to being one of the most valuable companies in the world. Titanic is already considered a classic film.

And the first-generation Fiat Strada remains in line, an undisputed leader in its segment, and, finally, about to be completely renewed.

But the arrival of the new model was delayed. The launch was scheduled for the end of this month. However, the coronavirus pandemic closed factories and stores.

Now, Fiat will reevaluate the scenario, and set a new date. For that reason, there are still no prices.

G1 evaluated the model in March, before the postponement and the whole industry stopped. See the available versions:

  • Endurance 1.4 – 88 horses (single or double cabins)
  • Freedom 1.3 – 109 hp (single and double cabs)
  • Volcano 1.3 – 109 hp (double cab)

New generation of Fiat Strada - Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1

New generation of Fiat Strada – Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1

5 things only those who have been in the truck know:

  • the old 1.8 engine is not needed; the new 1.3 is less powerful, but it gets the job done
  • the grip on the back seat is over; passenger space is good
  • high-end version even has LED headlights; but interior brings rigid plastics
  • bucket volume increased to over 800 liters; before, there were less than 700
  • prices are still a mystery, but it won't be a surprise if they reach R $ 90 thousand

What did you think of the look of the new Fiat Strada?

What did you think of the look of the new Fiat Strada?What did you think of the look of the new Fiat Strada? Table of competitors of Fiat Strada - Photo: Photos: Marcelo Brandt / G1 and disclosureTable of competitors of Fiat Strada - Photo: Photos: Marcelo Brandt / G1 and disclosure

Table of competitors of Fiat Strada – Photo: Photos: Marcelo Brandt / G1 and disclosure

All the anxiety of Fiat and fans for the new Strada can be explained for 22 years without major changes.

In the meantime, the best-selling pickup truck in Brazil has gained a more modern exterior appearance, new engines and versions, but has long been showing signs of being outdated.

Even so, his reign was never threatened. In fact, indirectly, it helped to “kill” part of the competition. Ford Courier and Peugeot Hoggar did not live to see, and they are evidence.

New generation of Fiat Strada alongside the first generation - Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1New generation of Fiat Strada alongside the first generation - Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1

New generation of Fiat Strada alongside the first generation – Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1

To evolve, Fiat looked inside – and decided to use what it already had at home to create the second generation of Strada.

How can you not see a miniature Toro when looking at the new truck?

New generation of Fiat Strada - Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1New generation of Fiat Strada - Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1

New generation of Fiat Strada – Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1

Fiat swears that the lanterns are different. But that the format is identical, there is no doubt. The side, with square wheel boxes and a wide C column, also “delivers” the source of the Strada's design.

But the origin of other pieces is much less "noble".

Who sees face … does not see heart

Fiat says that 25% of Strada's components came from other cars from the manufacturer.

The similarity in some pieces is quite noticeable. This is the case of steering wheel, instrument panel and gearshift – all inherited from the duo Uno and Mobi.

Fiat Strada's cabin has several elements shared with Uno and Mobi - Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1Fiat Strada's cabin has several elements shared with Uno and Mobi - Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1

Fiat Strada's cabin has several elements shared with Uno and Mobi – Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1

In others, however, identification is much more difficult.

Who would have guessed, at first glance, that the front doors and the windshield also came from Mobi? Before criticism about the size of the doors comes, and a possible loss of access to the cabin, it is necessary to clarify that the set was quite harmonious.

A positive consequence is that the smaller front doors allow the rear to have an acceptable size and conventional opening, improving access to the second row, and solving the biggest problem of the old Strada double cab: the tightness.

New generation of Fiat Strada has more space in the rear seat - Photo: DisclosureNew generation of Fiat Strada has more space in the rear seat - Photo: Disclosure

New generation of Fiat Strada has more space in the rear seat – Photo: Disclosure

The space in the back seat, moreover, is more than enough for 4 people. Best of all, none of the occupants feel “sunk” in a claustrophobic cabin. The shoulder space, for example, has increased by 10 cm.

Seeing the new Strada alone, it looks much bigger than the old model and Volkswagen Volkswagen, its historic rival. The feeling is that it approaches larger models, such as the Renault Oroch and Toro itself.

But it's just an impression, as shown in the table below.

Compare the new Strada with the old model and the Toro

New Fiat Strada CD Old Strada CD Fiat Toro Length 4.48m 4.44m 4.94m Wheelbase 2.73m 2.74m 2.99m Width 1.73m 1.74m 1.84m Bucket volume 844 l 680 l 820 l Load capacity 650 kg 650 kg 550 kg

The load capacity of 650 kg was maintained when comparing versions with double cab. Only the bucket accommodates a larger volume even than the Toro. There are 844 liters, against 820 for the “bigger” sister and 680 for the old Strada.

Simplicity with pioneering spirit

Precisely because it is a work vehicle, it is necessary to maintain the vocation of robustness. To this end, Fiat maintained the architecture of the rear suspension, with a rigid axle.

Following the “stick for every job” booklet, Strada does not boast luxury inside, even in the most expensive configuration, Volcano, evaluated by G1. The finish is quite simple, inclusive.

Few surfaces are not plastic. But, good assembly makes the overall look positive. Fiat seems to have invested more time in developing banks.

Compared to those of Argo and Cronos, for example, Strada seats offer a good extra dose of comfort, both in the density of the foam and in the support for the body. And also a “cool” look, mixing different types of fabrics and textures.

The manufacturer also promises to take these seats to its other vehicles. Strada, I would say, serving as a reference for other Fiat.

Former Fiat logo stylized on the new Strada - Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1Former Fiat logo stylized on the new Strada - Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1

Former Fiat logo stylized on the new Strada – Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1

The truck should also "lend" the most charming touch to the exterior design. This is the old Fiat logo, a small emblem with four slanted vertical bars, painted in the colors of Italy. They are located in the front grille, and are a new visual signature of the brand.

Much more “high-tech” is the new multimedia center, another pioneer of the new Strada. The most updated version of UConnect, as it is called, is the first Brazilian car to offer wireless connection to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay systems. Fiat also promises to extend this feature to other cars.

The new plant, in fact, is easier to use than the previous generation – and is millennia ahead of the options of the old Strada – which even included an AM / FM radio that was probably developed in the 90s.

Multimedia center of the new Fiat Strada can connect Android Auto and CarPlay wirelessly - Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1Multimedia center of the new Fiat Strada can connect Android Auto and CarPlay wirelessly - Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1

Multimedia center of the new Fiat Strada can connect Android Auto and CarPlay wirelessly – Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1

But it's time to put aside Strada's resources, start up and speed up the truck. In the event prior to the launch, Fiat made available the two most complete versions of the pickup – Freedom and Volcano, both with double cab and 1.3 Firefly engine with 5-speed manual transmission.

The numbers of this engine are already known: 109 horses and 14.2 kgfm. They are exactly the same as Argo and Cronos. And less than the 132 hp and 18.9 kgfm of the Strada 1.8 that says goodbye to the stores.

New generation of Fiat Strada - Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1New generation of Fiat Strada - Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1

New generation of Fiat Strada – Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1

It may seem insanity to swap a 1.8 for a 1.3 – both aspirated. But it all starts to make more sense when considering the age of each of these engines. The bigger engine is much older, in addition to having rough operation and being hungry for fuel.

1.3, in addition to being modern – launched in 2016 – performs better than its numbers indicate.

During the test drive, at a race track in the interior of São Paulo, the two generations go hand in hand, with a slight advantage on the straights for the old model. According to factory numbers, the new Strada accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 11.2 seconds, just over 1 second slower than the old version.

Fiat Strada with 1.3 engine goes better than the old one with 1.8 engine - Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1 Fiat Strada with 1.3 engine goes better than the old one with 1.8 engine - Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1

Fiat Strada with 1.3 engine goes better than the old one with 1.8 engine – Photo: Marcelo Brandt / G1

Only the most modern pickup truck makes up for the difference in curves. This is because there is an abyss in constructive quality between the two generations.

The new one has a much more rigid body. When going around corners at higher speeds, you can see that the Strada 2021 "rolls" less, and sings tires much later. Meanwhile, the old model makes it quite clear to the driver when he is at the limit of grip.

The biggest difference between the two pickups, however, is in fuel consumption, as shown in the table below.

See the consumption of the two generations of Strada

Consumption (in km / l) New Fiat Strada CD 1.3 Fiat Strada CD 1.8 Gasoline (city / road) 11.9 / 13.5 9.6 / 11 Ethanol (city / road) 8.3 / 9.5 6.7 / 7.5

The discrepancy between the two pickups is such that the second generation, even in an urban cycle, which has a worse performance, is more economical than the first in a road cycle.

Good form against competition

The postponement of the launch made Fiat hold back on the pricing of the new Strada. For now, it is only possible to estimate the values, considering the current generation and Toro itself.

The Strada Adventure 1.8 that says goodbye to the stores costs R $ 83,690. This track must be occupied by the new intermediate version, Freedom. Volcano, better equipped, should be closer to R $ 90 thousand. More than that, she would be very …

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