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Fiat Avventura - Test Drive & Review

Discussion in 'Avventura 1.3 90 HP' started by nkrishnap, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Fiat Avventura - 2014


    • The design stands out in the segment with high quality chrome and cladding on the exterior. Faux skid plates add the rugged look.
    • The wheel cladding, roof rails and the rear mounted spare wheel give the car a distinct character.
    • A new interior color combo and texture, central console, stiffened suspension and 16" alloys mark a distinct differentiation of the Avventura from the Punto Evo.
    • The Avventura is no exception to the omnipresent core FIAT DNA of superior ride quality, handling and suspension.It demolished bad roads with exemplary ride quality and the increased ground clearance is an added bonus.
    • 3 bottle holders: one in each front door pad and one along with the rear AC vent.
    • Avventura gets the diesel heart only in the 90 HP avatar. The motor is tuned for a more linear power delivery which is a welcome move.
    • The Automatic Climate Control is good. The AC vents have directional as well as flow control now and the knee level AC vent has been included in the Emotion variant.
    • Two new colors available on the Avventura : Zafferano Orange & Bronzo Tan. The orange is complete eye candy and turns heads wherever it goes. The other car which carries the color so well is the Palio. FIAT continues to offer new and refreshing colours.
    • 16 inch alloy wheels with Goodyear Eagle NCT-5 205/55 R16 tyres are standard fitment across variants.
    • NVH levels have improved and the car gets additional sound dampening as well.
    • High levels of localization and parts sharing will ensure a competitive cost of maintenance. Expect the car to come with the FIAT standard 3 years / 1 lac kilometer + 2 year optional extended warranty package.
    • The T-Jet engine does not find a place under the hood of the Avventura. The humble naturally aspirated (and often under-rated) 1.4 FIRE continues in the petrol engine line up. Introducing the turbo charged version in the top end variant will make it an exciting package
    • The automatic headlamps and rain sensing wipers should have been provided to differentiate the Avventura from the Punto Evo. Also no top end variant in the petrol.
    • The projector headlamps and the DRLs have not made it on to the production version. This may have been saved for the facelift.
    • Avventura now weights more than the New Linea (Petrol Variants).
    • Front seats have increased travel and this can potentially cut down the rear legroom if the front passengers decide to play spoil-sport.
    • Some niceities like Sunglass holder and rear parking sensors are missing. Hoping they are available as OEM fitments.
    Thanks to Ravi, turbo_karthik and Puntom for accompanying me for this review

    We would like to thank KHT Motors wholeheartedly for providing us the Avventura for review.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  2. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3

    With the entry of Renault Duster and the Ford Ecosport in the Indian market, these two gathered a considerable market share. It is very evident that more manufacturers are interested in taking a chunk of this pie. The Toyota Etios Cross and the Volkswagen Polo Cross are examples of such efforts. Fiat too wants to try its hand in this segment. This gave birth to the CUV – Contemporary Utility Vehicle Avventura. Fiat Avventura is one of the four new launches that Fiat had promised during the year 2014. Come 21st October 2014 and the Avventura will go on sale for the very first time in India. It is worth mentioning that India is the first country where the Avventura is being launched.

    Let's take a look at what the Avventura has on offer.

    Engine Specifications:
    Engine Specifications.jpg

    Price list
    Price list.jpg

    Features List:

    Features 1.jpg

    Features 2.jpg

    Weight comparison:

    Weight Comparison.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
  3. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3

    Let us get one thing straight : the Avventura looks similar to the recently launched Punto EVO. Having said that, FIAT has done considerable amount of modifications on the Avventura to differentiate it from the EVO.

    The Avventura is available in 6 colors, namely Vocal White, Exotica Red, Minimal Grey, Hip Hop Black, Zafferano Orange (New color) and Bronzo Tan (New Color)



    The front looks similar to the Punto Evo. The bonnet, headlamps are shared with the Punto EVO. When spotted from afar, the Avventura can easily be mistaken for the Punto Evo. It gets a new bumper with the faux skid plates and the chunky cladding, which adds character to the front. The chrome accents around the fog lamps are now gone and the look is better than that of the EVO.

    The projector lamps and the DRLs are given a miss in the production version.

    A close look at the front


    Front view from other angles



    Side profile

    The cladding and the raised ground clearance adds a distinct character to the Avventura.


    Notice the cladding with the Avventura embossed on it.


    The Roof Rails are not merely a cosmetic add-on ; they can be put to real use as well.


    The swept back headlamps and the wheel arch. The wheel wells have been modified to accommodate the bigger wheels. Notice the diamond 16 inch alloy wheels shod with 205 profile tyres.




    The rear has been extensively modified to accommodate the spare wheel mounted behind the hatch. The rear wheel is mounted on a swivel which needs to swing wide open if we are to access the boot. Like the front, the rear too gets a faux skid plate and the chrome pieces are given a miss as well which is actually a good thing. Avventura is good looking from the rear as well.


    Notice the absence of dual exhaust as compared to the concept shown during the auto expo and the engine variant badge is given a miss as well.


    Spare Wheel Cover


    Rear Three quarters


    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  4. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3

    The Avventura shares it's interiors with the EVO but not without some changes to suit its theme. The front dashboard has black and grey color combo and the seat texture and color are different from the EVO. One thing you will notice when you sit in the driver's seat is, you are sitting much higher than to the Linea or the Punto Evo. The additional ground clearance and firmer seats give you this feel. The same is evident when you get off the driver's seat too.

    Dashboard and Interior View


    Another view at the dashboard


    Dashboard Texture



    The door pads get art leather. Notice the all black door pads : Avventura does not get the dual tone theme on the door pads. The door handles are black as well.


    The seats have Avventura embossed on them. The seats are nice and firmer than the Evo ones and get the fabric and art leather combination.



    Rear boot space


    Space with with one of the seats folded


    Both seats folded flat


    Seats folded and lifted


    The gap between the speedo console and steering wheel gets a leather cover.


    Speedo Console


    The gizmos of the Avventura : Compass, Tilt Meter and the Inclinometer. They work well and are fun when you are pushing the car around the corners. The limits of the tilt meter were fully utilized during the test.

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
    Raaz, varoon9999, asimpleson and 22 others like this.
  5. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3

    The 1.4 FIRE petrol engine and the 1.3 Multijet 90 HP complete the engine lineup of the EVO. However, the 1.4 FIRE petrol engine is not available in the Emotion variant. The T-Jet engine, unfortunately, does not get a place under the Avventura's hood.

    1.3 Multijet Diesel – 90 HP


    The 1.3-Mulitjet comes in 90 HP version on the Avventura. The 75 HP engine is given a miss and rightly so. The diesel engine is rated at 93 PS at 4,000 rpm and 209 NM of torque peaking at 2000 rpm.

    A comparison at the power to weight ratio (competition included)

    Power to Weight Diesel.jpg

    One may wonder what is different in this engine as this is doing duty on the Linea, Punto EVO and now the Avventura. There is a difference on how the engine ECU is mapped. The turbo lag is not so pronounced as one has seen on the earlier 90 HP engine. This makes it far better in the bumper to bumper traffic. The acceleration is linear and the turbo starts spooling around 1700 rpm and the drivability is now comparable to the 75 HP with lesser lag. Keeping this engine above 1700 rpm should one see it make good progress. However, the mid range punch which is associated with the VGT engine is slightly subdued. The engine revs climb quite well and the revs all the way up to 5000 rpm, but revving the engine beyond 4000 rpm does not yield you much in terms of the power and torque. The VW Polo and the Ecosport outshines the Avventura in the terms of absolute power feel when one drives it. The in gear acceleration is quite strong and the drivability is better as the roll on acceleration is quite strong in the 3rd and 4th gears. At the highways speeds in the range of 80-100 no downshift is required for overtaking, just tap the accelerator a bit more and the car builds up speed up nicely. The progress beyond 150 kmph is slow and the top speed 170 -180 kmph on the speedo.

    There is no change in the gearbox and the same rubbery feel and long throws that are associated with the gear box still exists. The increased weight on the Avventura is not immediately evident in terms of the drive on the diesel powered car. The Avventura feels at home with relaxed highway cruising at speeds between 80-120 kmph. The noise insulation is very good and feels better than the other 90 HP powered cars from Fiat (Linea and Punto Evo).

    Ride, Handling and Steering Feedback

    The Avventura gets an additional 20 mm of ground clearance and it now its stands at 205 mm. Initially, we were worried about how the car would handle with the increased height but all our apprehensions were put to rest once we drove the car. The perfectly calibrated hydraulic steering keeps you connected to the road at all speeds and the steering is a joy to hold as well.

    The Avventura gets revised suspension set up and the rear suspension is stiffer and gets a stabilizer bar to cope up with additional weight. The ride is a little stiffer than the Evo at lower speeds due to the stiffened up suspension to counter the additional increase in ground clearance. As the speeds increase, the suspension dismisses the uneven road surfaces like it's nobody's business. There is increase in the body roll compared to the EVO, but nothing alarming or something that is to be worried about. Even with the increased body roll, the Avventura is fun to drive. Throw it around the corners at good speeds and it will still be composed. One can safely say that the Avventura is a benchmark for the ride + handling + steering dynamics in the cross over segment. Avventura simply does not lose composure on bad roads or even when pushed around the corners. The Goodyear Eagle NCT-5 offers decent levels of grip but they are noisy and add to the stiffness of the ride. With grippy tyres, it will be literally impossible to make the car lose composure around the corners. The Avventura like the Punto EVO and the Linea masks the speeds brilliantly even when the speedo is north of 100 kmph and feels planted and confidence inspiring all along. The brakes have strong bite and does a good job of providing ample feedback. The Avventura stops without fuss and does not lose composure even under hard braking.

    The ride quality improves as the speeds increase. This makes you carry higher speeds on the broken patch and it will be dismissed without drama. Even the rear mounted spare wheel, the suspension is quiet and nothing much intrudes into the cabin. Here's a pic to give you an idea of the roads we tested it on.

    Mobile - 4.JPG

    We were following the Avventura in one of the support vehicles and we noticed that the spare wheel cover was vibrating when the Avventura was on the move. To confirm if this was causing any vibrations inside the vehicle, I got back in the driver's seat and drove on the bad roads again. None of the vibration that is visible from outside was felt inside the cabin.

    The real life fuel efficiency in a city like Bangalore should hover around 14 kmpl with AC and the highway mileage depends on the speeds it is driven at and the manner in which it is driven. Drive it sedately and the 20.5 kmpl ARAI mileage can be achieved without any issue.

    PS: The petrol vehicle was not available at the time of review. We will drive it soon and update the experience here.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
    Raaz, Murphy_Fiat, ajith862 and 21 others like this.
  6. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    How to open the boot?

    For benefit of the readers, we have put up a small guide so as to show how the boot mechanism works.

    Step 1 - Unlock the boot using the electric boot release button on the dash board.

    Open Boot Step - 1.JPG

    Step 2 - Press the button behind the handle of the spare wheel mount.

    Open Boot Step - 2.JPG


    Step 3 - Swing the spare wheel wide open while keeping the button pressed.

    Open Boot Step - 3.JPG

    Open Boot Step - 4.JPG

    Step 4 - Lift the hatch to access the boot.

    Open Boot Step - 5.JPG

    Step 5: Release the button behind the handle to keep the spare wheel locked to ensure it does not swing back in case the car is parked on a slope. This is done as a safety feature.

    Open Boot Step - 6.JPG

    To close the boot : First shut the hatch door and then hold button behind the handle on the spare wheel mount handle and swing it to lock it. The mount is cleverly made and it will be durable like any other thing done by Fiat. It has that built to last feel.

    PS: unless the button behind the handle is pressed, the spare wheel mount mechanism does not move. A neatly thought out feature.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
    Raaz, Lunafiatic, bharath and 14 others like this.
  7. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    How does the high ground clearance help?

    Most people would be thinking how the Avventura performs with the high ground clearance. Since the Avventura has SUVish ground clearance, we decided to check it out. The car did perform quite well when we threw it on the slippery grass, wet slippery surface and the stone obstacles at it. As with any car, the wheels slip when there is poor traction, so does the Avventura. But if one is careful enough not to over spin the wheel and keep the momentum going, the Avventura with its high ground clearance can do some bit of off roading for sure.

    Wet Grass



    A small video

    Slippery dirt track

    Path taken





    The stone path






    Ground Clearance

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  8. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Other Points

    Spare wheel well now houses the jack and tool kit. Note the jack rod does not fit into the slot. Poor QC by the factory to let this pass


    The thick thermocol is held in place


    A latch which is present above the rear left wheel well. Not sure what is its use.

    Mobile - 2.JPG

    The spare Wheel cover gets a reflector at the bottom along with the ones on the rear fog lamp and the reverse lamp. The spare wheel can be locked without the hatch closed. This should not have been allowed to make it 100% fool proof.


    How much space do you need to open the boot in tight places

    Mobile - 1.JPG

    View from the inner rear view mirror. The spare wheel does not obstruct the view.

    Mobile - 14.JPG

    The place to punch a hole for the number plate is already marked.


    The suspension has enough travel and the wheel wells has enough space for some articulation. Though articulation is not the right term to be used, the large wheel wells and suspension travel gives you that feel.



    The spare wheel cover is held in place with clips inside and a lock at the bottom. In case of a puncture make sure the latch below is released and then the cover is pulled out.



    The under-body has good amount of protection just like the Linea and the Punto Evo

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
    Raaz, abhinav_nani, Ashpalio and 23 others like this.
  9. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Overall Impression

    Avventura has all the positives of a FIAT with improvements on the exteriors and interiors to live up to the cross-over tag. The solid build quality, brilliant ride and handling, superb feedback from the hydraulic steering, top class braking ability and the features; all make the Avventura a good product. With the competitive pricing, the Avventura is a VFM choice too. The Avventura did turn a few heads on the roads too. As with every review of a Fiat car, we need to mention that the Avventura surely deserves a bigger heart (the 1.6 MJD and the 1.4 Tjet) under its hood. Fiat is heavily resting its hopes on the Avventura and to make it even a reasonable success, FIAT needs to get out of its laziness and market the Avventura at the top of its voice to catch the attention of the prospective buyers. The next few months will be interesting to see how the Avventura fares in the market.


    The Avventura fares much better against the Toyota Etios cross and the Volkswagen Polo Cross. Both Toyota and Volkswagen made just cosmetic mods to the Etios Liva and the Polo and named it as cross-overs.

    Avventura Vs Etios Cross

    The Etios Liva is shod with plastic cladding and revised bumpers to make it a cross over. The poor build quality of the Etios cross is evident and even the plastic cladding screams poor quality. The interiors are nothing to write home about except for the piano black finish on the center console. The ground clearance stands at 174 mm, which is 2 mm more the Liva hatch back. Etios Cross does not stand a chance in terms of performance of a cross over against the Avventura. The Etios cross isn’t cheap either for the top end variant and lags in the list of creature comforts as well.

    Avventura Vs Volkswagen Polo Cross

    The Polo cross is again similar to the Etios cross in a way that it too sports a cladding and revised bumpers to make itself a cross over. However, the polo cross is built well both on the exteriors and interiors holding up well. The 1.5 diesel engine gives enough grunt to the car. The Polo cross too is costlier than the regular Polo.

    Avventura Vs Ecosport

    The competition actually worth discussing about is the Ford Ecosport. Both these vehicles are born out of the similar thinking. Ford has packaged the Ecosport to make it more SUVish than a hatchback/cross. The spare wheel mounted at the rear makes it look like a mini SUV. Ford has cleverly packaged the upper variants with enough gizmos to keep the market interested. 6 airbags, Bluetooth streaming, start stop button, keyless entry to name a few. It does have multiple engine options and an autobox option as well. However, the on road prices of the Ecosport crosses well over the 10 lakh mark.

    A well-priced Avventura will be certainly cheaper than the Ecosport and does all that Ecosport does, it handles and rides better. Though the Avventura lacks the additional airbags, start stop button, keyless entry; one needs to be aware that the Avventura costs a lot lesser too. In all possible ways, the Avventura makes a strong case for itself and is an excellent alternative to the Ecosport.

    Avventura Vs Ecosport pictorial comparison









    PS: Thanks to the boys who agreed to get their Ecosport for a quick photo-shoot. This was unplanned.

    Avventura vs Ecosport

    I have been pretty vocal of my opinion about the Avventura being pitted against the Ecosport. I genuinely do not feel that is the right way to look at it. But since that is the way the market will most probably look at it and because that is the way FIAT is positioning the product the comparisons are going to be inevitable.

    Which one is better? I don't think you can go wrong with either car. Both are good in their own way and both have their share of drawbacks.

    Advantage Ecosport
    1. A ground up new design keeping in mind the compact SUV / CUV theme. You will not a find an equivalent hatchback version of the Ecosport in Ford showrooms. The Figo is a completely different car.
    2. Modern and bigger engines : The 1.5 TDCi is a proven workhorse while the Ecoboost is a modern turbo petrol. The Ecoboost might not be very fuel efficient and cheap to maintain but you go to give it to Ford for bringing in their global powertrains to India
    3. Loaded with features : keyless entry, 6 airbags, cooled glovebox, rear parking display etc to name a few. Has an AT variant as well
    4. Has excellent driveability in city and is a good highway cruiser.
    5. The tag of being "different" and a "segment first"
    Disadvantage Ecosport
    1. For all that personality and mini SUV looks : the cabin is cramped.
    2. Cost of maintenance is varied. Some report it as competitive while some find it expensive.
    3. Handling, ride quality and suspension though good is not segment leading. Behaviour on rough roads is not very comforting.
    4. The steering is ordinary at best. After giving excellent steering setups on the Fiesta and Figo Ford got it terribly wrong in the Ecosport.
    5. It is yet to be seen how well these cars age.
    Advantage Avventura
    1. The FIAT DNA of excellent ride quality, handling and suspension setup inspite of the higher GC. Build quality is definitely better than the Ecosport
    2. The Hydraulic Power Steering (deserves a separate point!)
    3. Will behave itself on highways as well as broken rural roads. Good ride quality is pretty much guaranteed with FIAT's and this car is no exception.
    4. A true cross over and not merely a hatchback with panels.
    5. The proven and now more importantly better tuned 1.3 90 HP engine.
    6. The maintenance cost should be competitive considering the parts sharing with Evo. Also FIAT cars are known to age well.
    Disadvantage Avventura
    1. FIAT has missed out big time by not giving the 1.4 T-Jet in the top end variant. With diesel de-regulated and petrol cars making a comeback this would have been an excellent proposition.
    2. You like it or not : it is a modified Punto Evo. A prospective buyer will find it difficult to tell the difference between a Evo and an Avventura when seen from the front
    3. The rear mounted spare wheel has a two step opening process. Not very user friendly if you ask me (Especially when almost everywhere we go these days the cars are subjected to security checks)
    4. Skipped on certain features : automatic headlamps, rain sensing wipers, rear parking sensors / camera, sunglass holder. If the Linea has it there was no harm giving these to Avventura
    5. Apart from the rear mounted spare wheel and the 16" alloys the car is missing out on "Wow" factors. DRL's and projector headlamps would have definitely added to the glamour quotient.
    My biggest worry about the Avventura is that it has no significant differentiator going for it when compared to the Ecosport. In fact the Ecosport has more differentiators! The only area where FIAT can make up is pricing. If they price it way below the Ecosport then the Avventura has an excellent chance. If it is within 30-40k or even 50k of Ecosport it is almost game over. The marginal utility of the extra features and brand value the Ecosport has is definitely worth more than 50k.

    My wish list : bring the old Punto back with revamped interiors and price the top end 90 HP at 6.5 lacs ex-showroom, discontinue the Punto Evo and have only the Avventura.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
    Raaz, Shrijit, Tornado and 26 others like this.
  10. nkrishnap

    nkrishnap Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    A few parting shots of the Avventura












    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
    Raaz, Vinodh_Gowda, Ganges and 35 others like this.

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