Fiat has finally revealed its new compact bakkie.
Since 2001, Fiat has been producing its compact bakkie in limited markets and for fans of the brand, this new Strada will be an exciting prospect.
Although the brand’s strange Mitsubishi joint-venture, with the Fullback/Triton, is a bakkie most South Africans of recent memory will associate with a loadbox Fiat, the new Strada has real legacy.
In typical Italian style, it features a better exterior design than any rival (which is primarily Nissan’s NP200) and the cabin architecture is entirely car-like. A seven-inch infotainment screen lives atop the centre stack and there’s a Smartphone sized cubbyhole ahead of the shifter.
Strada features a huge Fiat emblem in the centre of its grille, LED headlights and lots of protective plastic cladding around the wheelarches and rocker panels. It also rolls six-spoke alloy wheels.
Around the rear, there is a step-bumper, tonneau cover and a cosmetic roll hoop, which merges into the roof rails.
The Strada is built upon Fiat’s Argo compact vehicle platform and powered by two petrol engine choices. There’s a 1.4-litre naturally-aspirated engine, good for 65 kW and 123 Nm, whilst a more potent 1.3-litre turbo boosts 81 kW and 139 Nm of torque. Both these engines drive the Strada’s front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.
Gauged in terms of size, the new Strada is 4.48 m long, which makes it a touch shorter overall, compared to Nissan’s NP200, which is 4.49 m when measured bumper-to-bumper. Loadability rates at 650 kg for the double-cab and 720 kg for Fiat’s single-cab Strada.
Although there is no talk of a 4x4 version, the Strada has an adequate 208 mm of ground clearance for gravel road use. Despite being excellently suited to South African requirements, the new Strada is only being targeted at left-hand drive markets.