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Review: Fiat Urban Cross
Driven December 2016
The Punto has been Fiat’s favourite product. And to prove what we just said, here’s the list of iterations that Fiat India has given us in the past few years: Punto, Punto Evo, Punto Pure, Abarth Punto, Punto Avventura, and now this, the Urban Cross. Though this doesn’t have a Punto in its name, you don’t need to be Sherlock to know what’s under the skin of this ‘urban crossover’.
This, what you see in the pictures, was shown to the public first at this year’s Auto Expo. Actually, the model that Fiat showcased at the Auto Expo was similar to the Urban Cross, not exactly the same. What differs from the show car and the actual version is the grille that doesn’t get as much chrome and the wheels that aren’t as jazzy as the ones that were shown in Delhi. Actually, the one that will make it to the dealerships is quite similar to the Avventura that came in last year. It has two major differences: a different grille and a missing tailgate-mounted spare wheel. Thank god for the latter!
The Urban Cross is available in both petrol and diesel versions. For the diesel, Fiat has stuck to the only diesel engine that it has in the line-up, the 1.3-litre MultiJet. In the UC, it’s been tuned to churn out 89bhp and 209Nm. For the petrol, the one you see here is a superb engine. It’s a 1.4-litre, four-cylinder mill that’s assisted by a turbocharger. As a result, it churns out 138bhp and 210Nm of spin. And for a car this size, it’s a complete riot. The engine is mated to a conventional five-speed manual transmission. It has decently short throws and is slick in changing cogs, but you do feel the need of the sixth gear when on the highway.
There’s a sticker on the UC that says ‘powered by Abarth’ and that means business. The Urban Cross petrol is not just fast in a straight line, but also fun on winding roads. The steering is communicative and there isn’t too much body roll either. To justify the ‘Cross’ in its name, it has got scuff plates front and back, and gets an SUV-shaming ground clearance of 205mm.
The Urban Cross, in the petrol avatar, comes with auto AC, rear AC vent, Bluetooth connectivity, sat-nav, ABS and two airbags, to name a few. In terms of features, the Urban Cross is equipped with almost everything to please even the most demanding buyer.
Fiat hadn’t launched the Urban Cross at the time of going to press, but we expect the pricing to be in the range of `9.5-9.7 lakh (ex-showroom). For that money, Fiat wants you to have a really quick hatchback that has the practicality of a crossover. And with the subtraction of the tailgate-mounted spare wheel, it looks even more desirable. VW Polo GT TSI, you’ve got a serious reason to worry.
Engine: 1368cc, 4cyl, turbo petrol
Transmission: 5-speed manual
0-100kph: 9.7 seconds (claimed)
Rs 11.29 lakh (on-road, Mumbai)
A fun hatch that’s mighty quick and possesses extra ground clearance. A close-to-perfection formula