Most of us are fascinated by fast cars ever since our childhood. Sometimes it fades away and often times there are few who keep wanting one. For souls like these, the Fiat Avventura Urban Cross makes terrific sense.
Driving it on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway with scant traffic was a superlative experience in the UrbanCross powered by Abarth. 140 HP on tap from the 1.4-litre petrol engine gives you the chance to zoom past others effortlessly. What’s more important is it can pick up from 100 kmph to 160 kmph and beyond real quick and it keeps on climbing without breaking a sweat. It feels like watching Usain Bolt in a 100 m sprint where others are losing steam and Bolt has the time to run faster, smile at the cameras and even celebrate without much effort.
The Urban Cross becomes a race car at every traffic signal with a clean sight of the road. Fiat claims a 0-100 kmph time of under 10 seconds. We did not test it but the 0-60 kmph came is rather quick and that is where it gives you the gratification. The turbo lag is felt but with as the tachometer needle climbs past 2000, there is a sudden surge of power. At times the torque steer gets a bit out of control, making you feel lively for a few seconds which is the maximum you can get on the road. That struggle to put the power to the road linearly when aggressively stamped on the accelerator in first gear brings out the hidden race car driver in you!
Ride and handling are something Fiat has figured out long back and this is no different. The company has given you the tools to savour the pleasures of driving this car.
The 5-speed transmission feels comfortable and slots in perfectly. The Urban Cross can pull from 60-160 kmph very quickly in the 5th gear and it makes other hatchbacks look absolutely mundane. The raised hatch rides on 16-inch Goodyear 205/55 R16 tyres wrapped in a scorpion styled rims. With a healthy ground clearance of 210 mm, it can glide over potholes ridden roads without any hassles.
For the Avventura Urban Cross, Fiat has dropped the tailgate mounted spare wheel and it has accentuated the beauty of this Italian offering. There are hardly any other tweaks that are noticed immediately. There is plastic cladding all along and faux skid plates at both ends making it look beefier. It gets the prominent ‘Powered by Abarth’ branding on the side which declared the might of this car.
Inside, there is a 5-inch touchscreen on the dashboard with a climate control system sitting below it. The touchscreen interface is clunky, to say the least, and for some unknown reason, the radio kept searching for other channels and ended up playing the same station again. The quality of materials is competent and the front seats are comfortable, wrapped in dual tone colours. The dash gets a two-tone treatment, but the soft portion here is finished in a light grey material, and the door pads are made from art-leather. The orange lights sneaking from the dashboard goes well with the orange backlit screen.
The grouse while driving this car is the lack of storage spaces. With just one holder it is a hard to manage if you are like me who likes to keep aside the cell phone, wallet and the power bank while driving. The rear seats are meant for individuals below six feet. Any taller and your knees start suffocating.
Fuel efficiency might not be a forte of Fiat but while buying a Fiat, it is a given. And frankly, with the kind of package the 140 HP Urban Cross offers, I doubt customers caring to take a look at this car will demand 20 kmpl. With a price tag of around INR 10 lakh, there is literally nothing to compare it with in terms of engine capability. To put it in a bit of context, commuters buy the Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai’s but it needs a proper petrolhead to put in the money on something like the Urban Cross.