The New Croma range also offers the best in terms of power units, safety features and suspension systems. For example, all engines meet stage 4 EEC emission limits while the diesels are fitted as standard with particulate filter (DPF): two petrol (136 bhp 1.8 16v and 147 bhp 2.2 16v) and three turbodiesels (120 or 150 bhp 1.9 Multijet and the brand new 200 bhp 2.4 Multijet). The New Croma can be fitted with no fewer than 5 types of gearbox to exploit the performance of its new engines to the full: in brief, all the petrol engines come with a 5 speed gearbox with an option to fit an automatic sequential gearbox on the 2.2 16v. All the diesel engines come with 6-speed gearboxes with an automatic sequential gearbox as an alternative to the manual unit on the 150 bhp 1.9 Multijet and as the only choice on the powerful 200 bhp 2.4 Multijet 20v.
The Croma offers very high quality standards that are implemented from the initial design stages. During the various stages of research, prototypes cover more than 3 million kilometres to test out the car over all types of route and under all weather conditions.
The Cassino plant manufacturing process was tested before the normal development stages so that process checks could be carried out directly on the plant production lines. The quality control checks, already stringent, were taken a stage further by introducing a 100 km test route for 100% of pre-production cars.
The most sophisticated devices currently on the market allow maximum protection for driver and passengers. This is what the New Croma promises (and delivers). In the preventive safety field, for example, the new model offers xenon headlights while its active safety complement includes VDC with Hill-Holder for total control of dynamic stability under all conditions. The New Croma caters for passive safety with up to nine airbags (seven are always fitted as standard) and seat-belts with pretensioner and load limiter. Three-point seat-belts are fitted at the rear, even on the middle seat.
To ensure the New Croma offers the greatest passive safety, the Fiat Auto Safety Centre engineers examined all possible types of accident (frontal impact, side impact, roll-over, shunting and fire), taking into account the various speeds at which impact may occur, the different types of obstacle and the need to protect occupants with very different physical characteristics. The result: the new model is one of the safest cars in its entire segment. The new model complements these winning attributes with superlative travelling comfort due to its suspension configuration: an independent MacPherson system at the front with a multilink layout at the rear.Published 22 February 2005