Fiat Auto’s Sedici 4x4 compact SUV, (Sport Utility Vehicle), has secured a major award in this year’s Caravan Club Towcar of the Year 2007 Competition.
During an awards ceremony held at the RAC Club in London last week, The Caravan Club named the Fiat Sedici 1.9 MultiJet Eleganza as its £13,501-£16,500 class winner. In so doing, it beat off strong competition from the Daihatsu Terios 1.5 SX, Kia Magentis 2.0 CRDi GS Manual, Nissan Note 1.6 SVE and Vauxhall Meriva Active 1.3 CDTi.
Commenting on the Sedici, The Caravan Club’s magazine says: “One of the great surprises in this year’s Competition, the Sedici’s one of those cars you want to drive enthusiastically, and it pays off. The Fiat stormed up the test track’s long 14% gradient in the third of its six gears, braked nicely and handled a 17% stop and restart with no problem.”
The magazine continues: “Rear end styling makes the Sedici a useful load carrier - the test car took the whole of our typical load with all seats available. Operating costs are reasonable given the added complication of 4x4 transmission.”
Elena Bernardelli, marketing director, Fiat Auto UK, says: “We are delighted to receive this award from The Caravan Club. The award represents recognition of Sedici’s genuine off-road ability, versatility and practicality. These attributes, together with Fiat’s widely acclaimed 120 bhp 1.9 MultiJet diesel engine, offer customers great value and formidable performance, making the vehicle an ideal towcar.”
Forty-two cars were put rigorously through their paces over an intensive four-day period at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire. An independent panel of six driving judges assessed handling, stability, the cars’ attitude when hitched, acceleration and braking. ‘Caravanability’ judges also appraised the cars on their ability to accommodate large, bulky loads such as water carriers and awning bags, and checked for ease of access to electrics sockets.
Test vehicles were divided into six price classes and two All-Wheel Drive categories: Under 1800kg and Over 1800kg. Vehicles were split into classes to enable The Caravan Club’s 900,000 members, and consumers in general, to make an informed choice regarding their car purchase depending upon their ideal spending figure. These results are not only important to caravanners, but to any car driver who tows; boat and horsebox owners have an equally keen interest in these awards.
Fiat Auto’s Sedici, priced from £12,495 on-the-road, went on sale in April this year and was initially available in two trim levels - Dynamic and Eleganza - and powered by a spirited 107 bhp 1.6 litre, 16 valve petrol engine mated to a five speed manual transmission. The range was extended recently with the arrival of a second powerplant - Fiat’s widely acclaimed 120 bhp 1.9 MultiJet turbodiesel, allied to a six-speed manual gearbox.Published 4 October 2006