The New Fiat Sedici | Part Two

Fiat Sedici

Fiat Sedici

Design

Styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Italdesign - Italy’s leading design house - in conjunction with Fiat Centro Stile, the Sedici successfully carries the hallmarks of Fiat’s distinctive design into a new sector for the company. Responding to the increasingly diverse transportation requirements of the modern family, the Sedici combines the high driving position and off-road ability of an SUV with the versatility and practicality of a family hatchback.

"I wanted to create a compact shape that is sturdy as a whole, with side windows that are low at the front of the windscreen pillar," says Giugiaro of his work. "This gives the car a distinctive look and is also more practical as far as visibility is concerned."

Styling

Fiat’s first foray into the small SUV market, the new Sedici features a bold and distinctive face with a plunging bonnet line, muscular wings and generous, flared wheel arches. Its large grille, which instantly identifies the Sedici as the latest addition to the Fiat range, is flanked by a pair of powerful, curved headlamps that flow up and outward beneath the bonnet line. They are complemented by twin circular front fog lamps, housed low in the deep front airdam.

From the side, the Sedici features a bold, sloping waistline that accommodates large front quarterlights and generous door mirrors to further enhance all-round visibility. The waistline rises dramatically from the steeply raked, divided A pillar through to the rear lights. The blacked-out B pillar enhances this striking dynamic line and emphasises the Sedici’s generous side glazing, whilst the broad, body-coloured C pillar rises to the roofline above the rear wheel arch rather than at the absolute rear corner of the car. "This styling option makes the vehicle less of a station wagon and gives it the typical appearance of a car that is stylish but also sturdy," says Giugiaro. "You could say that it acts as a psychological roll-bar."

At the rear, bright, high-visibility tail lamp clusters flank a full width, top hinged tailgate. The Sedici’s all-wheel drive capabilities are visually underscored by its protective, metallic grey front and rear undertrays, sweeping, integral roof rails and robust, black polyurethane side cladding that flows from both front and rear bumpers to offer additional wheel arch protection.

Life on Board

The new Fiat Sedici is 1755 mm wide, 1620 mm high and 4115 mm long - 100 mm lower and 110 mm shorter than average for SUVs in this segment - with a long 2500 mm wheelbase. These dimensions combine to create a car with a compact and urban-friendly footprint, yet a spacious and generously proportioned cabin.

The combination of a raised driving position, height adjustable driver’s seat, rake-adjustable steering wheel and deep front quarterlight windows within the divided A pillar afford the driver an ergonomically ideal driving position with excellent all-round visibility for a panoramic view of the road ahead.

The new Fiat’s driver-orientated interior design features a clear, functional instrument binnacle flanked by an intelligently configured and well-appointed centre console that houses the ventilation and audio controls. Meticulous attention has been paid to the positioning of all console-based functions for optimum user clarity and minimal driver distraction.

The Sedici’s cabin features hardwearing materials which have been chosen to stand up to the daily rigours of family life, whilst enhancing the acoustic comfort of the cabin. As well as reclining individually, each section of the 60:40 split/folding rear seat may be double folded forwards into an upright stowage position behind the front seat backs, boosting the volume of the flat-floor luggage compartment from 270 to 670 litres. Numerous oddment stowage spaces throughout the new Fiat include a large, lockable, passenger side glove box and generous door bins.

Customers will have the choice of either Striped Grey or Woven Grey upholstery according to the specification level, as well as the option of black or brown leather trimmed seats. Externally, there is a choice of two solid colours, as well as eight metallic shades.

continues... | Part Three
Published 9 April 2006 Melanie Carter

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