The New Fiat Sedici - Ride And Handling | Part Six

Fiat Sedici

Fiat Sedici

Under conditions of high rpm and high torque demand, only one injection is required whilst, with coolant temperature at over 60 degrees, emissions are minimised with one small, one large, and then one small injection in the sequence.

Hence, whilst performance is substantially enhanced, start-up times and exhaust smoke are reduced, noise levels and vibration are lowered to ensure a quieter drive and improved passenger comfort, and both fuel consumption and emissions are significantly reduced. All Fiat MultiJet turbo diesel units easily fulfil Euro 4 emissions requirements.

The latest version of Fiat’s 1.9 litre, 8 valve, 120 bhp MultiJet turbo diesel has undergone significant changes to increase performance and bottom-end torque, whilst further reducing noise levels and vibration.

The common rail system includes two new control strategies for automatically calibrating and balancing the diesel injection, both to lower noise and reduce vibration.

The new Sedici’s 1.9 litre MultiJet unit boasts an impressive 206 lb.ft of torque delivered at just 2050 rpm, allowing acceleration from 0-62 mph in 11.2 seconds. Fuel economy in the combined cycle is a commendable 42.8 mpg, and the Sedici 1.9 MultiJet 120 returns a CO2 emissions figure of 174 g/km. It is fitted with a variable geometry Garrett VGT 17 turbo and a DPF Diesel Particulate Filter to further enhance its low emission credentials.

Ride And Handling

More compact and lower than SUVs in the same segment, the new Fiat Sedici has been engineered to combine off-road capabilities appropriate to its new, on-demand four-wheel drive transmission, combined with the ride comfort and handling dynamics associated with an equivalent family hatchback.

Allied to an ultra-stiff chassis, and riding on a long, 2500 mm wheelbase which promotes outstanding high-speed stability, the new Sedici’s suspension has been designed to combine the highest possible levels of on-road ride comfort whilst still delivering uncompromised off-road performance.

The Sedici’s rack and pinion steering features electric powered assistance, a more compact and fuel efficient system than the traditional hydraulic arrangement because it only provides assistance when it is required. And the Sedici’s compact dimensions equip it with an urban, and off-road friendly 11.0 metre turning circle.

Front Suspension

The new Sedici’s front suspension is an independent, MacPherson strut system, mounted on a steel sub-frame, which is anchored flexibly to the chassis to minimise the transmission of vibration and road noise. Allied to 205/60 R 16 tyres selected to achieve the optimum balance between on and off-road performance, this compact system combines high levels of on-road ride comfort and driving safety with the flexibility and articulation fundamental to true off-road ability.

Rear Suspension

The new Fiat employs a torsion beam axle at the rear. This compact and durable engineering solution features a curved lightweight beam axle that delivers precise suspension control irrespective of surface conditions.

All-Wheel Drive
The Fiat Sedici is fitted with a new, on-demand 4x4 system which features an electronically controlled centre differential and three driver-selected operating modes - 2WD, AUTO and LOCK - activated via a three-way transmission control rocker-switch housed in the centre console. This simple, intuitive, electronic solution does away with the need for any cumbersome and intrusive transfer box gearlevers.

At the heart of the new 4x4 transmission is an electromagnetically operated dry multi-plate clutch coupling system that modulates the transfer of torque electronically, according to demand from either axle.

In 2WD mode, used during normal driving conditions, the 4x4 system transmits all engine torque to the front axle, reaping the benefits of a traditional front-wheel drive transmission - improved fuel economy, less mechanical wear and lower emissions. When driving in adverse weather conditions, or on surfaces with low levels of grip, the Sedici driver can select on-demand 4x4 simply by setting the transmission control switch to AUTO. In this mode, the transmission employs the ABS anti-lock brake sensors to detect relative slip levels between front and rear axles and, generating electrical pulses which activate the electromagnetic clutch plate coupling system, intervenes where necessary.

The system’s AUTO setting automatically modulates torque distribution between the front and rear axle, transmitting all torque to the front wheels under the majority of normal driving conditions, whilst optimising torque transfer to the rear axle when the sensors detect low grip, or in anticipation of loss of traction during acceleration.

As its name suggests, LOCK splits engine torque equally between front and rear axles, to ensure prompt and stable take-off in mud, snow, sand or other adverse conditions. This 50:50 torque split is maintained up to speeds of 37 mph, above which the system automatically reverts to the AUTO mode.

The new Sedici’s combination of short 895 mm front and 720 mm rear overhangs and high 190 mm ground clearance make it ideally suited to the most challenging of off-road conditions, with approach, departure and break-over angles (the maximum angle of incidence that may be undertaken without the body touching the ground) of 20.3, 31.1 and 18.1 degrees respectively. The new Sedici will also readily climb gradients of 33%.

Published 9 April 2006 Melanie Carter

The information contained this Fiat Sedici news article may have changed since publication on the 9 April 2006. Our car specifications, reviews, and prices may only apply to the UK market. You may wish to check with the manufacturer or your local Fiat dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce our car news in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2018