New Fiat Multipla - Interior and Seating | Part Three

New Fiat Multipla

Fiat Multipla

Life on board

Within a conventional, mid-sized MPV, the accommodation of six people in three rows of two seats inevitably incurs significant penalties; the two rearmost seats are normally of a size only suitable for children, and residual luggage space is restricted.

The Multipla’s unique, three-abreast-in-two-rows seating configuration not only affords each occupant a full-sized seat with a three point, inertia reel safety belt, but also boasts a class-leading 430 litres of luggage space – increasing to 1900 litres with the three rear seats removed from the vehicle.

A true multi-purpose vehicle, the new Multipla displays an impressive seating configuration versatility which both allows for the extensive adjustment of the front seats and the removal and relocation of the rear seats into numerous practical formats.

The six individual, orthopaedically designed seats are identically sized. With frames of aluminium, they are light (just 15 kg), yet very strong. They all come with adjustable head restraints as standard, and have rake adjustable backrests.

Front seats

All three front seats have fore and aft adjustment. The middle seat is set slightly back to maximise shoulder room and ensure that the driver is comfortable. When folded forwards the central front seat becomes a flat, stipple surfaced table with cup holders. Instead of the central front seat, an 18 litre refrigerated/heated storage compartment may be specified; this is a factory fitted option that is not removable once installed.

Rear seats

All three rear seats have two floor fixing positions (the centre seat has three) 15 cm apart. They can thus be moved forward to increase luggage capacity, aft to improve passenger legroom, or staggered to further enhance shoulder room. Each rear seat can be folded, pushed forward and held in position by elasticated straps, or removed altogether. When folded forwards, the central rear seat also becomes a flat table with cup holders. The backs of the rear outer seats also feature the same stippled, flat surface.

Loadspace

The versatility of the new Fiat Multipla also extends to its floor area. Being completely flat throughout, both loading, through either rear doors or tailgate, and moving around within the vehicle (further abetted by the car’s high roofline) is far easier than with the ‘stepped’ floors of other compact MPVs.

With all rear seats occupied, luggage room is a class-leading 430 litres. Folding the rear seats away increases this capacity to 1300 litres, whilst removal of all three affords a remarkable 1900 litre luggage capacity.

continues... | Part Four
Published 3 September 2004 Melanie Carter

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