Allied to a spaceframe construction designed to provide exceptional torsional stiffness yet absorb impact with maximum efficiency, the new Fiat Multipla may be fitted with up to six airbags, while three front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, three inertia reel safety belts in the rear, six full-sized head restraints, ISOFIX child seat attachments and an FPS Fire Prevention System are all fitted as standard across the range.
All new Multipla versions feature powerful, 284 mm ventilated disc brakes front and rear. In addition, ABS anti-lock braking, complete with electronic brakeforce distribution, is fitted as standard
The servo assisted braking system features two independent crossover hydraulic circuits to ensure prompt, linear braking and shorter stopping distances.
Ride And Handling
Against rivals which tend to be larger-bodied versions of existing hatchbacks whose suspension is inevitably compromised by existing dynamics, one of Fiat’s key design objectives for the Multipla was to produce a mid-range MPV that would handle as well as an equivalent saloon – a target that has been achieved with no small degree of success.
Thanks to its purpose-built, spaceframe chassis and wide track, the new Fiat Multipla offers class leading roadholding, and handling of a tenacity more usually associated with a sporty hatchback. Moreover, by placing the wheels at the extreme corners of the car, Fiat’s engineers have maximised its wheelbase length, further abetting the Multipla’s remarkable high speed stability. Effective damping combined with a tried and tested MacPherson strut front suspension system combines excellent vehicle control on bends with smooth absorption of road surface irregularities and undulations.
The new Multipla’s power steering system has been designed for lightness during parking and manoeuvring at low speeds, together with precision and safety at high speeds.
Hydraulic power steering is standard on all models, and is particularly quiet in its operation. It works in inverse proportion to the speed of the car, i.e. maximum assistance when the vehicle is travelling slowly (e.g. parking) and minimum assistance when travelling fast on the open road, when the driver needs maximum ‘feel’. The turning circle of the Multipla is 11.0 metres.Published 3 September 2004