One feature we should mention is the dualdrive electric speed-sensitive power steering.
One feature we should mention is the dualdrive electric speed-sensitive power steering. This system comes with a choice of two settings - normal operation and city mode. In normal operation the steering weight would be considered light and easy - but put the power steering into 'city mode' and a gentle sneeze would result in a 180 degree change of direction. Joking apart, 'city mode' makes parking and low speed manoeuvres exceptionally easy. Both systems offer identical power assistance over 44 mph ensuring that steering wheel response is suited to high speed driving.
All Fiat Idea's feature ABS (Anti-Lock Brakes), EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution), ventilated front discs and rear drum brakes as standard ensuring that the Idea brakes reassuringly well.
Ease of Use
The Fiat Idea is very easy to drive and visibility is generally very good however, the thick A-pillars can hamper visibility.
Designed as an MPV (multi purpose vehicle) the Fiat Idea is a family friendly vehicle with a versatile seating configuration - you can create the space that you need. There are 32 different seating configurations including the facility to fold the front and rear seats into a 'couchette' configuration which allows two people to lie down and stretch out fully. The rear seats can be folded flat on a 40:20:40 split, the rear seats can be reclined by 60 degrees and the centre rear seat folds down to function as a table top. The rear seats can be moved back and forth, you can even fold down the driver and passenger seats to use as foot rests whilst you lounge in rear, a feature that might be popular with our elderly readers or the occasional in-car overnight stop. The only thing you are unable to do with the seats are remove them.
The luggage space can be expanded from 320 litres to 1420 litres (62 litres more than the Vauxhall Meriva) by sliding both sections of the rear seat base fully forwards.
The Idea's flexible load carrying ability doesn't compromise storage which includes 24 compartments as standard including fascia trays, a spacious glove box, central cubby box incorporating CD, cup and business card holders and large door pockets.
Access to the rear is via a hinged top tailgate which offers full width access to the load space over a low sill.
Safety and Security
The Idea Active is equipped with driver and passenger front airbags, Anti Lock Brakes (ABS) with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution), electric front windows, ISOFIX child seat points, remote control door locking, height adjustable front seatbelts with pre-tensioners, and load limiters, three-point rear seatbelts, anti-submarining front & rear seats, Fiat's FPS (Fire Preventing System) and an alarm as standard.
Fiat Idea Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Fiat Idea 1.3 MultiJet Active|
|Body Type||Mini MPV|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||15.4 Seconds|
|Top Speed||99 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||62.8 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||2-year unlimited mileage manufacturer warranty|
3rd year dealer warranty
3-year Fiat AA assurance cover
8-year anti-perforation warranty
3-year paintwork warranty
|Price (when tested on the 03/02/05)||£ 10,895.00 OTR|