Fiat Strada Gets Rave Reviews From Scribe

  Fiat Strada front

Our friends at Autoblog had one of their european writers take a first drive in a new Fiat Strada — the micro-pickup usually seen in and around South America — through the beautiful northern Italian landscapes ... and he loved it. 

Matt Davis says he's just old enough to remember vehicles like the VW Rabbit and Subaru Brat and believes that the little Strada, depending on what Fiat wants to do with the engine, could find a nice niche in the U.S. market.

And to gauge your reaction, they're even conducting an informal poll where you can vote in one of three ways: Yes, the U.S. is in desperate need of a small pickup now that Ford Ranger ditched us; No, we said we wanted a small pickup, not a small car with an open truck; or I don't know. 

Fiat Strada side

Fiat Strada int



Comments

Ok for a niche market. light delivery etc.
But, it would have to get very good fuel milage. The VW diesel truck got 40+ back in the 70s. This would have to do better to succeed.

I think for a Urban setting this would be something to consider especialy if it had another foot longer bed. Put bikes in back, a sack or two of cement, back packs etc....If I bow hunted and fished close to home this may be the ticket. For a work truck , No.

I'm not going to believe I'm first here, considering how much hate talk I expect to see. As far as that goes, I'm going to say this thing is *cute* along the same lines as the failed Subaru Baja was cute--and something I wanted. However, given the three poll choices mentioned in the article, I'll take the middle one, please.

Oh yes, we definitely need a compact truck, but this isn't it. This is, as Mark described, a small car with an open trunk; even those of us who like the concept can't call this a truck any more than the Hummer H2t was a truck. These guys are focusing too much on 4 to 6 passenger seating and ignoring the fact that when you're a truck you usually only carry 2-3 people on board. Even the Avalanche and the Baja gave you the ability to extend the bed into the back seat area.

I'll have to take a much closer look at this thing before I give it a thumbs-up. Again I like the looks, but I think the capacity in cubic feet is too low and it certainly doesn't look like it could handle a trip to Ikea for some of their eight-foot-tall bookcases.

Nice little car/truck. It does remind me of the Brat. Just a foot longer with the bed and I think it would be a good seller, who knows.

It looks like the bed is too small and that it will likely have too small a payload. *If* the bed opens into the back *and* it has a payload over 1K lbs *and* they improve the interior *and* the US attacks Iran sending gas over $6 / gallon it may have a chance. Otherwise I very much doubt it.

@Dafish, I do bow hunt and live in the city. Finally gave up my last RWD american last year because it was just getting too hard to get around. For the time being it has been replaced with a crossover. With the hitch I can add a trailer for moving/home depot runs, and a cargo carrier for dirty stuff (like a carcass). I only go to the hunting camp or gamelands, and most of the time I am with a buddy with a truck, but still miss it. Crossover is great for the city, handles well, tight turning radius, very small footprint, light on gas, and has a large cargo area, but I am still going to pickup a mid sized pickup as soon as I get the chance. The problem with these micro sized pickups is that my crossover looks to have more utility (although I would have to really get closer and inspect the thing to know for sure), and a pickup has a pile more utility than my crossover.

The Subaru Baja was a total flop for the same reason this would be--cause the original Brat's bed was almost 2 feet longer.

@Dav: The Brat also didn't have an extended cab; it was a simple bench-seat 2-door pickup with no extra space behind the seat. You wanted to seat 4? Remember those bolted-in plastic seats in the bed? They're illegal now, you know--even if they did have seat belts.

The Baja was, to me, a great-looking mini-Avalanche and if they'd held out just two years longer I would have bought one. But guess what--nobody today makes a proper compact pickup--not even Toyota.

This doesnt look so bad, especially after the chevy tornado i saw running around outside D.C. The other day because that looked like crap.

Tell you the honest truth, Zach, the Tornado and rigs like it are exactly what we need now--compact, sporty 2-seaters with a truck bed that can actually carry something. They're not meant to be thousand-pound haul-anythings but rather a do-it-yourselfer's carry the occasional tree, bush, 'fridge, etc. rig.

No, we said we wanted a small pickup, not a small fwd car with an open truck
Now a Ford Falcon on the other hand....

Fiat would do well to bring an inexpensive truck like this ASAP. If they can do it before someone else they could bring some solid sales numbers.

Just make sure the bed is long enough to haul a mountain bike without removing the wheel. No mini bed like the Subaru Baja.

If it gets 35+mpgs it might sell a little bit. If they make a version with a little bit longer of a bed it might sell a little bit. This is not what people mean when they ask for a larger truck. I want second gen Dakota sized a little bigger than a Ranger or about that size I think everyone would be pleased w/ that. The colorado/canyon was a great size idk why GM guys didnt scoop em up more at some points they where actually very good priced as well.

argh ask for a smaller truck* sorry

it is nice to see it. I want to know the weight and engine specs.I hope to see it in india

I'd consider this. Would make a nice daily commuter and weekend chore truck. I don't need a full-size, and if this handles well, is fun to drive, and they can give it a little more spunk for our market, schedule me for a test drive.

IMHO, this is exactly what I am looking for. I know it is not for everybody: I know it will not haul 10000 pds of cargo or tow a 30000 pd boat, but that is what a Heavy Duty truck is for. I do not need it or want a truck like that. Everyone has different needs and tastes. If this can pull a small jet-ski or trailor my motorcycle; then it is good. If it can get at a minimum of 30 mpg, then it is great. For many people who drive trucks, and they do not need all of the capability of a full-size; this might be just what people need. Ensure it is safe for my family, gets minimum of 30+ mpg, priced well below a full size counterpart (begin at about $13,000), not to exceed $22,000 loaded: I would think it will sell very well.

I think with Ford's Transit Connect and the new Ram city delivery van both of those companines could make a "chassis" type of vehicle and throw a bed on the back for a semi capable smaller truck with payload in the 1400-1800 lb range and with a little stronger drive train could tow 4000-5000 lbs. This would be ideal in terms of capabilities and the platform is already designed and built so they could be low cost vehicles at that.

just my $0.02

I drive a Strada TD70 (First Generation) since twelve years. Its a simple turbodiesel and it needs now 34 mpg (7 l/100km), in early years less. Its very reliable and cheap, and sometimes you can scare some gas-powered Volkswagons. In short: its a dreamcar.

Love it!, perfect for hauling light but large items like carbon bikes etc.


You guys should read the article before commenting. 50+ mpg, 16500 brand new, with the ability to haul somethong in the back. How can you go wrong with that. Its no 3/4 ton but thats why they make 3/4 tons.

If autoblog is a "friend" does that mean this site is also owned by the Huff post?

I loved Erik Estrada in CHIPS!

This thing is just as ugly as GM/Chevy trucks. Barf

"If autoblog is a "friend" does that mean this site is also owned by the Huff post?"

Does it really matter?

That's a great looking little truck. Those new Chev Canyon & GMC will look like a full size truck beside this Fiat. Put the bulkhead behind the front seats and there you have your long box. This box looks more usable than the Ford Sport Trac. Some guys on here say they wanted a small truck like the old Dodge 50. Here you go. Bring it on.

This thing really has promise. Don't dismiss the whoe idea based on just this "Adventure" Trim vehicle. The Strade also comes in a Regular cab and "long" cab version- the latter probably the best compromise for utility purposes. If you needed something cheap to buy AND cheap to run, that can carry things you don't want inside- like gas cans, this might be the ticket. I could also see it as a little upland hunting hauler- with room for dogs in the back seat, or for carrying Mtn bikes, kayaks, etc. and the smelly gear that goes along with them.
I say "Meet the 2014 RAMPage"
A slightly differnt approach would be the cutaway version of the Doblo, which IS coming here (at least in van form).

Almost 75% in the AutoBlog poll said they'd want this in the US. Most of the responders here must feel threatened by a small trucklet like this Fiat. I guess you guys need to compensate for a lack of something with your big man trucks.

I really really like this truck!
FIAT bring this to the U.S.A.
To all the haters, if you dont like it dont buy it. Close the webpage and walk away...

@DW Fields. Agreed , this sort of mini pickup does not sell here. A Ford or Holden Ute is a lot more practical.
It’s real domain is Southern Europe not all Southern Europe but areas with many very old old towns and cities.
A “proper compact pickup” is becoming more like a 9/10ths the size of a F150
Globally.

@Phillyguy Yes a Crossover would be more practical.

@Tom with Ranger
Some images of Holden/Ford Utes towing
http://members.optusnet.com.au/rxb05s/ftp1.jpg

http://i42.tinypic.com/258b3f5.jpg

@Tom with Ranger
This will make you rub your eyes
http://d454457.u23.fasthit.net/images/Truelux_tow_Vehicles/AU%20Falcon_1TonneUte_6wheeler.jpg

I want soething like this if it can do 35mpg.. but with a bench front seating for 3. The bed only needs to be long/wide enough to haul sheets of plywood flat with the tailgate without out hanging out too far. Ideally, this would have more aggressive looks.

Other option for US markets is to deliver a variation of the RWD, 2door muscle car with a bench front seat and a tailgate. No rear seats, but instead a high, hard cargo area, and a rear window that rolls into the roof. Under the bed/cargo a giant sealed trunk for tools. Google "Open Cargo Coupe" to see what I'm talking about.

With Obama's stupid mpg rule this my friends is the only truck we will be driving,say good bye to 400 hp 5500 lb beasts,your voting made this law and truck happen....

By the way Romney said he will ditch Obama's strict mpg rule...

Furthermore, if your a truck/car/automotive fan their is only 1 party to vote for...As a avid motorist I only vote for the party that doesnt condem vehicles,the Dems unfortunately has been hijacked by the bicycle riding dolts...So educate yourself and if you like trucks and driving Romney is the dolt to vote for...

if your truck gets 40 mpg you will be paying $30 a gallon because the feds need the tax money from gas..as they take/make more money at the pump than oil companies...You dont think they would raise it that high..remember back in the day they thought they could and would not ban alcohol,and they did ban it !!!

In closing, I hate politics...but love vehicles and the freedom to drive and doing my research only 1 party is going to didtch Obama's stupid mpg rule !

I'm sure you can find a political site somewhere on the interweb, where someone who actually gives a crap about politics might care to listen to your dribble. Lets try to keep this about trucks shall we. Piss off with the politics!

This vehicle doesn't meet the criteria for an effective pickup because it can't haul a 4 x 8 sheet and is front wheel drive. FWD would be OK for driving without a load (most of the time) but are the worst choice for hauling because as the load in the pickup bed increases, the traction to the front wheels decrease -much like a titter-totter. One solution would be to offer a selectable RWD/AWD like the VW Amorak. A selectable FWD/AWD would also be a workable solution.

The F-150 is best selling truck in the US. The most popular configuration is a crew cab with a 5.5' bed. The proverbial 4x8 sheet of plywood theory is dead, dead, dead! Not every truck buyer has the need or desire to haul lumber. Get over it all ready!

This Fiat reminded me of our Ssangyong pickup we have. It comes with a little 2.0 turbo diesel and a dual cab is under 30k here. It uses 7.3litres per 100km. Over 32mpg. But these might be larger than the Fiat.

http://www.themotorreport.com.au/53786/2012-ssangyong-actyon-sports-on-sale-in-australia

@Dr Lou
"FWD would be OK for driving without a load (most of the time) but are the worst choice for hauling because as the load in the pickup bed increases"

I beg to differ on that point of view. This 2.3 litre diesel Fiat can carry 4 500lbs on a 12' bed and they are front wheel drive and return in the high 20s for fuel economy. Maybe the HD of the future.

http://www.modifiedcars.com/cars/39508/fiat-ducato-2012-pictures/256611

What's with the "Goldilocks and 3 Bears" syndome that exists?
It is too big!
It is too small!
WTF is just right?????????
The 4x8 sheet of plywood standard is laughable at best.
When was the last time any of us has seen a long box (read 8 foot) box?
Does that mean our trucks are too small?

Fiat - bring it to NA.

If for no other reason than see if small (truly small) trucks will sell.

A two-door (regular cab) with a decent sized please. I just need an economical way to haul my dirt bike to the trail heads. I don't need a back seat.

i meant to say "a decent sized bed"

Good lord this is ugly!

The plywood carrying is more about width than length. People want to be able to lay something that wide flat, which means a true 4ft between the wheel wells. Length is less relevant since the gate can come down to extend the length, and long things can hang out the back.

FWD vehicles can be setup decently well for hauling, at the extremes they will never outperform RWD vehicles though. I have helped my buddy haul stone in his Ridgeline and we maxed out its payload with several 1500+ lb trips, and it handled the weight fine. It is FWD based with a multiplate clutch to drive the rear axle when the computer demands it. Lots of minivans load beyond their payloads and do alright as well. Suspension setup in the FWD vehicle can make a whole world of difference. I am sure frame geometry and such also come into play, but that begins to delve into an extremely complicated subject that I am not very well versed in.

comment part of this site reminds me of this song any more LOL! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVnWOUR7NQE

These vehicles will never sell in as large a numbers as full size but platform sharing and sharing assembly facilities will lower the amount of volume required to be profitable. This is similiar to the Colorado in that to just develop this product for scratch for just the NA market is not feasible but by using an existing product will not require any additional development costs at the same time meeting an unfullfilled need in the market.

All it needs is a HEMI V8!

I would argue the point about 4' between the wheel wells, as long as you have a good 4' between the sidewalls and a means to drop a 2x2 or 2x4 at front, middle and rear of the bed to allow that sheet of plywood/wallboard to lie flat for the ride home. Several of the '80's model compacts did exactly that which meant other, lighter and more wind-prone cargo could ride beneath them between the wells. A good set of straps and places to hook them is all that would be needed to secure that load for the ride.

@DWFIELDS

You are right. The current Tacomas even have the bed molded so that it has a small 2-3 inch "shelf" over the wheel well, this allows 4ft wide building materials to lie flat. You can't fill the entire bed, but you can get a few sheets to lie flat. Its a nice setup and completely free to the manufacturers if they have a plastic bed or drop in bedliner available.

http://www.pickuptrucks.com/html/stories/small-trucks/chevrolet-tornado/falling-in-luv-again.html

Tornado has better styling. I'd buy one if it could be sold for $14 or $15 thousand.



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