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Fiat Croma 2.2 Dynamic

Broadcast date : 16th April 2006

A feature of the new models coming out of Europe is that traditional categories are becoming blurred. Hatch backs are growing in size to the point where they look like mini MPVs, station wagons are gaining height to the point where THEY could be described as multi-purposes devices, and some MPVs are shrinking to hatch-back levels.

Fiatís new Croma is one of this new breed, a five-seater family car that enjoys a rather unique blend of style and dynamic ability.

There is no less than 500 litres of boot space on the Croma and this rises to well over 1000 litres when the seats are folded flat.

The Croma is targeted at a more upmarket clientele than the Fiats we have been offered in recent years, and the interior has an ambience of pleasing understatement.

The specification level is high with individual climate control and plenty of storage space. This includes an armrest compartment that can hold large drink bottles, seats with multiple adjustment, the requisite electric window operation and stylish instrumentation and console paneling.
The seats on the test car were high-quality cloth in contrasting panels, while leather seats are available as an extra-cost option.

Items like doggy nets are also useful from a practical point of view and will appeal to the mink and manure set.

Dynamically the car is good, the most impressive aspect being a super-quiet ride.

The good aero shape plays its part in this wafting ride experience, as does the well-insulated engine. The car feels very substantial in essence, a typical family car with a no-nonsense spec level. And the commanding driving position will prove popular amongst female drivers.

Unfortunately, some of that quality is skin-deep. During our time with the car the hazard-button dropped into the console, a door sealing strip worked loose and driverís wing mirror vibrated badly. A pity as the rest of the car is good.

This is where the cross-over idea comes into its own. The Croma has a lower center of gravity than most MPVs, which aids stability.

The Croma weighs in at around 1500 kilograms, and its four-cylinder engine displaces 2,2 litres, developing 108 kiloWatts.

Torque is 203 Newton Metres at 4000 rpm, and while Fiat claims a 0-100 time of 10 seconds at the coast, at the Reef it requires a fair degree of winding up to get things moving.

Fuel consumption overall is reasonable, but about town itíll be in the 13 per 100 range, due to the need for lots of revs in the lower gears.

Once you get into the cruising zone with this large car itís extremely pleasant to drive, not least because that engine is so unobtrusive.

While Fenly felt the R215 000 Croma could do with a stronger identity, overall she was impressed.

Fiat Croma 2,2 Dynamic
  • Engine: Four-cylinder petrol, 2 198 cc
  • Power: 108 kW @ 5 800 rpm
  • Torque: 203 Nm @ 4000 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 10,1 seconds (claimed)
  • Top speed: 210 km/h (claimed)
  • Fuel consumption: 12,0 litres/100 km (estimated)
  • Price: R215 000


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