2016 Fiat Urban Cross review, test drive

    In a bid to fit in with the urban crowd, the Fiat Avventura ditches the tailgate-mounted spare wheel to become the Urban Cross.

    Published on Oct 07, 2016 03:25:00 PM

    49,452 Views

    Make : Fiat
    Model : Urban Cross

    What is it?

    The short answer would be an Avventura without the tailgate-mounted spare wheel. But the missing spare has made the car more practical, as it doesn't need the additional space while manoeuvering into tight spaces, and the boot can be opened in a straightforward manner. Reversing is less tricky too since you don’t have to judge the extra length of the spare wheel, which blocks visibility as well. Thus to move around the urban confines of cramped cities, Fiat has brought in the Urban Cross.

    Fiat had done a great job styling the Avventura, and it looks great as the Urban Cross as well. While the cars may look identical from the front, the Urban Cross gets a few tweaks including a slightly larger skid plate that runs across the width of the bumper leading to a slight change in profile, and the piano black finish on the grille. Styling-wise, the rest is all Avventura. What’s nice is that Fiat has kept the styling pretty uniform across all the three variants, namely Active, Dynamic and Emotion. So you get the Reindeer antler-like headlights, front and rear skid plates, massive side claddings, rear spoiler, LED tail-lights, roof rails, and even 16-inch alloys wheels on all cars. The ‘Powered by Abarth’ Emotion trim, however, gets the trademark Scorpion alloy pattern.

    What’s it like on the inside?

    The interiors too are similar to the Avventura's, except for a slight change in the colour scheme, and the omission of the central compass and inclinometer, which is a shame because that cluster was a standout feature that gave the car sense of purpose. However, the Urban Cross’ purpose is more about urban practicality and hence what you get is a small cubbyhole like in the Punto Evo. A big addition to the Punto line-up has been the touchscreen and just like the other cars, all variants of the Urban Cross get it too, but overall it’s quite a let-down. It has all the regular features like SD card-based navigation, USB, aux and Bluetooth. It also plays video, but only when the car is stationary with the handbrake on, in the interests of safety. But at 5 inches, the screen is way too small, making it difficult to read and fiddly to use; some owners will have phones that are larger. The screen isn’t very responsive to touch so it’s a good thing that the steering wheel and head unit get hard buttons and dials for functions such as volume, track select and modes. The dashboard still looks nice and with a decent soft-touch finish, but the speedo and tachometer gauges and particularly the digital display for the trip computer looks quite dated. The front seats are quite large and comfortable but aren't perfect – the driving position is odd and what was once known as the classic Italian position that suited long legs and short arms. So finding a comfortable position will take some fiddling around and even then you won’t quite find the perfect spot.

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