We informed you earlier that Fiat is working on an all-new 7-Seater SUV, which is likely to share design cues from the Toro Pickup. If media reports are to be believed, the next Fiat SUV will be based on the Jeep Compass SUV. As a reminder, Fiat Chrysler Automobile owns the Jeep brand and several new Jeep SUVs are developed on Fiat platforms. Jeep Renegade and Compass are also developed on the Fiat Small Wide Platform.
Not just platform, Jeep Compass is also sharing its petrol and diesel engines from Fiat. The Italian carmaker is likely to develop this SUV for South American markets, which means it may not come to India. Interestingly, the Fiat’s SUV could be a seven-seat model. If it comes to India, it will be a direct competitor to Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, Skoda Kodiaq and the upcoming Honda CRV 7 Seater.
Seeing the growing demand for SUVs, we believe that Fiat could launch this SUV in India. India could also serve as a production hub for this SUV, and Fiat would export this SUV to select right-hand-drive markets. As you know, Jeep is also developing the Compass at Fiat’s Ranjangaon facility and exports it to right-hand-drive markets.
The new Compass based Fiat SUV is likely to share its styling cues from the Toro pick up truck. The Toro pick-up is currently on sale in South American markets. Media reports suggest that the 7-seater model will have a wheelbase of around 2.99 meters; however, the wheelbase could be reduced to 2.75 meters for the 5-seater model. The cabin too is likely to share features from the pickup sibling. It will get Fiat’s UCONNECT touchscreen navigation with 5-inch display, LED instrument cluster, keyless entry, 7 airbags, ABS with EBD, etc.
Powertrains for the new SUV could be lifted from the Toro as well. For South American automakers, the Fiat’s SUV could get a 1.8-litre petrol and LPG flex fuel engine that produces 138bhp and a 2.0-litre Multijet turbo-diesel engine that produces 170bhp of power. On the Toro pick up truck, the gasoline engine is available with a six-speed manual gearbox with a front-wheel-drive layout. On the flip side, the oil burner gets a 6-speed manual and a 9-speed automatic gearbox. It is available in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel drive layouts. The same may be offered on the Fiat SUV.