Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is preparing to take the ute market by storm with its all-new 2021 Fiat Strada dual cab ute. Oh, but not here in Australia, rather in Latin America where the existing Strada is already the best-selling light commercial vehicle in Brazil.
What you see here is actually the third-generation Strada ute, just released in Brazil ahead of full-scale availability later this year. While the basic concept may be similar, the Strada is a very different product to the kinds of utes that rule Aussie roads.
It’s not alone in its class (but has a remarkable 60 per cent market share), with rivals like the Volkswagen Saveiro, and Chevrolet Montana following a similar format. The compact Strada measures just 4480mm from nose to tail, putting it right between the the Toyota Corolla hatch and sedan for length.
Despite its diminutive size, the Strada follows a familiar layout: Dual-cab, four doors, five seats – a first for the Strada which previously came in a 2+1 door layout. Unlike Aussie dual-cabs, however, the Strada eschews a ladder frame chassis for a front-wheel drive monocoque platform.
Be that as it may, the dual-cab Strada is still rated with a 650kg payload and has a tub that measures 1173mm long and 1079mm wide with up to 208mm of ground clearance. A more work-ready single-cab variant is also available with a slightly more substantial 720kg payload.
Buyers will have a choice of two engines, either a naturally aspirated 1.4-litre FIRE (that’s Fully Integrated Robotised Engine, and nothing to do with its flammability) four-cylinder rated at 65kW and 123Nm or a newer 1.3-litre FireFly four-cylinder producing 80kW and 139Nm, both with flex fuel capabilities to run on petrol or ethanol.
A five-speed manual will be available initially, with a CVT auto on the way for the 1.3-litre. A more powerful 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo is also slated to be released down the track.
The Strada’s design shows off the latest Fiat styling cues including a tall frameless badge for the grille and slim headlights that echo the styling of the larger Jeep Cherokee-based Toro dual-cab – another of Fiat’s global ute offering’s that doesn’t make it here.
Adventure-ready cladding and LED headlights and DRLs feature on the high-grade Volcano trim level, while lower-grade Endurance and Freedom trim levels opt for halogen lights, unpainted bumpers, and steel wheels instead of alloys, depending on the grade.
Inside, the Strada touts a 7.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Fiat lists four airbags, hill-start assist, traction control and an e-locking differential amongst the ute’s safety credentials.
Official pricing for the new model is yet to be unveiled but shouldn't be vastly different to the outgoing model, which is priced between 54,990 and 83,690 Brazilian Real (AU $17,150 - $26,100) depending on specification.
With production only in left-hand drive primarily for the South American market, and a list of safety specifications that fall short of local market expectations, don’t expect to see the Strada in Australia Fiat showrooms any time soon.
MORE: Everything Fiat