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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist


Forbidden half-ton dream: Facelift Fiat Strada revealed in Brazil

Strada remains a left-hand-drive exclusive now available with a turbocharged engine and first-time ever optional automatic transmission.


Consistently Brazil’s top-selling new vehicle with sales last year of 120 800 units, and 50 546 in the first quarter of 2023 alone, Fiat has debuted the revised Strada bakkie just over three years after its world debut.

Dimensions

Based on the same unibody platform as the Argo hatch, the Strada, also sold as the Ram 700 in Mexico, remains dimensionally unchanged with an overall length of 4 474 mm, wheelbase of 2 737 mm, width of 1 732 mm and height of 1 608 mm.

ALSO READ: New Fiat Strada completely detailed

As before, single and double cab bodystyles are available with drive going to the front wheels only unlike its senior sibling, the Toro, which can be specified with all-wheel-drive as well as a turbodiesel engine.

Fiat showcases facelift Strada
Endurance commences the Strada range, now with a new engine. Image: Fiat

Also unchanged is the Strada’s payload which ranges from 650 kg for the double cab to 720 kg for the single cab. Towing capacity is 400 kg regardless of the cab-style, with ground clearance varying from 185 mm to 214 mm.

Fiat showcases facelift Strada
Stepping up from the Endurance is the more lifestyle focused Freedom. Image: Fiat

In addition, Fiat has not altered the capacity of the loadbin itself, which can accommodate 844-litres in the double cab and 1 354-litres in the single cab.

What has changed

Described by parent company Stellantis as “more than a pick-up”, the biggest alteration to the Strada has taken place outside and up front, the former comprising a redesigned grille, LED headlights and LED fog lamps on the premium Ranch and Ultra trim levels only.

While the workhorse single-cab only Endurance continues without change, with the same applying to the step-up Freedom, the mid-range Volcano joins the Ranch and Ultra in being the recipient of new 16-inch alloy wheels.

Updated Fiat Strada revealed
Freedom opens the double cab Strada range off. Image: Fiat

A new edition celebrating 25 years of the Strada this year, the limited-run Edizione 25 now tops the range based on the Ultra and is limited to 1 025 units.

Decked out in a model-specific two-tone colour called Strato Grey contrasted by a black roof, the Edizione 25’s other unique touches consist of grey 16-inch wheels, gloss black mirror caps, Edizione 25 decals down the side of the loadbin and, as on the Ultra, a gloss black honeycomb pattern grille underscored by a red insert.

Fiat reveals updated Strada spec
Volcano trim level brings to an single cab availability. Image: Fiat

Inside, all six trim levels receive a new steering wheel resplendent with Fiat’s now corporate logo, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard on the Volcano, Ranch, Ultra and Edizione 25.

Unique to the latter model though are alloy pedals, red stitching on the seats and a builder’s plaque below the seven-inch Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system. Carried over, however, is the leather upholstery with Ultra badged seatbacks.

Hello turbo

Up front, and most likely as a result of the new Chevrolet Montana heading the turbo route, the Strada receives Fiat’s force assisted 1.0-litre three-cylinder Firefly engine as standard on the Ranch, Ultra and Edizione 25.

Mated solely to a CVT, the first time an automatic transmission has been availed to the Strada, the unit develops 92 kW fuelled with petrol and 96 kW when using ethanol. In both cases, torque is capped at 200 Nm.

Specification details of Fiat's new Strada
Ranch the first derivative to receive the reworked frontal facia. Image: Fiat

Also debuting is a new Sport mode and, along with the gearbox, the first time availability of paddle shifters.

Lower down the range, Fiat has discontinued the normally aspirated 1.4-litre FIRE engine that had been exclusive to the Endurance and which could trace its roots back to the previous generation Strada based on the original Palio that had been in production from 1996 to as recent as 2020.

Special edition Fiat Strada detailed
Based on the Ultra, the Edizione 25 celebrates 25 years of the Strada in Brazil. Image: Fiat

In its place, the normally aspirated 1.3-litre Firefly comes standard with unchanged outputs of 75kW/134Nm when using petrol and 80kW/139Nm fuelled with ethanol.

Prevailing as the sole option on the Freedom and Volcano, the Firefly is again mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, or an optional CVT in the case of the latter only.

Spec

In terms of specification, the Endurance comes equipped with 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, a radio prep with two speakers, Traction and Stability Control, electric windows, a rubberised loadbin, trip computer, halogen daytime running lights dual front airbags, ABS and EBD, and Hill Hold Assist.

Updated Fiat Strada revealed
Seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system optional on the Freedom. Image: Fiat

Next up, the Freedom receives 15-inch alloys and a Bluetooth and USB enabled sound system plus the following:

  • remote central locking;
  • 3.5-inch digital instrument cluster display;
  • body-coloured bumpers, mirrors and door handles;
  • electric mirrors;
  • tyre pressure monitor;
  • height adjustable driver’s seat;
  • auto-locking doors;
  • four additional airbags in the double cab for a total of six.
Fiat reveals updated Strada spec
Infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes standard on the Volcano. Image: Fiat

Upping the ante further, the Volcano benefits from the mentioned alloys and Uconnect infotainment system, plus:

  • LED headlights;
  • automatic air-conditioning;
  • two USB ports;
  • sports bar;
  • rear electric windows;
  • leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever;
  • rear parking sensors;
  • leather/fabric seats;
  • reverse camera;
  • roof rails;
  • wireless smartphone charger (CVT only)
Specification details of Fiat's new Strada
Similar to the Ram range, the Ranch places emphasis on luxury. Image: Fiat

Stepping up to the Ranch brings model specific 16-inch alloys wrapped in all-terrain tyres, two-tone brown and black leather interior, side steps and LED fog lamps.

Special edition Fiat Strada detailed
Red stitching distinguishes the Edizione 25 from the Ultra. Image: Fiat

Finally, the Ultra and Edizione 25 receive the mentioned red stitch work and Ultra badging on the seats, plus darkened 16-inch alloys.

Want remains

Now available in Brazil, the Strada remains solely available with left-hand-drive and therefore, unlikely to return to South Africa in spite of Stellantis’ local arm being known to have shown interest.

Colours and price

In total, five colours can be chosen; Banchisa White, Silverstone Grey, Vulcan Black, Bari Silver and Monte Carlo Red.

Directly converted from Brazilian Reals into Rands, pricing for the Strada is as follows;

  • Strada 1.3 Endurance – R $100 990 (R387 276)
  • Strada 1.3 Freedom – R $106 990 (R410 285)
  • Strada 1.3 Freedom double cab – R $112 990 (R433 293)
  • Strada 1.3 Volcano double cab – R $114 990 (R440 963)
  • Strada 1.3 Volcano double cab CVT – R $120 990 (R463 972)
  • Strada 1.0 T200 Ranch double cab CVT – R $132 990 (R509 989)
  • Strada 1.0 T200 Ultra double cab CVT – R $132 990 (R509 989)
  • Strada 1.0 T200 Edizione 25 double cab CVT – R $135 990 (R521 494)

Additional information from motor1.com Brazil

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