Unusual mini-van "FIAT-Multipla" debuted a year ago - in the fall of 1998. Available only with a five-door body and one wheelbase option in the SX and ELX trim levels. It is equipped with a 1.6 liter gasoline engine or 1.9-liter turbodiesel and a five-speed manual gearbox. Compressed gas machines are also being produced with a 1.6-liter engine: Bipower - “gas + gasoline” and Blupower - only “gas”.

Yuri NECHETOV. Photo by the author and FIAT

A long time ago I sharpened a tooth on this "two-story aquarium." And then, finally, the case presented itself - it cut off for a couple of days the FIAT-Multiple, however, not in his homeland in Italy, but in Germany, where it costs 32–38 thousand marks. So instead of spaghetti and chianti there will be sausages and beer. However, this is not directly relevant to the matter, but because the keys are documents in an armful and trotted to the parking lot.

Wow! Oh, why, why, and the courage of Italian designers do not hold. It seems that a hefty glass box was jammed on top of a regular subcompact. The impression of a two-story building is enhanced by a step with headlights above the hood. The rear and side windows are located almost vertically, so that the interior looks incredibly huge.

Although why "looks"? It is really spacious, like a bus. In both rows there are three seats each, which can be individually adjusted, folded, rearranged (rear) or removed altogether. The backs of the middle, when folded, form a wide armrests, tables. If you have only five in your family (or company), you can install a large box refrigerator in front of the chair. This space is due to a fair width of the machine - 70 mm more than, say, the Volga. The length is less than four meters, shorter than the "eight"! At the same time, you can sit back, even with your legs crossed.

In the middle of the front panel is something remotely resembling an anthill. And even some kind of face sticks out of there! Either a robot or a walled knight. In fact, this is a combination of devices, a ventilation control panel and a radio tape recorder, and the mug is a block of deflectors. Despite the strange appearance, this whole structure is very functional.

However, you have to go - the owners seem to be slightly worried about stomping around the car and are delicately interested in problems. “No!” - I answer cheerfully and jump behind the wheel. Roaring with a diesel engine, Multipla is taxiing to the busy street of a metropolis.

In motion, the width of the car does not bother, just remember about it somewhere in the background. To a large extent this is due to the excellent side view - the side glazing line does not extend much above the waist. But the hood, which is not visible under any conditions, makes you reinsure with tight parking and leave an extra half a meter ahead. In the inner mirror, the rear head restraints are annoyingly looming - the middle one had to be removed for a better view.

In the meantime, I get out onto the autobahn. The course is to Bavaria. There are mountains, forests. Nature, in a word. Sausages, again … It's time for dinner. Okay, I'll be there in about an hour and a half, but for now let's see how frisky 105 diesel horses are.

And what, very, very good. By the way, even faster than gasoline - acceleration to "hundreds" of only 12.4 s instead of 12.6. Diesel pulls perfectly from the bottom, without forcing once again to switch. At a speed of about 140 km / h, the acceleration rate decreases, but if you do not take your foot off the pedal, the Multipla honestly picks up passport 170 km / h. As it does not seem strange, the slow set of "maximum speed" is evidence of good aerodynamics. Powerful, but streamlined cars accelerate quickly over the entire speed range, and then seem to rest against the pillow. And the fuel consumption on the highway - 5.5 liters per 100 km confirms that the square-looking minivan is in harmony with the air. “Having unbelted”, I’m no longer embarrassed to take the left ranks and drive, as they say, for all the money.

An hour did not pass, the hills began. I turn off onto the local road, the landstrasse, and do not deny myself the pleasure of rushing along the mountain serpentine for half an hour. True, after the first turn I had to stop and fasten the suitcase, as well as to hand over the belongings hanging around the cabin into different pockets and “glove compartments” - there are a lot of them. But then, the Multiple scarecrow of rare power burghers. Surprisingly, on the road it stands like a good passenger car: it definitely obeys the steering wheel, rolls slightly in turns, accelerates quickly and brakes effectively. The habits of the "car" are not even mentioned, only a high landing is contrary to the pace of movement.

And here is a reason to remove the contradiction - a small cozy town appeared in front of which there is likely to be a small cozy beer …

Afternoon siesta is sacred. Moreover, there is a legitimate excuse - you need to look through the instructions, inspect the car. Interesting: the right frontal airbag (there are four in total) is a “double” for both front passengers. In the tool bag, not only a first aid kit, but also an orange vest in case, for example, replacing a wheel somewhere on the side of the road. But the front direction indicators are shifted so far back that the far “turn signal” is not visible from front to side. Grunting, I look under the car: between the levers of the compact rear torsion bar "dokatka", front and rear stabilizers - it is clear why the car is so confident in cornering.

However, one must also know the honor, it is time to uncover the camera. And the first thing I’ll take off is the “1899-FIAT-1999” sticker. Yes, exactly that much - for a hundred years FIAT has been producing cars. Nevertheless, despite his age, the "patriarch" is not afraid to break the canons and surprise with unusual cars. Or maybe this is the secret of longevity?

+ Spacious interior with many options for transformation, high-torque diesel, good dynamics, large doorways, excellent side view.

- Invisible hood, low ground clearance, limited visibility through the inside mirror.


General data: number of places - 6; curb weight - 1370 kg; gross weight - 1930 kg; maximum speed - 170 km / h; acceleration time from standstill to 100 km / h - 12.4 s; fuel consumption in conventional suburban and city cycles - 5.5; 8.0 l / 100 km; fuel supply - 65 l; diesel fuel. Sizes, mm: length - 3994; width - 1871; height - 1670; base - 2666; track front / rear - 1515/1520; ground clearance - 120; trunk volume - 430/1300 l; turning radius - 5.5 m. Engine: diesel, turbocharged and with an intercooler, four-cylinder, in-line, located transversely in front; working volume - 1910 smz; cylinder diameter and piston stroke - 82.0x90.4 mm; compression ratio - 18.5; power - 77 kW / 105 l. with. at 4000 rpm; maximum torque - 200 N.m at 1500 rpm. Transmission: front-wheel drive; gearbox - five-speed manual; gear ratios: I - 3.91; II - 2.24; III - 1.44; IV - 1.03; V - 0.82; h. x - 3.91; final drive - 3.35. Suspension: with anti-roll bars, assembled on subframes, front - McPherson type, rear - torsion bar with single trailing arms. Brakes: hydraulic with a vacuum booster and ABS, front - ventilated disc, rear - drum. Steering: rack and pinion with power steering. Tire size: 185 / 65R15.