These are the first official pictures of the new Sedici (which means 16 in Italian - literally 4 x 4), Fiat’s entry in the budget 4x4 market.
Based on the forthcoming Suzuki SX4, the Sedici has been styled with the assistance of Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Italdesign firm and prices are expected to start at around £16,000 when it goes on sale early next year.
That price tag puts it head-to-head with conventional family hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, but also pitches the Sedici into budget off-roader territory against cars such as the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage.
Which is appropriate, because Fiat reckons its newest model is a crossover vehicle, combining the compact dimensions and on-road performance of a hatchback with the high driving position and rugged looks of a small 4x4.
Power comes from either a 1.6-litre 107bhp petrol engine with five-speed manual gearbox, or Fiat’s 120bhp 1.9-litre Multijet turbodiesel mated to a six-speed manual.
The electronically-controlled four-wheel drive system uses the ABS sensors to sense wheel slip and transfers drive between the front and rear axles when left in automatic mode. For fuel-saving on-road use, permanent two-wheel drive can be selected, or a permanent 50:50 front:rear split can also be chosen for off-road performance.