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Fiat Multipla MPV (2000 – 2011) expert review

By Adrian Hearn, 24th March 2008

The verdict

The Fiat Multipla offers a very different take on the usual MPV look. Inside its spacious, versatile and practical.

Expert rating:



  • Spacious interior
  • Easy to manoeuvre
  • Comfortable ride


  • Overcomplicated displays
  • High running costs
  • Low level of kit

Full Review

1. Exterior

The first generation Fiat Multipla model was one of the oddest-looking cars to hit British shores in the past ten years. But the new Multipla has played it safe – losing some of its distinctiveness. It retains the height of an MPV, but has a front similar to the discontinued Fiat Stilo hatchback. The rear is flat, making it good for reverse parking, while the 15-inch alloys we had on our model added a little bit of sexiness. The functional Fiat Multipla could do with some of the style injected into the funky 500, Grande Punto and Bravo models.
Our rating: 3

2. Interior

Inside, the Fiat Multipla is a place of purpose. From the gear stick lever which is placed to the left of the steering wheel to the handbrake to the right of the driver’s seat, everything has been set out to accommodate the front row’s middle seat. And it works. Often, in high-roofed MPVs the gap between the two front seats is an Achilles’ heel dominated by a high-rise hand brake and gear stick. The dials – placed in the middle of the dash – can be a little overcomplicated at first, but you soon get used to it.
Our rating:  4

3. Practicality

At four metres long, the Fiat Multipla is shorter than a Ford Focus and is only 20cm wider – yet it can comfortably seat six. The boot provides 430-litres of luggage space which increases to 1,900-litres with the rear seats folded. Only using four seats? The middle seat can be folded to provide a bench for using as a picnic table. The middle front seat can be replaced with an 18-litre refrigerated / heated storage compartment which turns the car into a five seater. Thanks to the upright rear design and light steering, the Multipla is remarkably easy to park.
Our rating: 4

4. Ride and handling

For a car with such a high roofline, the Fiat Multipla handles quite well. There is roll on corners but not as much as you might expect. The suspension is quite soft so when you encounter some of Britain’s infamous pothole-filled B-roads you won’t feel the sudden urgency to visit your dentist.
Our rating: 3

5. Performance

Our range-topping model featured the 1.9-litre turbodiesel engine producing 120bhp and 150lb/ft of pulling power. Accelerating from 0-62mph in 12.1 seconds, the Multipla has a top speed of 111mph. Not quick by any means, but it sits on the motorway at 70mph comfortably with limited road noise.
Our rating: 3

6. Running costs

With prices starting from £13,370 the Fiat Multipla is cheap for a competent six-seat MPV. At this price you get the 1.6-litre model which will average a not-too-special 32.8mpg, while carbon emissions of 204g/km place it in tax band F. But if you do a lot of miles, it’s worth opting for the more expensive diesel, which on top of being quicker is also more frugal – boasting a more impressive 43.5mpg and a tax bill of £170.
Our rating: 3

7. Reliability

Fiat’s new models fair better than ever in the reliability stakes. The 1.9-litre diesel engine is proven while the inside feels well built. A three-year or 60,000-mile warranty should ensure hassle-free motoring.
Our rating: 4

8. Safety

All models get driver and passenger airbags as standard, while Dynamic Plus and Eleganza trims get additional front side ‘bags. All models also get anti-lock brakes, halogen headlights and Isofix seatbelt attachments in the rear. The Fiat Multipla hasn’t undergone Euro NCAP crash testing, but Fiat has a good name with many of its models boasting the full five stars.
Our rating: 3

9. Equipment

It’s not an overly well specced car and is available in three trim levels – Dynamic Family, Dynamic Plus and Eleganza. All models get remote central locking, electric front windows, CD player and immobiliser. Our top spec Eleganza model added 15-inch alloys and reverse parking sensors.
Our rating: 3

10. Why buy?

The Fiat Multipla is a competent MPV which should be complimented on its innovative six-seat layout. But it’s a well priced budget people carrier which should be considered strongly if you’re looking for something different.
Our rating: 4

Expert review 3.4stars

  • Exterior3
  • Interior4
  • Practicality4
  • Ride and handling3
  • Performance3
  • Running costs3
  • Reliability4
  • Safety3
  • Equipment3
  • Why buy?4

It should be considered strongly if you’re looking for something different