21.08.2004 Fiat have extended the 'Malibu' tag to the Strada, as they seek to create a lifestyle version of the light pick-up targeted at youthful buyers seeking a stylish AND practical vehicle for 'leisure' use

Fiat have extended the 'Malibu' tag to the Strada, as they seek to create a lifestyle version of the light pick-up targeted at youthful buyers seeking out sun, sand and fun.

Designed by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro, the Brazilian built Strada is South America's best-selling light pick-up as well as being a popular segment choice worldwide.

Following the success of the Malibu-branded Doblo, this latest bearer of the label aims to combine practicality, style and highly competitive pricing, as it seeks out a new range of customers who require a vehicle for leisure use that fulfils all these criteria.

The Strada Malibu has a 1.68 meter flat bed capable of carrying up to a 630kg load, the hinged tailboard complemented by two rugged aluminium-plated steps to maximise ease of loading. 

It will come in two styles, short or long cab, both powered by Fiat's modern common-rail technology 1.9-litre turbo-diesel engine, which pumps out 80bhp, and offers characteristics ideal for coping with varying loads.

Attention has been paid to creating a 'trendy' appearance. The front and rear bumper upper surfaces, wheel arch extensions, side-view mirrors, radiator grille, door handles, roof luggage bars, rear screen protectors, sill covers, fog lamp bezels, alloy wheels and tailboard opening lever, are all finished in silver, lending the pick-up an eye-catching, fresh look.

Inside new materials, finished in bright 'Shine Blue', have been used for the seats, carpet and door panel finishers, while a similar complimenting colour treatment is extended to the centre console, dashboard and instruments, while the inner door handles complete the effect.

All this, added to a segment-topping equipment list that includes colour-coded bumpers, light alloy wheels, electric windows, fog lights, metallic paint and a RDS radio with CD player, helps create a genuine option for young people who wish, for example, to take their surfboards to the beach in style.

Safety is a feature already strongly embedded into the Strada's personality, with a solid chassis construction combined with both ABS braking and airbags as standard.

In Europe, it has been priced competitively, with the short cab version costing 12,750 while the long-cab option, with its extra seats, weighs in at 13,100.

by Edd Ellison

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