|The Punto-based B-segment
'mini' MPV has received its world premiere here in Geneva. Along with the
new Gingo, the Idea, is vital to Fiat's fortunes as the marque attempts
to extract itself from its dire financial situation and turnaround falling
sales, and this is reflected in the prominence the two new models have received here.
The Idea, has been neatly
styled both inside and out. A well thought out cabin gives a comfortable
and enveloping feeling. The dashboard has Ypsilon-style mid-mounted instruments
and a central console which sweeps down to a Multipla-style high positioned
gearstick, the cockpit's only let down being a cheap-looking design steering
wheel. The dashboard flows neatly out into the doors, while the seats are
comfortable and the extra space offered over the Punto cleverly used.
The Idea's biggest problem
is that it will hit the showrooms six months after its main rival the Opel
Meriva, allowing the GM product to establish itself in this almost new
sector and grab initial sales of customers who have been waiting for a
vehicle in this segment. However Fiat are very upbeat about this model.
A simple but effective dance
show routine, involving four artists dressed in the colours of the two
Gingos and two Ideas here, which sees them hoisted in metal frames above
the stage has been staged daily.