Fiat Multipla mini MPV (2000-2010)
"The Fiat Multipla looks unconventional, yet it fulfils the MPV brief very well - carrying passengers in comfort and luggage with ease."
- Hugely practical interior
- Economical diesel engine
- Cheap to buy and run
- Outclassed by most rivals
- Poor resale values
- Tricky to manoeuvre
If you're looking for a practical and versatile family car on a budget, then the Fiat Multipla looks hard to beat. The clever six-seat layout – which offers three chairs in the front and three in the back - is a great idea. That means it lacks the seventh seat of its numerous rivals, but the pay off is a large, useable boot. On the open road, the Multipla is good to drive and affordable to run, too.
MPG, running costs & CO2
The 1.9 MultiJet diesel isn't the most economical engine around today, but the Multipla's fuel economy isn’t bad as people carriers go. Expect 45.6mpg and emissions of 164g/km, which means Road Tax costs £155 a year. The Fiat isn’t costly to run, but rivals like the Ford C-MAX can return well over 50mpg.
Engines, drive & performance
Fiat has kept it simple with the engine range for the Multipla. With most buyers of people carriers keen to keep fuel costs down, Fiat provides a single engine choice: a 1.9-litre 115bhp JTD diesel. It has plenty of mid-range performance and can cope well when the Multipla is full of people and luggage. To accommodate the three-abreast seating, the Multipla is 2,094mm wide. This means it’s stable in corners, but does make negotiating urban width restrictors, tight multi-storey car parks and supermarket parking spaces can be a bit of a challenge.
Interior & comfort
Because it has been on sale for longer than most current people carriers, the Fiat feels a little outdated. The diesel engine, while good, is quite loud and the Multipla's upright styling means that it creates quite a lot of wind noise on the move. There is a lot of space though, even if the six seats are full, so the Fiat is far from uncomfortable. The high driving position is great, as is the massive glass area, while supple suspension means it rides over poor surfaces rather well.
Practicality & boot space
The Multipla has one of the cleverest interiors in the business. The three seats at the front might sound like a logistical nightmare, but Fiat has cleverly staggered them, so each passenger and the driver can sit together without bumping elbows. It also had a 450-litre boot, but that's only up to window height. Fold down the rear seats and a van-like 1,900 litres becomes available.
Reliability & safety
A three-star adult safety rating isn't great by today's standards, but that's the Multipla showing its age. Rivals like the Vauxhall Zafira and Renault Scenic achieved five stars, but they're more modern. The Multipla's dash also looks old, as it appears quite cheap, with hard and brittle materials. Rivals are easier on the eye and have soft-touch plastics.
Price, value for money & options
It's outdated, but the Multipla is good value next to the majority of people carriers on the market, especially considering how capable it is. It needs to be inexpensive though, as the Fiat does not boast great resale values. You should be able to negotiate a good discount from the dealer though, offsetting its lower used prices.