2013 Fiat Strada [w/poll]
Should Fiat Sell This Tiny Truck In The U.S.?
“Niche” is the word of the day. No, this funky, spot-on little pickup from Fiat do Brasil was never designed or destined to put up huge sales numbers in North America, but we think it might fit in perfectly with the niche-loving image of this Italian brand in the United States. And why not? Executives have spoken of bringing over their range of Fiat Professional models in the next couple of years, and we remain foolishly hopeful something like the Strada might be on that boat.
Regular Autoblog readers know of our almost knee-jerk love of hot hatchbacks, station wagons, diesels and other less-than-popular automotive subsets. We too are aware of this quiverful of weaknesses – hell, we embrace them. And perhaps more than any other underserved niche, we cheer for the return of truly small pickups to the U.S. en masse, preferably with quirky solutions and deliberately fun chassis and body combos as on this Strada.
Built primarily at Fiat’s huge Betim factory in Brazil, and contracted out to other South American countries, as well as to Russia, these wee Strada pickups can be seen everywhere in the sub-Caribbean western hemisphere. For my day of driving and actually delivering stuff, I was handed a finished prototype of the 2013 Fiat Strada Adventure double-cab. If I use the unprofessional term “fun” too much in this review, cut me some slack. This journalist is just old enough to remember driving new Pennsylvania-built Volkswagen Rabbit pickups that lived their love-hate existence in the U.S. from the late-1970s into the early 1980s. And who can forget the sassy Subaru Brat with those two rear-facing seats in the bed that were immediate darlings over at NHTSA? And I speak from personal experience, having driven a Mitsubishi turbodiesel pickup that taught me how to kick broken-down cars in anger.