The vehicle that set the benchmark in the three-by-three MPV category, Fiat's Multipla, was revised last year with promises of a 1,9-litre turbodiesel engine to complement the solitary 1,6-litre... Good news is that the JTD has arrived.

The vehicle that set the benchmark in the three-by-three MPV category, Fiat's Multipla, was revised last year with promises of a 1,9-litre turbodiesel engine to complement the solitary 1,6-litre... Good news is that the JTD has arrived.

The revised Multipla, with neater lines and curves and a more sophisticated look, was launched at the end of October last year, to the great relief of those who had previously been repulsed by the first-generation version's unconventional appearance. Unfortunately, though armed with a great new body to house its innovative three-by-three seating arrangement, the fresh-faced MPV was only offered with a 1,6-litre petrol engine.

However, the range is now complete, with the introduction of a 1,9-litre JTD model. Using a Unijet direct injection system, the 1 910

cm3 unit produces 85 kW at 4 000 r/min and 205 N.m at 2 000 r/min. The MPV is capable of a 176-km/h top end, while consuming an average of 6,4 litres of fuel per 100 km over a combined cycle.

Like its 1,6-litre sibling, the turbodiesel is mated with a five-speed manual transmission.

Offered in the Dynamic trim level ideal for carting family and friends in comfort, the MPV is equipped with steering-mounted audio controls, electric windows at the rear, rear parking sensors, side airbags and a remote-controlled alarm system. These features are offered in addition to the standard equipment forming part of the Active trim level seen on the 1,6-litre.

Service intervals are 20 000 km, but the 1,9 JTD requires an oil change every 10 000 km. Fiat Auto SA offers owners a 24-month manufacturer warranty (unlimited mileage) and an additional 12-month dealer extended warranty (or up to 100 000 km in total). The vehicles also come with a three-year warranty on the paintwork and five years for rust anti-perforation.

The 1,9 JTD is also covered by AA Fleetcare roadside assistance offering round-the-clock service for the first 12 months.

Prices for the Multipla are R169 900 for the 1,6 Active and R199 900 for the new 1,9 JTD Dynamic.