So, reading this Oppo post by “ethan drives dumb cars” about the Kia Soul got me thinking. Of course, getting me thinking is generally a bad thing to do, as it quickly leads down a rabbit hole of flipping the tabs of Google searches and Wikipedia articles.
When Akio posted in the comments about the Jeep Renegade, I immediately thought of its chassis-mate, the Fiat 500L. Deciding to read more about the 500L, I was surprised by two things. The first was that Fiat has already produced half a million 500L units, although I’m curious as to how many they have actually sold.
Secondly, there was a link to a car I was unfamiliar with, the Fiat Toro. It’s not like I wasn’t going to click the link at that point. I was amazed to learn that Fiat (in Brazil) makes an actual Ute off the same platform.
Not terrible looking at all. It looks like...I dunno...a less ugly Nissan Juke* that actually has a degree of utility and functionality to it.
Available engines include the Tigershark 2.4L gasoline engine that was also used in the Dodge Dart, Jeep Renegade, and Chrysler 200; the 1.8L Fiat E.TorQ gasoline engine that has a silly name, and the 2.0L Fiat Multijet II turbo diesel. Transmissions come in the flavor of 6MT, 6AT, and 9AT from Fiat, Aisin, and ZF respectively.
The rear tailgate is a barn door design design, similar to the 2019 Ram pickup and the Mini Clubman. Hopefully, there is a manual release on the Toro, unlike on the poor Clubman.
It does sport a payload of about 1,400 lbs. Towing capacity, there seems to be two different numbers floating around. Some say about 880 lbs, and some give the towing spec of around 2,200 lbs. The latter would put it right near the Renegade, but I’m not sure. Best guess, the higher number is for the turbo diesel layout.
As for interior, it seems to be about what you expect. By that, I mean it looks pretty much like the interior of the 500L and Renegade. Not bad, but nothing that really stands out.
The car is even exported beyond Brazil. To Colombia. But it’s somewhat confusingly called the Ram 1000 there. Seems like it will be spreading throughout South America, but no plans so far to bring it to the U.S.
So, there you have it. The Fiat Toro.
*Sorry Juke fans. They aren’t terrible cars, but I personally find them terrible-looking