It's been a while since a pickup truck made as big a splash as the Fiat Toro.
The unique vehicle from an Italian auto maker went on sale as a 2017 model across Latin America. Since then, intrigue surrounding the Fiat Toro has spread around the world. Its beauty evokes the aerodynamic style of an exotic sports car. A practical truck bed offers versatility beyond any typical sedan. And the engine gives you more performance that you might expect -- even from a Fiat.
This is a company that continues to reinvent itself. An expanded offering in recent years has led to increased exposure on American roads. The Fiat Toro, however, is not available in the states ... yet. Drivers elsewhere in the world have already had the opportunity to drive and appreciate this vehicle. If you haven't had the opportunity, read on. I'll give you a sneak peek of the truck everyone is talking about.
The Fiat Toro is the latest chapter in a storied history.
You might know Fiat is now part of FIAT Chrysler Automobiles, or FCA. But the auto maker's history stretches back generations before that major merger. Let's start with the name. Roughly translated, Fiat is an acronym meaning "Factory Italian Automobile Turin." Naturally, it's more melodic in Italian. But that name set the stage in 1899 for a company still making headlines around the world today.
Giovanni Agnielli launched his iconic company with a single model that first year. That vehicle, the 4HP, set Fiat's precedent as a manufacturer of reliable autos. Demand for that, and subsequent models, cemented the company's status as Italy's biggest car maker.
Like any company with a history that spans more than a century, there were setbacks. The 1980s, for instance, were a pretty dismal decade overall for Fiat and the auto industry. However, a rebound and a heralded merger once again made the company a force to be reckoned with worldwide. The Fiat Toro is clear evidence of that.
What is the Fiat Toro exactly?
This is a pickup truck for people who might not otherwise buy a pickup truck. Sure, there are other concepts like this one. The Honda Ridgeline sticks out as a recent example. And then there were earlier versions of a car-truck hybrid like the Ford Ranchero and Chevrolet El Camino. But this is a different beast. I'll get into the specific details that set it apart from the pack below. In many ways, though, it is the buzz surrounding this vehicle that really warrants a closer look.
While the Ridgeline certainly suits a specific sector of the market, the Fiat Toro subtly targets a different segment. This is the equivalent of a midsize truck. In photos -- and especially in person -- there's no denying that. But even when you realize how big it actually is, the Fiat Toro still seems sleek and speedy. The design minimizes the clunky nature of a truck while maximizing what Fiat does best: Italian styling and performance.
Is the Fiat Toro right for you?
If the idea of cruising in Italian style sounds appealing, this car might be for you. If you're intrigued by the thought of shopping for furniture without wondering how you'll get it home, this truck might be for you. We've come a long way since the Ranchero and El Camino. No doubt about it, those were classic models that helped reinvent the industry after World War II. But now that there's a clearly defined crossover segment, it takes something very special to stand out. And the Fiat Toro does exactly that.
There are already models that offer many of the same features. SUVs based on car platforms have been popular for years. And pickup trucks have made great strides in making their cabins comfortable and appealing. Yet, the Fiat Toro could go down in history as the first model to successfully bridge the wall between truck and car. It delivers on both in concept and execution. As a result, it has been rewarded with a cult following after just a couple of years on the road.
Features and Benefits of the Fiat Toro
Of course, you need actual reasons to anticipate a test drive in this thing. So let me give you all the specs, along with plenty of photos of the Fiat Toro to drool over.
You can tell a lot from a first impression. And with the Fiat Toro, that is a striking image indeed. The sleek styling that dominates the Fiat lineup is evident throughout. Italian design details appear even in the elegant lines that define the bed of this hybrid truck. It's the sports car lover's truck.
Striking headlamps extend from the sizable grill for a facade that provides a great face on this work of art. Chrome accents, subtle Italian cues, and an elegant port of entry into the massive bed tie this package together. Like so many classic auto to bear the brand's name, the Fiat Toro makes a striking statement on arrival.
Even still, when you get up close, you can tell it's no less a truck because of its sleek styling. The bed is made to transport whatever your life demands. But that feature flows seamlessly to the cabin, where you'll find all the features of a luxury sedan.
Depending on the trim level, such as the Fiat Toro Black Jack, you'll find even cooler features on the outside. A few of the options include LED daytime running lamps and a fully black exterior. Merge into traffic on beautiful 17 inch wheels. Some of the most notable features, however, are only realized after you open the door. A high waistline and fierce stance reveal at first glance why the Fiat Toro is named after the raging bull. Call it a car or a truck, you've got to call this styling what it is: fierce.
Just like the exterior features, a lot about the interior of the Fiat Toro depends on the package you choose. There are simpler trim levels, but the auto maker offers some clever options. Everyone else will be checking out the sleek styling outside. You'll be cruising in style and comfort, surrounded by the stitched leather and other luxurious touches. Amenities like a leather wrapped steering wheel, chrome accents, and an interactive touchscreen system abound. Nothing about the interior of this vehicle says 'pickup truck.'
More luxurious trim levels offer black accents throughout the cabin and other sleek styling cues. You'll also find more room than you might have expected -- especially considering the amount of real estate taken up by the cavernous truck bed behind you. Explore the 7 inch display that will provide all the information you'll need on the road and off. (More on off-road capabilities later.) Then there is the 5 inch navigation and multimedia touch screen. Find paddle shifters to take the reins of your new bull and enjoy what's under the hood.
This might be the biggest treat to those who buy the Fiat Toro as a driving machine. The Freedom Flex package announced a couple of years ago included news about the upgraded engine propelling this model. It is a 2.4 liter 186 horsepower engine delivering 180 pound feet of torque. Plenty to push the big body through traffic confidently, even with a load in the bed.
Considering the countries where the Fiat Toro is currently sold, the engine choices make further sense. The MultiAir engine available in the Freedom Flex is also able to operate on pure ethanol gas. Additionally, you can choose a flex fuel or diesel version of the engine.
There are different levels of performance behind the Fiat Toro name. Some are familiar across the corporate lineup, but each provides a different driving experience. Choose from manual or automatic transmissions responsible for shifting either a 1.8 liter flex or 2.0 turbodiesel variation. And while you'll feel the power propel you down or up an incline, you won't get the rattling or noise you might expect in a pickup cabin.
No matter what you decide to drive, safety should be a top priority. Luckily, you'll find plenty of features to let you drive in peace behind the wheel of the Fiat Toro. Using a self supporting body structure allows for a more rigid frame. That translates to a protected cabin in the event of a crash. You'll get all the modern advantages you would expect to keep you safe. Along the way, an on-board monitor will display a variety of possible issues -- should they arise -- on your dash.
Opt for features like remote entry, which is an intuitive technology available with the Fiat Toro. There is tons of optional equipment available, but a primary decision will be between the 4x4 and 4x2 options. Depending on how often you plan to take your Fiat Toro off road, there's an option for you.
Now you've met the Fiat Toro.
You can probably tell what all the fuss is about. This goes beyond a car, beyond a truck, and even beyond the standard crossover. We hope you enjoyed this brief introduction to the Fiat Toro. If you did, share this article with the auto enthusiast in your life.
Would you like to test drive this vehicle? Let us know why in the comments section below.
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