The Fiat Strata is a quirky little ute that we aren't allowed
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New Zealand and Australia have always shared a love for utes of all shapes and sizes, and before the modern double-cab giants ruled our roads, low-slung Australian-built examples were the popular choice.
Right now, the large ute segment is covered off by the American-built Ram and Chevrolet models, the popular mid-sized is somewhat overcrowded, but the door has been left wide open in the compact segment.
Fiat's revised Strata ute would fit that segment perfectly, but is set to go on sale exclusively over in South America, and then potentially be unveiled in Mexico at a later date as the new Ram 700.
Like most double-cab utes on the market, the Strata is geared towards a more off-road aesthetic with the black fender covers and roof rails on top. While only a four-door variant was shown at launch, a single cab option will be offered down the track.
Measuring at 4480millimetres in length, the Strata is almost one metre shorter than Ford's incredibly popular Ranger. The rear tray is 1.1m long, 1m wide, and can handle a 650kg payload.
As standard, the Strata comes with a 1.4-litre engine that makes 65kW and 123Nm of torque. Customers can upgrade this to a smaller, but more powerful 1.3-litre unit that makes 83kW and 139Nm of torque. A five-speed manual is reportedly the only transmission offered.
Despite its size, the interior of the ute has room for five people. A simple seven-inch infotainment system sits in the middle of the dash, and the HVAC controls are just three dials.
Unsurprisingly, Covid-19 closures have pushed back production of the Strata in South America, meaning that this new model won't go on sale until later on this year.