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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Short enough to go where other compact MPVs can’t

Against Original model is ugly and face-lifted is car dull

Verdict A more individualist approach to people-carrying

Go for… 1.9 JTD Dynamic

Avoid… 1.6 petrol

Fiat Multipla MPV
  • 1. Take your time inspecting the cabin and check that everything electric works properly
  • 2. Even with all six seats in place, there's still a decent boot
  • 3. Beware of a blowing exhaust on the petrol model - it's a one-piece design and not cheap to replace
  • 4. Avoid any car that sounds rough, revs reluctantly or idles poorly - the fuel system could be faulty
  • 5. Because it's a wide car, check the door mirrors for damage and ensure you can adjust them easily
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Fiat Multipla MPV full review with expert trade views

The quirky, bug-eyed styling of this original car divides opinion like few other cars. You'll either love it or hate it. And, that's in complete contrast to the face-lifted car, which replaced it in 2004. It has a conventional (read 'dull') Fiat face, which you'll neither love nor loathe.

There's plenty to love elsewhere in this model, though. Having two rows of three individual seats works extremely well and the seat backs fold to create a table. There's still a decent boot with all six seats in place.

The driver won't complain, either. Although the car's width can be a hassle in town, he'll find it easy and fun to drive. It's very stable, handles and rides well, and scores highly for long-distance comfort.

In that respect, the engines are a big help. The petrol and diesel are both willing and get on with the job quietly.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Pre face-lift are struggling, but later models are favoured on the forecourt

James Ruppert
Used car guru

There's not much choice - one petrol, one diesel and only a few trim levels. Not to worry - there isn't a dud among them.

The 103bhp 1.6-litre petrol is eager and revs easily, which is just as well - you'll need to work it hard if you're fully laden. Perhaps more importantly, it's also the cheaper buy.

However, the turbodiesel is more relaxing and, ultimately, our favourite. The refined 1.9 JTD (102-115bhp, depending on its age) has good mid-range pull, but the fact that it gives an extra 10mpg is the clincher for us.

The entry-level model (badged SX on early cars, Dynamic on later models) has all the essentials for family motoring, including air-conditioning, so there's little point in spending more. But, for the record, top-trim ELX (early cars) and Eleganza (later ones) come with alloy wheels, climate control and electric rear windows.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Above-average reliability but fuel system and transmission problems result in high bills

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

You may be pleasantly surprised at the price of a used Fiat Multipla. They lose value very quickly from new, but then tend to stabilise over the next few years.

So if you're canny, you can buy a one- or two-year-old for a bargain price, run it for a few years and flog it on without suffering too much of a loss.

Insurance and fuel costs are reasonable, too. The petrol versions come in for groups 7 to 9, depending on how plush they are, and the diesels group 8 to 10. The diesels should also give you low or mid-40s to the gallon, the petrols about 10mpg less.

Servicing won't hurt your wallet, but expect to save about 35% on labour costs by going outside the Fiat dealer network, according to Warranty Direct data.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Pre face-lift are struggling, but later models are favoured on the forecourt

James Ruppert
Used car guru

There aren't any major scares, but owners complain of niggling faults that often boil down to the car not being well built in the first place.

Take your time inspecting the cabin and check that anything electric still works. JD Power customer surveys have criticised the durability of the seat materials and trim, and there have been problems with switches, especially the electric windows.

Because it's a wide car, also check the door mirrors for damage and ensure you can adjust them easily. Likewise, watch out for scrapes on each corner of the car and check that the doors haven't been dinged, which is easily done in car parks.

The petrol and diesel engines should be robust given regular servicing. But, beware of a blowing exhaust on the petrol - it's a one-piece design and not cheap to replace.

Fuel systems can give trouble, too, according to Warranty Direct data, so avoid any car that sounds rough, revs reluctantly or idles poorly.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Above-average reliability but fuel system and transmission problems result in high bills

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
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