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Car reviews - Fiat - Ritmo - Emotion JTD 5-dr hatch


Small Ritmo hatch pushes all the right buttons in JTD diesel guise - at a price

29 Aug 2008

FIAT offers what is arguably the prettiest small car around – and it isn’t at all bad to sit inside or drive either. The Ritmo is a promising premium hatch that scores well for packaging and driveability. But steep pricing against ever-improving European and Asian rivals means that you might not even give this impressive runabout – tested here in high-spec Emotion 1.9 JTD turbo-diesel guise – the consideration it deserves. Ritmo derives from the Italian word for rhythm, but in this case it is not the car that is out of step with the market.
Model release date: 1 April 2008 to 1 May 2010

Previous model

Fiat Regata 100S

Released: 1985
Ended: 1989
Family Tree: Ritmo

Unbelievably, the Ritmo is Fiat’s first C-segment five-door hatchback ever to be sold in Australia. But we did get a terminally dull four-door sedan (and later the rare but versatile Weekender wagon) version of the 1978 Ritmo/Strada, sold in much-facelifted form from 1985 as the Regata, with some success too, in 61kW 1.5-litre 85S and 74kW 1.6-litre 100S five-speed manual-only guises. A model revamp arrived in October 1987, featuring smoother styling and fuel-injection to help the petrol units run better on premium unleaded, but the front-wheel drive Regata was certainly no driver’s car.

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