The Fiat Multipla (Type 186) is a compact MPV produced by Italian automaker Fiat from 1998 to 2010. Based on the Brava, the Multipla was shorter and wider than its rivals. It had two rows of three seats, where its competitors had two across front seating. The Honda FR-V, which shares the seating layout, was released in 2005. Sales commenced in Italy in November 1998.
The Multipla was shorter than the three door Fiat Bravo on which it was based, while offering increased seating and cargo volume. In common with a number of other modern Fiats, the Multipla reused the name of an earlier vehicle, in this case the "Multipla" variant of the Fiat 600 produced during the 1950s and 1960s.
The Multipla was marketed 2008-2013 under license in China as the Zotye M300 Langyue, using CKD (Complete Knock Down) kits from Italy. Zotye marketed a total of 220 all-electric versions of the M300.
The exterior and interior design of the Multipla were displayed at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York during its "Different Roads - Automobiles for the Next Century" exhibition in 1999.
It won the Top Gear Car of the Year (2000), as well as the "Ugliest Car" in the same programme's awards. It was also voted Top Gear Magazine's Family Car of the Year for four years in a row, from 2001 to 2004. In July 2000, in the series finale of Clarkson's Car Years, it was awarded "Family Car of the Moment".
In March 2004, upon its subsequent restyling, The Telegraph reported designers were "desperately sad that the new Multipla no longer resembles a psychotic cartoon duck," and "while passengers loved the adaptability of the clever interior, they were less keen on the sarcastic sneers and derisive laughter of their neighbours, friends and schoolmates; children can be cruel."
In January 1999, Multipla sales began in Italy, but most other markets had to wait another year before receiving imports. The Multipla sold well with Italian buyers, but sales elsewhere were less successful. In June 2004, the Multipla underwent a major facelift, to shed its original styling for a more restrained look.
This was under the intention of attracting more buyers, which made it arrive to critical acclaim.
A 1.6 engine, that could be powered on either methane or standard petrol, was offered in certain markets.
Multipla SX: basic model available with petrol or diesel engines.
Multipla ELX: added Air Conditioning, Twin Electric Sunroofs, alloy wheels and electric rear windows, as well as special wipe clean, brightly coloured seats.
In June 2004, when the Multipla received its facelift, these trim levels were later replaced with Dynamic, Dynamic Family, Dynamic Plus.
Inner room and flexibility
The new generation Multipla was praised by journalists at its launch for its flexibility. The Multipla’s three abreast seating configuration allows for adjustment of the front seats, and the removal and relocation of the rear seats into many formats. It also affords a big 430 litres (15 cu ft) of luggage space, which can increase to 1,900 litres (67 cu ft) of flat floor load space, with the rear three seats removed from the vehicle.
Zotye M300 (Chinese rebadged version)
From December 2008 to September 2010, Zotye Auto had assembled Multipla 2 from KD kits, in its Changshan factory, and marketed it in China as Multiplan. In October 2010, Zotye started to build a version of Multipla 2, employing more locally made parts in order to reduce costs; the new version is called "Langyue" in China.
Zotye M300 EV (E300) taxi front
Zotye M300 EV (E300) taxi rear
Zotye M300 EV (E300) battery swap
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