Fiat Palio

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Fiat Palio
Fiat Palio in Paraty.jpg
Body and chassis
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
PredecessorFiat Uno
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Fiat Palio
Fiat Palio in Paraty.jpg
Body and chassis
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
PredecessorFiat Uno

The Fiat Palio is a supermini car produced by the Italian manufacturer Fiat since 1996. It is a world car, developed by Fiat Automóveis and aimed at developing countries. It has been produced in various countries worldwide, and its platform was also used in the Siena sedan, the Palio Weekend station wagon, the Palio Adventure crossover and the Strada light pick-up truck.

Origins of the Palio badge[edit]

The Palio badge originated on the Mark II Fiat 127, of 1977 where it was a trim designation rather than an actual model in itself. The 127 Palio featured alloy wheels, a more luxurious interior and a metallic paint finish as found on the 127 Sport. The Palio designation was also used on other Fiat models throughout the 1980s and 1990s in various markets.

First generation (1996–2011)[edit]

First generation (178)
Fiat Palio Weekend front 20120519.jpg
1998 Fiat Palio 1.2 75 Weekend
AssemblyBetim, Brazil (Fiat Brazil)
Ferreyra, Argentina (Fiat Argentina)
Bursa, Turkey (Tofaş)
Bielsko-Biała & Tychy, Poland
Nanjing, China (Nanjing Fiat)
Pune, India (Fiat India)
Casablanca, Morocco (Somaca)
Rosslyn, South Africa (Nissan)
La Victoria, Aragua, Venezuela
Naberezhnye Chelny, Russia (ZMA)
DesignerI.DE.A Institute (1996)
Giorgetto Giugiaro (2001, 2004)
Centre Stile Fiat Brazil (2007)
Body and chassis
Body style3-door hatchback
5-door hatchback
5-door station wagon
RelatedFiat Siena
Fiat Strada
Fiat Albea
Fiat Perla
Engine1.0 L Fire I4 (gasoline)
1.0 L Fiasa I4 (gasoline)
1.1 L Fire I4 (gasoline)
1.2 L Fire I4 (gasoline)
1.3 L Fiasa I4 (gasoline)
1.4 L Sevel I4 (gasoline)
1.4 L Fire I4 (gasoline)
1.5 L Fiasa I4 (gasoline)
1.6 L Fiasa I4 (gasoline)
1.6 L Sporting I4 (gasoline)
1.6 L E.torQ I4 (gasoline)
1.8 L X18XE I4 (gasoline)
1.3 L Multijet I4 (diesel)
1.7 L Turbo Diesel I4 (diesel)
1.9 L Diesel I4 (diesel)
Wheelbase2,360 mm (92.9 in) (1996–01)
2,420 mm (95.3 in) (Weekend)
2,360 mm (92.9 in) (2001–04)
2,423 mm (95.4 in) (Weekend)
2,370 mm (93.3 in) (2004–07)
2,440 mm (96.1 in) (Weekend)
2,373 mm (93.4 in) (2007–11)
2,437 mm (95.9 in) (Weekend)
Length3,735 mm (147.0 in) (1996–01)
4,130 mm (162.6 in) (Weekend)
3,740 mm (147.2 in) (2001–04)
4,120 mm (162.2 in) (Weekend)
3,830 mm (150.8 in) (2004–07)
4,210 mm (165.7 in) (Weekend)
3,847 mm (151.5 in) (2007–11)
4,237 mm (166.8 in) (Weekend)
Width1,614 mm (63.5 in) (1996–01)
1,626 mm (64.0 in) (Weekend)
1,614 mm (63.5 in) (2001–04)
1,627 mm (64.1 in) (Weekend)
1,630 mm (64.2 in) (2004–07)
1,630 mm (64.2 in) (Weekend)
1,640 mm (64.6 in) (2007–11)
1,639 mm (64.5 in) (Weekend)
Height1,445 mm (56.9 in) (1996–01)
1,510 mm (59.4 in) (Weekend)
1,445 mm (56.9 in) (2001–04)
1,480 mm (58.3 in) (Weekend)
1,430 mm (56.3 in) (2004–07)
1,520 mm (59.8 in) (Weekend)
1,435 mm (56.5 in) (2007–11)
1,515 mm (59.6 in) (Weekend)


Launched in 1996 in Brazil, as part of Fiat's "Project 178 ", the Palio was Fiat's first attempt to build a world car, the same basic design being produced in numerous nations around the globe. Four principal models were produced hatchback, sedan, pickup and station wagon, with different versions being built for different markets. The powerplants, both diesel and petrol, also varied from region to region depending on local production capability, legislation and market requirements.

The basic chassis was a development of the Fiat Punto (176), but little remained unchanged. The entire structure was significantly stronger in order to be suitable on the rougher roads found in some of the markets for which it was intended, as was the suspension. The body was a completely new design by the I.DE.A Institute of Turin, who also designed the new interior.

Production began in 1996 in Brazil and was followed later that year by a plant in Argentina. In 1997 saw production starting in Venezuela, Poland for the European market and in Marocco (at the Somaca plant[1]) whilst Turkey started building the same car in 1998. In India was assembly at Pune in the new Fiat-Tata Motors factory and in South Africa was assembly by Nissan[2] together the pick-up version called Fiat Strada. Production in India and South Africa began in 1999, in Egypt in 2001, and in China in 2002. The Palio Weekend station wagon was launched in 1996 in Brazil and later in Europe. The station wagon is the version most commonly sold in Europe.


2001 Fiat Palio Weekend (Europe)

In 2001, the model had its first facelift. The new design was made by the Italian automobile designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. This facelift included new front and rear fascias, and a brand new interior. Also, new engines came for the Palio: the FIRE 16 valve 1.0 L and 1.2 L and the Sporting engine, a 1.6 L 16 valve with 120 hp made in Turkey. The 2001 Palio was the first Fiat to be made in China, by Nanjing Automobile. In some markets this generation included a Speedgear semi-automatic option. The Palio 2001 facelift is the ultimate version sold in Italy. In 2001 Fiat introduced for the South American market the crossover version, called Palio Adventure and based on the Palio Weekend. In Europe, the Palio Weekend was succeeded in 2003 by the Fiat Idea MPV.

Nanjing Fiat Palio in China

Nanjing Fiat Palio[edit]

In November 2001, the Chinese Fiat Palio debuted, with either the 60 PS (44 kW) 1.2 liter or the 85 PS (63 kW) 1.5 liter. The Siena sedan was added in November 2002, followed by the Palio Weekend in June 2003. The Siena and Palio Weekend were not available with the smaller engine.[3]

Safety rating[edit]

A Fiat Albea, the sedan version of the Palio, was tested in Russia according to the Euro NCAP latest standard (offset frontal crash at 64 km/h). The Albea scored 8,5 points in the frontal test, equivalent to 3 stars. The tested vehicle, was equipped with standard driver airbag and regular seatbelts.[4]

The Fiat Perla, the Chinese version of the Fiat Albea, was tested in China by China-NCAP in three different tests: 100% front crash test with a wall (similar to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration test), a 40% offset test (similar to Euro NCAP) and a side crash test.[citation needed] The Perla scored 8.06 points in the 100% frontal crash test, equivalent to 3 stars;[where?][citation needed] 12.02 pts in the 40% offset crash test, equivalent to 4 stars,[where?][citation needed] and 10,96 pts in the side crash test, equivalent to 3 stars;[where?][citation needed] with an average result of 31 points and 3 stars. The tested vehicle, was equipped with standard driver and passenger airbag and regular seatbelts.[5]


2004 Fiat Palio (India)

The third revision was released in 2004, designed again by Giorgetto Giugiaro. It is basically a facelift from the previous models. The 2004 Palio was the very first Brazilian model in the B-segment available with four airbags (two front airbags and two side airbags), parking assistance, and light and rain sensor. In Europe, the new model featured a redesigned front fascia and interior with rear fascia similar to Palio 2001 version. It has also a sport version called the Palio 1.8R which has a new version of the General Motors 1.8 L "X18XE Powertrain" engine rated at 115 hp (ethanol) and 112 hp (gasoline), lowered suspension, new 14 inch alloy wheels, new seats, and other sporting features. The third generation of the Palio had huge sales numbers, even getting higher sales in some months than VW Gol, the Brazilian best-selling car for over twenty-four years. It is currently still sold as Palio Fire Economy as a cheaper alternative to its posterior facelift, with alterations derived from the Uno Mille Fire Economy model. The top model is still Weekend Adventure version; it is equipped with a 1.8 litre Powertrain Flex fuel engine with 112 HP (petrol/gasoline) and 114 HP (ethanol) at 5500 rpm, all terrain Pirelli Citynet tires and a higher/reinforced suspension kit but still with 4x2 traction.

Fiat India is manufacturing the 2004 Palio, with 2001 version interiors, at the Ranjangaon plant along with the Grande Punto and Linea. After entering into a partnership with Tata Motors, the Palio has been relaunched as the Palio Stile, with 1.1 Fire, 1.6 Torque and 1.3 Multijet engines. Sales have been low at hardly 200 units per month.


2007 Fiat Palio
2010 Fiat Palio Adventure

The last Palio facelift was launched in 2007, in Natal, Brazil. The design of the body was inspired by the new version of the Fiat Grande Punto, which was launched in Brazil in the first semester of 2008.

This fourth facelift includes new front, rear and side design, but it keeps the original chassis from the 1996 model, being marketed as the New Palio. It also has a minor change in the instrument panel with differences between the two variants sold.

The trims for this new Palio are ELX with the 1.0 or the 1.4 FIRE engines, both flex (ethanol and petrol) and the "sporty" version 1.8R with the current revision of the 1.8 8 valve engine from GM, also flexible. The new Torque engines will be added to the Palio, only after the launch of the Grande Punto. The Palio Adventure introduced the new limited slip differential and new suspension for off road with front wheel drive traction.

Second generation (2011–present)[edit]

Second generation (326)
Fiat Palio Sporting 1.6 16V E.torQ Engine.JPG
Fiat Palio Sporting 1.6 16V E.torQ Engine with Dualogic transmission. Second generation (326) - Brazil
AssemblyBetim, Brazil (Fiat Brazil)
Ferreyra, Argentina (Fiat Argentina)
Body and chassis
Body style5-door hatchback
PlatformFiat Economy
RelatedFiat "Novo" Uno
Fiat Grand Siena
Engine1.0 L Fire I4
1.4 L Fire I4
1.6 L E.torQ I4
Transmission5-speed manual
5-speed semi-auto (Dualogic)
Wheelbase2,420 mm (95.3 in)
Length3,875 mm (152.6 in)
Width1,670 mm (65.7 in)
Height1,504 mm (59.2 in) (Attractive)
1,513 mm (59.6 in) (Essence)
1,508 mm (59.4 in) (Sporting)

An all-new generation of Palio was revealed in October 2011, at the annual Fiat dealers meeting in Mykonos, Greece.[6] The official launch however, took place on 4 November 2011, in Brazil.[7] It is the first total remodeling since launch in 1996. The project, codenamed 326, was anticipated by the success of the new Fiat Uno in Brazil.[8] One of the new versions will be the "Sporting", a trim level known for the sportive versions of the Siena, Uno, Idea, Bravo and Strada.

Electric versions[edit]

Fiat is joining utility companies Cemig and Itaipu to develop new electric vehicles for Brazil, with an initial batch of Fiat Palio cars scheduled to start testing later 2007.[9]


Several competition and homologated versions of the Palio have been produced, such as the A6 class rally car, multi-Brazilian and South American champion of the A6 class with Brazilian Luis Tedesco as driver, and the Turkish Fiat Rally Team create Palio Super 1600 Super 1600 Abarth rally car, with a 215 hp 1.6 L 16-valve engine and a 6-speed sequential transmission. Turkey also boasts an N2 Palio.


The Fiat Palio has been rated as highly unsafe by Latin NCAP, scoring only one star for adult occupants and two stars for children.[10] Its air bag-equipped version scored three stars, although it is a vast minority in the sales mix.[11] This will change with the Brazilian law requiring dual front airbags from 2014 on.[12] Unfortunately, this is the safety standard of low-cost Brazilian cars.[12][13]


  1. ^ "Somaca Casablanca". Retrieved 2010-04-19. 
  2. ^ "Fiat. Fiat In South Africa". Retrieved 2010-07-16. 
  3. ^ World of Cars 2006·2007. Warsaw, Poland: Media Connection Sp. z o.o. 2006. p. 236. 
  4. ^ "Albea Crash Results". AutoReview Magazine, Russia. No 8, 2007.
  5. ^ "China-NCap results". C-NCAP. Archived from the original on 2009-03-04. 
  6. ^ "Fiat já apresentou novo Palio em Mykonos". 2011-10-18. 
  7. ^ "Novo Palio 2012". 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  8. ^ "Fiat Palio 326 series specification". 5 November 2011. 
  9. ^ Viknesh Vijayenthiran (2007-08-09). "Fiat launching electric cars in Brazil". MotorAuthority. 
  10. ^ Latin NCAP report Fiat Palio - without airbags
  11. ^ Latin NCAP report Fiat Palio - with airbags
  12. ^ a b Press release Latin America’s top selling cars not safe enough says Latin NCAP
  13. ^ IIHS Status Report Safety gains aren't global

External links[edit]