Fiat to make Dodge Journey-based Freemont MPV

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Fiat has decided that the not-particularly successful or attractive Dodge Journey is a good basis to use for a new seven-seat MPV.

The Freemont is set to be the first Fiat-badged car to appear from the Fiat/Chrysler partnership that was sealed at the beginning of last year, and despite all that time, little has been done to alter the look of the Journey before it got its Fiat badge.

Fiat has at least used the revised version of the Dodge Journey, which was displayed at the LA motor show in November. The links are clear, with very little in the way of visual alterations over the American MPV. In fact the only major change beyond the cosmetic changes to the grille, bumper and taillights is to the powerplant.

The Freemont will come with the choice of Fiat's 2.0-litre diesel engines in 138bhp and 168bhp outputs with two-wheel-drive from launch, but it will offer a four-wheel model with the higher powered diesel and a 3.6-litre V6 petrol in due course. All initial models will be manual, but an automatic gearbox will join later.

Fiat claims it has worked on the interior of the Freemont to make the materials softer to the touch, while it has also tweaked the design of elements such as the centre console. Luggage capacity is said to be up to 1,461 litres.

The Freemont is set to make its debut at the Geneva show in March, and while it is set to be imported to Europe, it has not yet been confirmed for the UK.