2006 Fiat Croma

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Fiat has a tendency to surround its cars with the hottest babes this side of a fashion show runway, but that didn't stop the primary gossip at the show: namely, what the hell is Fiat boss Luca di Montezemolo doing by pushing Maserati into the Fiat Auto fold and away from Ferrari? Everyone suspects it is a move to float Ferrari in order to prop up the ailing Fiat ship, whose rudderless direction was summed up by the new Croma. This roomy hatchback is powered by a choice of five engines: two gasoline-powered (130-hp 1.8-liter or 150-hp 2.2-liter) and three diesel-powered (120-hp 1.9-liter, 150-hp 1.9-liter, or 200-hp 2.4-liter). Fiat hopes to sell 60,000 of these a year, but we think they have been drinking too much Barolo--neither the similar Renault Vel Satis or Opel Signum have sold anywhere near these totals, and those automakers have much better cross-European penetration than the moribund Fiat marque.

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