The original Fiat Multipla and 600 Multipla were based on the Fiat 600’s drivetrain, model 1100 coil and wishbone independent front suspension, and sat 6 people in a footprint just 50 centimetres (19.7 in) longer than the original Mini Cooper. The driver compartment was moved forward over the front axle, eliminating the boot in effect but giving the body very MPV-like one-box look. Behind the front seat the vehicle could be arranged with a flat floor area or a choice of one or two bench seats.
Until the 1970s it was widely used as a taxi in many parts of Italy.
A 633 cc right hand drive Multipla was tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1956 and was found to have a top speed of 57.1 mph (91.9 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-50 mph (80 km/h) in 43.0 seconds. A fuel consumption of 38.4 miles per imperial gallon (7.36 L/100 km; 32.0 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £799 including taxes on the UK market.
Pinifarina designed a remarkable open topped Multipla called the "Marine" with a wooden slat wraparound bench in the rear -photos of it can be found on the Internet
A Fiat 600 Multipla towing a caravan is used in the video clip of the Crowded House hit Weather with You from their 1991 album Woodface.