Fiat Doblo

Our Rating: 4/5

Pros:

  • Economical to own
  • Excellent to drive

Cons:

  • Entry-level model is sparse
  • Poor residuals
  • Stability control as an option

Fiat Doblo is a worthy contender

For its size, the Fiat Doblo has one of the best ranges for load space and capacities in the sector.

In addition, both the long and short wheelbase versions of the vehicle have the options of low and high roof models and there’s also a decent choice of engines.

Most people won’t opt up for the petrol variant but the three diesels are excellent performance.

Indeed, these diesel unit are excellent performance and the firm’s renowned MultiJet units which means they are also reliable and economical.

The vans are also capable of carrying the heaviest payload in the sector, up to 1 tonne for the newer XL model, and there’s an impressive amount of space available.

There are a couple of downsides; traction stability control which is a standard feature on many of its rivals is only an option and the cabin in the entry-level models is rather sparse. Step above the entry level Fiat Doblo and the van is a very comfortable place to spend a lot of time while out on the road and it’s a capable performer.

The Doblo does manage to impress in a very competitive sector and with its huge range of options in its line-up makes it a very strong competitor.


Reasons to buy

The Fiat Doblo offers an impressive range of vans in its line-up and the engines are particularly good; they’re not only economical but strong too.

Add in the fact that the Doblo is a capable and pleasurable vehicle to drive on long journeys, it deserves to be more of a success.

To help underline its credentials, Fiat have worked hard to improve the build quality and reliability of their vans and that’s a huge benefit to the Doblo which comes with a 120,000 mile warranty.

There are so many reasons to buy the Fiat Doblo but perhaps the strongest is the fact it is capable of pulling a 1 tonne payload in a variety of shapes and sizes that helped to set this apart from many of its rivals.

Remember too that this van is also an award-winner having beaten some of its better-known rivals to some very prestigious gongs.

 

If you like the Fiat Doblo, then have a look at the Ford Transit Connect, the VW Caddy or the Vauxhall Combo.

Running Costs

There are some excellent diesel engines on offer with the Fiat Doblo including the firm’s 1.3 litre MultiJet with its 90 bhp output and there’s also a 1.6 litre MultiJet which has 105 bhp. In addition there’s also a 2.0 litre version with 135 bhp.

There’s also a 1.4 litre petrol engine, and while it delivers 40 mpg, it can feel underpowered when there is a full load on board though it’s still a great performer around town and quite nippy too.

The MultiJet’s will return between 50 to 60 mpg while having CO2 emissions of 126 to 148g/km. In the XL models, economy drops to around 50 mpg.

In addition, the service intervals for the Fiat Doblo are 21,000 miles which makes this a cheaper than to run when compared with the VW caddy for instance.

Load Space

There’s a wide variety of load spaces for the Fiat Doblo which is capable of carrying a 1 tonne load while the long wheelbase version with a high roof has a load space of around five cubic metres.

There aren’t that many rivals that can match the Doblo for its load space and the wide rear doors, along with the optional sliding side door, make access to the load area easy – especially for anyone hoping to use the 1 tonne available for the Fiat Doblo XL.

On top of this, the Doblo also has options for loading ramps, which pull out easily, to roll cargo into the van and there’s also roof bars so that ladders, for instance, can be stored within the van.

Technology & Safety

The first thing to mention is that the Fiat Doblo does not come with electronic stability control as standard, which is a surprise considering the market it is in, but the vehicle does come with disc brakes and ABS. Electronic stability control is an option though.

There’s also a driver’s airbag as standard; a passenger airbag and curtain airbags are also options.

In addition to the 21,000 miles service intervals, Fiat have also provided the Doblo with a 120,000 mile, or three year, warranty to help reassure owners.

Performance

All of the diesel MultiJet engines are very impressive, even the 1.3 litre variant which is a good performer even with a full load. This engine comes with a five-speed manual gearbox as does the 1.6 litre variant but the latter also has the option of Fiat’s six speed automated manual.

Operators likely to carry the full payload of 1 tonne on a regular basis should really opt for the top of the range engine, the 2.0 litre which has a six gear manual gearbox and is very powerful.

The diesel engines also have stop/start technology to help improve economy.

However, the van is a great performer at speed when fully loaded thanks to its bi-link independent rear suspension which helps to effectively carry the load and this leads to a smooth handling that’s assured and secure.

Indeed, the Fiat Doblo is one of the most pleasurable and vans to drive.

Specification

In addition to the spacious load space, there’s also plenty of storage in the cabin for paperwork and suchlike with a large overhead storage cabin above the windscreen and deep door pockets.

Rear parking sensors are an option on most models though they are fitted as standard on some others.

The cabin itself is fairly sparse on the entry level models so it’s probably worth spending extra to get a better kit level which includes soundproofing of the bulkhead and height adjustable steering wheel.

The better models also come with electric windows and mirrors, Bluetooth connectivity and a powered dashboard mount for a satnav. Other options include air con and cruise control.

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