- Carrying abilities
- Deals with rugged terrain
- Looks good
- Barely known vehicle
- Basic interior
- Uncomfortable ride
The Fiat Fullback pick-up makes debut
The Fiat Fullback is a pick-up that was launched in late 2016 and it’s only available in the double cab body style for British buyers. It is, however, a practical choice and it’s a capable and strong one-tonne pick-up. Using the Mitsubishi L200’s platform, the new Fullback has impressive off-road abilities, rugged styling and all-wheel drive. For those wanting it for their business, it’s a heavy duty workhorse, particularly for its ability for towing 3.1 tonnes when connected to a braked trailer. However, there’s no doubt that Fiat is trying to cash in on the booming ‘lifestyle pick-up’ market which sees people wanting an SUV opting for a pick-up instead. While there’s a lot to recommend the Fullback to these buyers, Fiat doesn’t have the strongest reputation in the field for reliability and the new pick-up is essentially and untried and untested addition in the market.
Reasons to buy
The Fiat Fullback offers a lot for business users including a 2.4 litre turbocharged diesel engine with two power outputs that are coupled to one of two choices of transmission. Its ability to pull 3.1 tonne will be of huge appeal for businesses but it’s downside that it is only available in the double cab body style. For many reasons, the Fullback is a practical choice and there are many differences between it and the Mitsubishi siblings including standard equipment levels and trims. Fiat is also highlighting of its extensive dealer network with many repair centres offering around-the-clock repairs and servicing – which may help a business not keen on their pick-up having ‘down time’. We would also, however, caution buyers about the Fullback’s potential for depreciation in the used vehicle market which may come as a surprise to some.
If you like the Fiat Fullback then take a look at the Mitsubishi L 200, the VW Amarok and the Toyota Hilux.
Considering the size and weight of the Fiat Fullback, the economy figure for the 2.4 litre turbocharged diesel engine of 45 mpg in the 148 bhp model is not too bad. That model has emissions of 169g/km while the more powerful 178 bhp will return 42 mpg with emissions of 173g/km. Owners that opt for the automatic transmission will see economy fall to 39 mpg and emissions rise to 189g/km. The warranty is for 120,000 miles or three years despite the Mitsubishi L200 offering five years’ warranty but this is restricted to 62,500 miles. Service intervals are a less-than-impressive 12,500 miles or 12 months.
The Fiat Fullback has a load bay that measures 1.4 square metres and should carry a large amount of cargo including a Euro pallet if necessary. The load bay is 475 mm deep with plenty of lashing points for holding a load down. The maximum payload that the rear suspension will allow is 1,045 kg and the maximum towing weight of 3,100 kg is also an impressive attraction )though many rivals have now increased their offering to 3,500 kg). Access to the cargo bed is with a drop down rear door though there is wide range of hard tops and load covers to choose from. For a business wanting a practical pick-up with abilities they should be aware that the Fullback isn’t the most practical of the choices currently available.
Technology & Safety
For a pickup, the Fiat Fullback comes with lots of technology and safety features including several airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners and traction control. Some models also come with lane departure warning but they do miss out on autonomous emergency braking and hill descent control which some of its rivals offer.
Most owners will find the 2.4 litre turbocharged diesel engine in the Fiat Fullback is responsive and powerful enough for all of their needs. There are two outputs available, the SX has 148 bhp while the LX has 178 bhp. Both are quiet in normal operation and smooth performers at speed on the motorway. Most owners will also opt for the manual gearbox which is smooth and easy to live with. The higher ground clearance will also be appealing to some and it will tackle rough terrain with ease, and the two four-wheel-drive options will also be a boon. As with most pickups, the vehicle is a great performer with passengers or a payload in the back and when empty, there is a fair amount of bounce which can be disconcerting for some drivers. The drive is also noticeably uncomfortable when taken over rough surfaces. One high spot is that the Fiat Fullback does have one of tightest turning circles in its segment which might be of use to a potential buyer.
One of the big attractions for the Fiat Fullback is the list of standard equipment which is generous. The vehicle comes with cruise control, air conditioning, central locking and DAB radio as standard while other models come with a 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and satnav. There are also leather upholstered power adjustable front seats available. There’s also no doubt that the Fullback is designed to be a work vehicle and the materials used in the cabin are hard wearing and will take some punishment though this does give the cabin a dated and bland appearance.