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Fiat Doblo 2014 Review

EXPERT RATING
7
James Stanford road tests and reviews the Fiat Doblo with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Italy has entered the fierce small van battlefield with the new Fiat Doblo.

It might not be pretty but the newest arrival promises practical hauling with a choice of three smart engines and a class-leading payload.

The Doblo is not the cheapest van in the class, which includes the dominant VW Caddy, Citroen Berlingo and Renault Kangoo. However, it has a good amount of standard equipment, among them some potentially lifesaving safety features.

The range kicks off at $22,000 and tops out at $31,000 and the warranty covers three years or 200,000km.

Impressively, the Doblo comes standard with electronic stability control and four airbags (two front and two side), airconditioning, steering wheel-mounted controls, power mirrors and a PVC load mat that prevents floor damage and reduces road noise.

All variants have sliding doors on both sides and rear barn doors.

Three of the four Doblo models are short-wheelbase, low-roof cargo vans with a payload of 750kg and 3.4 cubic metres of load space.

The range topper has a payload of 1000kg and 4.2 cubic metres of cargo volume.

All models are two-seater cargo vans. Fiat Australia has no plans to introduce the cab-chassis ute or passenger van versions that are available in Europe.

The base model has a 1.4-litre petrol engine (70kW/ 127Nm) linked to a five-speed manual gearbox. For $27,000, you get a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel (77kW/290Nm) with six-speed manual.

From this model upwards, there are cruise control, rear parking sensors and body coloured bumpers.

Shell out an extra $2000 and the Doblo gets an automated five-speed transmission but the engine is detuned compared with the manual (66kW/ 200Nm). The most efficient model in the range, it returns a claimed 4.9L/100km.

The $31,000 Maxi gets the big-daddy 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel (99kW/320Nm) with six-speed manual. It’s a seriously quick van with enough torque to lug heavy loads without much effort. CarsGuide was allocated a Maxi, a brown example, for the launch drive.

Let’s face it, this is not an attractive vehicle and the brown duco certainly doesn’t help but the reality is that vans are not bought for their looks.

The Doblo is impressively practical. The cargo space, mat are highlights, along with the standard safety gear. It is quite a refined van — you could drive this all day and emerge relatively fresh.

As for the 2.0-litre diesel — what a cracker it is, a smooth and relatively quiet engine that revs out in a way that makes you wonder whether there is actually a petrol motor underneath.

Its manual transmission is crisp and clean-changing and it has a light clutch that requires little effort to operate.

We didn’t test the automated manual. A respected colleague was unimpressed but you should try it for yourself if you are interested. The automated manual should not be confused with a proper automatic transmission using a torque converter.

The Doblo interior is especially smart and the dashboard and door surfaces are as good as some compact passenger cars. Small features such as the steering wheel controls and Bluetooth, as well as an abundance of hidey-holes, make life behind the wheel much easier.

Pricing Guides

$14,410
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$9,790
Highest Price
$19,030

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Maxi LWB (Low) 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $14,410 – 19,030 2014 Fiat Doblo 2014 Maxi LWB (Low) Pricing and Specs
SWB (Low) 1.4L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $9,790 – 13,420 2014 Fiat Doblo 2014 SWB (Low) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Pricing Guide

$9,790

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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