£12,515 – £17,945
A superb package with a wide-ranging selection of models and without doubt one of the best light commercials that Fiat has ever produced.
Fiat redesigned the Doblò Cargo from the ground-up and launched the newcomer in the UK in 2010. In its latest incarnation it comes with a choice of two wheelbases and roof heights and an impressive selection of diesel engines. Big changes to the suspension have taken place at the rear where a sophisticated bi-link independent set-up has been installed to enhance the van’s ride and handling. Light in weight, it’s compact too. As for the engines, there’s the choice of 1.3-, 1.6- and 2.0-litre diesel units with power outputs of 90, 105 and 135hp, and peak torque figures of 200, 290 and 320Nm respectively. A 95hp/127Nm 1.4-litre petrol engine can be specified too.
A Stop/Start system is available across the range as an option. This cuts out the engine when stationary and in neutral. Depress the clutch and it fires-up immediately. ABS comes as standard along with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution with Electronic Stability Programme offered as an extra-cost option.
Access to the load area is via either twin asymmetrical rear doors or the standard nearside sliding side door; an offside one is included on all long-wheelbase Maxi variants and as part of the SX package. A full solid bulkhead and six load tie-down points are provided and gross payload ranges from 750kg to 1,000kg. Load space of 3.4m³ to 5.0m³ is on offer; the latter a result of the high roof, long-wheelbase XL variant introduced at the 2012 CV Show.
Two specification levels are available — Base and SX — but all models come with central locking, electric windows, rake- and reach-adjustable steering wheel, full width storage shelf above the windscreen and a radio/CD player. SX brings with it electric heated door mirrors, height-adjustable driver’s seat, front fog lamps and remote central locking.
Useful in-cab options include remote steering wheel-mounted radio controls and Blue&Me. The latter was developed by Fiat, TomTom and Microsoft and features a colour TomTom touch screen that acts as a hub for a mobile phone and trip computer, as well as providing a sat nav system.
Doblò boasts a roomy and comfortable cab with bags of storage space, including a large glovebox and a tray under the passenger seat. Driving position is excellent, the seats are supportive and there’s good forward vision thanks to a large windscreen.
It rides remarkably well for a van, even unladen, thanks to its independent rear suspension. It handles well too with plenty of feedback from the well weighted steering, the gearchange quality is more than acceptable, it has good fuel economy with low CO2 emissions and there’s more than enough performance on tap, especially from the more powerful diesels. Build quality appears to be rock-solid.
Introduced in 2011, there's also a factory-fitted dropside conversion; the Work Up. With a gross payload of 1,000kg, it's no lightweight workhorse and pretty much unique in the UK market. On top of the van and Work Up, Doblò is also available as a five-seater crew van and a platform cab.
So far as the diesels are concerned — and diesels will power the vast majority sold — service intervals are set at 21,000 miles. Doblò Cargo is protected by a three-year/120,000-mile warranty.
At the end of 2012 Fiat extended its high-value, special edition Tecnico range to include Doblò (see News Story). Well worth checking out.