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Fiat Doblo

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICALITY (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

Van-based MPVs aren't the most glamorous vehicles around but Fiat's Doblo gets the job done. Jonathan Crouch looks at the improved fourth generation version.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 38

Buying a van-based small MPV like Fiat's Doblo has always been more about sense than style but the improved version of this Italian five or seven-seat family-sized but still compact people carrier might surprise you with its sophistication.

Backgroundword count: 161

Cars aren't always aspirational. Sometimes, they're simply about getting the job done practically, affordably and efficiently. Van-based MPVs are a good example of this rather refreshingly uncomplicated approach to automotive design - like this one, Fiat's Doblo. This is a substantially revised version of the fourth generation version which the Italian brand claims is smarter, more refined and better value. It'll sell though, for the same reason its predecessor did: practicality. This issue is high on the agenda for the design of every mainstream family car but conventional hatches must temper this approach to the dictates of style. If you've a growing family requiring space in a relatively compact, affordable five-door vehicle, what you actually need is a box with four wheels, yet one you wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen in at the supermarket. The Doblo has always tried to cater to buyers in search of such thing. But can it stay sensible yet get more sophisticated? Let's find out.

Driving Experienceword count: 224

On the road, the Doblo handles better than you might expect it to, courtesy of its segment-exclusive, bi-link independent rear suspension, with dual-rate shock absorbers, high-performance springs and a rear anti-roll bar all tuned to provide a decent combination of ride and roll on most roads. Fiat's Multijet diesel engine is a perfect fit in a vehicle of the Doblo's ilk and it forms the mainstay of the range. This 1.6-litre unit offers 105bhp and is the alternative to the entry-level 95bhp 1.4-litre petrol variant. Both units have been refettled with the aim of improving refinement. No Doblo is what you would call quick but performance promises to be energetic enough for the kind of use to which the car will be put and the diesel engines should have the muscle to cope with the big payloads that the car is likely to be tasked with. The petrol unit takes 15.4s to reach 62mph from a standing start and with the 1.6 diesel managing a 13.4s time. More relevant is the torque that's available and 290Nm from 1,500rpm underlines the strength of the diesel unit. Also having a major impact on how the Doblo drives will be its surprisingly advanced suspension system. Recent detail dynamic changes include lighter and more precise gear changes, a more responsive throttle pedal, smarter instrumentation and better noise insulation.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

Combined mpg:

38.2

56.5

CO2 (g/km):

133

171

Extra urban mpg:

46.3

60.1

Insurance group:

5

13

Price:

14480

19515

Urban mpg:

29.7

50.4

Weight (kg):

1340

1450

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: MPV People Carriers

Performance
60%
Handling
60%
Comfort
60%
Space
80%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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