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CAR REVIEW | Fiat Doblo Maxi Cargo Sportivo

★★★★ | Fiat Doblo Maxi Cargo Sportivo, Sports Delivery

What Do We Have

Here we have Fiat’s Doblo Maxi Cargo Sportivo van. Maxi Cargo because it has been built on a lengthened chassis and Sportivo because it has some fancy go faster stripes along the side. 

To me, it’s a sort of throwback to the ’70s when people made their vans look a little more sporty and less utilitarian.

But does that ageing 70’s vibe resonate into today’s Doblo van?  A van, in its current form, that has been with us for the past 9 years. THEGAYUK took one out for a spin at a recent Fiat range review.

Driving

Some time ago, I wrote a Good, Bad and Ugly on the 2005 – 2009 Fiat Doblo. I said the Doblo was a good van and some 10 years after that one ended production, the current one available is as good with just about the same amount of Fiat style as the last.

As an unloaded van, you would be right to imagine that the handling was on the light side. That said, there was no excessive bouncing coming from over your shoulders.

The engine, 120hp turbo diesel unit pumps out all its power around a useful 3750rpm. Max torque of 320nm is at a relatively high 1750rpm. In practice, this means that you have to keep the engine slightly in the noisy area to get the most from the performance. And you’ll want to do this because as vans go, the Doblo can be rather engaging to hustle around.


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Inside

The cabin is the usual mix of cubby hole and storage bins all set into sturdy wipe-clean plastic. It seats 2 on what are rather comfortable seats offering good support. The passenger seat comes with a storage bin underneath.

The driving position is still the same as the old model with ankle position not being the most comfortable. Thankfully, all minor and major controls are readily to hand and easy to use.

Living with it

Twin side sliding doors give access to the rear area and an added bonus is the fully wooden-clad cargo area which keeps it clean. Access through the rear of the van is the usually twin rear doors with a 40/60 split that open at both 90 degrees or 180 degrees. Convenience is also aided with remote central locking on all doors.

The payload is on par with this size of van at just over the 1-ton mark.

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Verdict

As small vans go, the Doblo Sportivo offering from Fiat could be purchased as your one and only car if, like me, you like vans.

Equipment levels are generous and Fiat fit a host of safety and convenience features as standard. Colour coded bumpers might be stylish on your car, but can become somewhat of an eye-sore with a hard used commercial vehicle prone to being knocked around. Thankfully there are reverse sensors that can offer some protection for the rear bumper.

What is nice to see is standard cruise control fitted though it doesn’t have adaptive cruise.  Along with electric front windows, it also comes with heated and folding door mirrors.

Love

Sporty looks

Standard specification

Driving engagement

Loath

Clutch pedal position

Economy not as good as the competition

Dull interior

The Lowdown

Car – Fiat Doblo Maxi Cargo Sportivo 1.6 Multijet-2

Price – £20,640 (as tested)

MPG – 54.3

Power – 120hp

0-60 – UA

Top speed – 105mph

Co2 – 135g/km

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