Comfortable rear suspension
Range of body sizes and payload capacity
Unusual spin-off products like Work-Up dropside
A pretty ugly van
Piano black plastics can look grubby
Since its re-launch three years ago, Fiat has maximised the potential of their mid-sized city van by offering more than just a range of panel vans.
The Doblo has a versatile range of body options for a light van, ranging from the low roof, SWB (3.4m³) to the high roof, LWB (5.0m³) aptly named the XL. There are a choice of two loading lengths (1870mm and 2170mm) and two load heights (1305mm and 1550mm), and is generous with its carrying weights, too. The heavier, 2.2t GVW vans offer a joint best-in-class payload of 1,000kg, while the lighter, 2.0t vans offer a respectable 750kg payload.
Versatility continues into the engine department, where five power options (all front wheel drive) are available, and extends to the body configurations where panel vans, five-seater kombi vehicle, dropside and chassis cab models exist.
It is no surprise that Fiat chose to pursue sales with niche products with the Doblo as the small van market is fiercely competitive, but on paper, it’s probably one of the best vans in its class.
Running costs are low, and Fiat includes a lot of equipment as standard for what is a low-to-medium priced van in the segment.
The bi-link rear suspension sets the Doblo apart amongst other vans, and contributes to a very comfortable and enjoyable ride. Rear loadspace is generous and with larger versions like the XL (pictured), Work-Up dropside and long wheelbase Maxi model available, customers have a broad choice of bodies.
A new Doblo will arrive in 2015, but for the time being the Fiat has to be one of the best picks in this weight range away from the premium brands.