Fiat Doblo Cargo

The latest version has been reworked at the front end with new lights and bumper

Spec sheet

  • Gross vehicle weights (kg): 2,030- 2,510
  • Power (bhp/rpm): 90@4000-135@3,500  (Petrol 95@6,000)
  • Torque (Nm/rpm): 200@1,500-320@1,500 (Petrol 127@4,500)
  • Load volumes (cu m): 3.4- 5
  • Payloads (kg): 750-1,005
  • Comb fuel economy (mpg):  38.7 – 64.2*(*with new EcoJet technology)
  • CO2 emission (g/km): 115*- 169 (*with new EcoJet technology)
  • Basic prices (ex-VAT): £13,245-£17,975

WHEN Fiat launched the latest Doblo Cargo in 2010, it catapulted the manufacturer well and truly into the premium league, such was its superb build quality and ride and handling.

The Doblo won International Van of the Year the following year and since then has won a clutch of awards and a whole new lot of fleet business. Vauxhall, by the way, now rebadges the Doblo and calls it the Combo.

Back then when we first drove the Doblo (and came away mightily impressed), if you had asked us how it could be improved we’d have been at a loss to make any suggestions.

But five years down the line the Doblo is about to get a big facelift for its mid-life wash and brush up. Going on sale in March, the new model has a host of improvements to looks, build quality, ride, handling and fuel efficiency, which should see it remaining as a front runner in this crowded small van sector for a few more years yet.

As usual we were among the first people to drive this new model and yes, let’s say right away that we are again knocked out that Fiat has produced such a cracking vehicle.

There are now five engines to choose from – 1.3-litre, 1.6-litre, 1.6 ComfortMatic and 2.0-litre diesels offering between 90 bhp and 135 bhp and a 1.4-litre petrol with 95 bhp.

These engines offer up to 40% better torque response while having no adverse effect on fuel consumption, which is now anything up to 64 miles per gallon – an improvement of up to 12%.

Fiat is also offering the option of an EcoJet pack at £450 extra, which adds Start&Stop, low rolling-resistance tyres, low-viscosity oil, an ‘intelligent’ alternator, a variable-displacement oil pump and a new aerodynamic pack and is reckoned to save up to 15% on fuel. At 20,000 miles per year, that cost would be recouped after 18 months.

Costing from £13,245 to £17,325, which is an average of £190 more than that of the outgoing model, the Doblo is being built at Bursa in Turkey and comes in a staggering 1,000 different variants, with short and long wheelbases and low and high roofs.

So without further ado let’s look at what’s on offer…

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