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First Drive: Fiat Fullback

By / 8 months ago / Road Test / No Comments

Fiat Professional is joining the pick-up sector, with the launch of Fullback, says Dan Gilkes.

SECTOR Pick-up   POWER 150–180hp   PAYLOAD 1,030–1035kg   CO2 169–189g/km

The pick-up sector just got busier, with the launch of the Fiat Professional Fullback. Based on the latest Mitsubishi L200, Fiat’s first entrant in the 1-tonne pick-up sector will be offered in two trim levels, with a choice of 150hp and 180hp versions of the L200’s 2.4-litre diesel engine.

For the UK, the entry-level SX model will come with a six-speed manual gearbox only. The LX trim level can be had with the manual or a five-speed automatic transmission, while all UK Fullbacks will have four-wheel drive.

Fiat is claiming 44.2mpg and 169g/km for the 150hp manual pick-up, rising to 39.2mpg and 189g/km for the 180hp auto. Externally, Fiat has integrated its family face onto the truck well, doing without much of the heavy chrome of the donor vehicle. There has been little more than a change of steering wheel centre in the cab though.

Once in the driver’s seat though, SX trim gets you leather trim for that steering wheel. You also have 16-inch alloy wheels, remote central locking, electric windows and mirrors, Bluetooth, DAB, steering wheel- mounted audio controls, air conditioning, Start/Stop, front fogs and side steps. Upgrade to LX trim and you also get keyless go, leather upholstery, electrically-adjusted and heated seats, bi-xenon headlights, privacy glass, a 6.1-inch touchscreen with sat-nav, lane departure warning, a reversing camera and comfort-oriented Touring suspension with 17-inch wheels.

The automatic transmission also comes with a larger 7-inch infotainment screen and paddle gear shifters behind the steering wheel. All models have a full range of safety kit, including ESC with ASR, trailer stability assist, hill start assist, cruise control and seven airbags.

Both SX and LX cabs provide a comfortable working environment. As with the L200, Fiat’s Fullback can carry over 1-tonne, to allow registered owners to reclaim the VAT. The trucks can also pull a 3.1-tonne trailer, which is a bit behind most pick-up rivals, that can handle the full 3.5-tonnes.

That said, Fiat has made a good choice with the Mitsubishi, which remains an accomplished truck. Perhaps more importantly, it has been proven over many years to be among the toughest of pick-ups, which may prove essential for Fiat’s international growth plans. The pick-up market in the UK is currently around40,000 trucks. However in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, where Fiat would like to greatly increase its LCV penetration, pick-ups account for more than 650,000 vehicles, or 22% of the total LCV market.

Fullback arrived in UK Fiat Professional dealers at the beginning of July, with prices starting at a very competitive £20,995 for the SX model. LX trucks go from £22,995 for the manual, to £24,395 for the Fullback LX with automatic transmission.

What we think

Fullback is a good fit for the Fiat Professional range, allowing dealers to provide complete LCV fleet coverage and taking Fiat into new market sectors across the UK.

Dan Gilkes

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