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First Drive: Fiat Talento

Fiat has replaced the PSA-based Scudo with Renault-based Talento, says Dan Gilkes.

Fiat Professional has a new mid-weight van, called Talento, that will already be familiar to many. Where the previous Scudo shared much with Peugeot’s Expert and Citroen’s Dispatch, Talento is based on the Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro.

That means a choice of two wheelbases and two roof heights in panel van, crew cab and people carrying versions are available, along with a long wheelbase chassis cab option. Load volumes range from 5.2m3 in the L1H1 model to 8.6m3 for the L2H2. Load carrying ability can be extended through a CargoPlus hatch in the standard bulkhead, that allows longer loads to protrude into the passenger footwell.

Available payloads range from 1,074kg to 1,249kg from gross weights of 2.8 tonnes to 3.04 tonnes. There are two single turbo and two twin-turbo versions of Renault’s 1.6-litre engine on offer, delivering 95-145hp. All four drive the front wheels through six-speed manual gearboxes.

Fiat is claiming fuel consumption of up to 46.3mpg should be possible in the most economical EcoJet models with Start/Stop, with CO2 emissions as low as155g/km.

All Talento models will come with LED daytime running lights, ESC with Hill Holder and Traction+, remote locking, electric windows, electric heated door mirrors, a full bulkhead, Bluetooth, DAB and steering wheel mounted audio controls.

SX specification, priced at £1,000, adds air conditioning, Mobile Office (includes a folding passenger seat, clipboard holder and underseat storage), rear parking sensors, upgraded interior trim and enhanced exterior detailing. SX Combi models, at £2,000 over the standard Active Combi, comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, auto lights and wipers, front fogs, cruise control, sat-nav and upgraded audio.

Prices start at £19,745 for the 95hp L1H1 van, while the range-topping twin-turbo 145hp model starts at £21,245. Long wheelbase models start at £21,395.

The longer vans are particularly important for Fiat Professional, as the company claims that the longer van could account for as much as 30% of the mid-weight market sector. The previous Scudo model was unable to compete with the longer van, so Talento will open up new opportunities for Fiat.

Indeed having a new van in the mid-weight market at this time is critical for Fiat, as the company said that the sector had grown by 30% over the last five years in Europe. With a number of equally new competitors, replacing Scudo was essential for continued growth.

Given that this van will also form a base for the upcoming Nissan NV300 later this year, Fiat believes that it will be the level of service and back-up fromdealers that provides the necessary differentiation in the market.  Certainly Talento provides Fiat Professional dealers with a much better mid-weight van proposition with which to approach customers.

What we think

With the option of two wheelbases, Talento overlaps both Doblo Cargo and the larger Ducato models, to provide Fiat Professional with a convincing line-up.

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Written by Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.

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