Van Leasing Review :

The Fiat Doblo

Stuart finds out why the Fiat Doblo does much more than just stand out from the crowd!

Blue Fiat Leasing Van

Let’s face it; vans have first and foremost got to be practical and fit for purpose, which often means that the design is less than exciting. In the case of the Fiat Doblo however, it’s safe to say that striking design is one of its strong points. It has a modern and completely different look to any other van on the market today and, like it or not, you’ve got to give Fiat credit for trying something so different from the rest of the competition (both inside and out).

But is the Fiat Doblo just a pretty face or could it be the perfect van lease for your business? Let’s find out:

Size Matters

Flexibility is key with the Doblo and between all the different wheelbase, roof height, engine and other configuration options there are over 400 unique variants to choose from. So if you can’t find something to suit what you’re looking for then, I’m sorry to say it, but stop being so picky! The different Doblo variants have a payload of between 750-1000kg and it is the first van in its class to have a 1 tonne payload. The load capacity also goes up to as much as 4.2m3, which is extremely impressive for a van of its size. In fact it even has room to carry two Euro Pallets in one load. Loading and unloading is also a breeze with twin rear doors and a sliding side door. Another nice addition is the easy-wipe plastic floor in the loading bay, which leaves you no excuse for a dirty floor!

Creature Comforts

First things first, the Doblo is extremely comfortable for both driver and passengers. The seating is supportive and great even for long journeys. Front and side airbags also come as standard – providing extra safety and peace of mind. One potential downside is that Fiat have not yet provided an option to add an additional front passenger seat as is available on the Ford Transit Connect and other models in its class.

In terms of storage and added extras then it’s all about documents for Fiat – we’ve never seen so many compartments, clips and cubbyholes for documents in our lives! This even includes a secret compartment for documents underneath the passengers seat for those confidential documents or ones you just want to keep in good nick. Other than that there are side pockets with space for drink holders and a glove box that’s the perfect size for your (standard sized) laptop. Optional additions include TomTom Blue&Me (a sat nav system that also integrates Bluetooth connectivity and mp3) and an EcoDrive software system, which tracks how the vehicle is driven and is great for fleet managers.

On the Road

The Fiat Doblo is available in a range of engine configurations including a 1.4 litre petrol variant and 1.3, 1.6 and 2.0 litre Multijet diesel engines – all Euro V compliant. One of the biggest benefits of the Fiat Doblo is that it is best in class in terms of C02 emissions and combined running costs, which make them a great long-term van lease or van contract hire option. In fact, the Doblo can achieve as much as 58.8mpg, which is absolutely fantastic for a van of its size.

ABS, EBD and Start+Stop technology come as standard but EPS is an optional extra on all configurations, unlike some of its competitors including the Ford Transit Connect who offer this as standard.

When it comes to driving the Doblo you won’t be disappointed – acceleration is powerful, steering is responsive and gear changing is smooth. Even with a full load in the back the Doblo continues to perform well unlike some other vans in its class. If you’ve not driven a vehicle with Stop+Start technology before then it’s a bit strange to start with as you get used to the engine cutting in and out when you stop – you soon get used to it though.

The Verdict

So, is the Fiat Doblo the perfect van leasing or van contract hire deal for you? If you’re looking for a van of this size then the answer has to be a pretty big YES! The Fiat Doblo is class leading in so many ways – it drives fantastically, offers low C02 emissions, low running costs, great fuel efficiency, a comfortable drive and some great features as standard. EPS would have been nice as a standard feature but really is the only hole we could pick in the Doblo’s armoury! This truly is a great van leasing deal.

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