Affordable people carriers: Examining the Fiat Doblò

Affordable people carriers examining the Fiat Doblò

Image Credit: Flickr

Having a large family by default means that you need to have a car capable of fitting everyone into it – you can’t pick and choose who gets to go to the seaside because there’s not enough room for everyone to get into the car, can you? However, people carriers and larger cars can be expensive, which isn’t ideal when you’re already paying the mortgage and doing the weekly food shopping for six or seven people as well.

However, there are options on the market that aren’t going to break the bank as far as your wallet is concerned. The Fiat Doblò, for example, is an extremely reliable mid-range vehicle that does everything you could possibly need it to. Is it a good investment? Read on…

Features

1.       Performance

Prospective owners can choose between models of the Doblò that boast a 2.0-litre engine, a 1.6-litre version or the entry-level 1.4-litre version (the first two diesels, the latter petrol). They’re not tremendously fast, but when you’ve got your entire family inside then you probably don’t want to be going that fast anyway. The 1.6 actually isn’t that much slower than the 2.0, so opting for that model could be a savvy move that ends up saving you money while not sacrificing a huge amount. Steering, handling and grip on the road are all very good, and with a relatively smooth (though a tad noisy) ride, you won’t be wanting for performance here.

Fiat Doblò

Image Credit: Flickr

2.       Safety and Reliability

Obviously, as it’s a family car, safety is paramount in the design of the Doblò – no-one’s going to buy a car that looks or feels unsafe (although, more to the point, European regulations wouldn’t allow a car without the required safety features to be sold to the public). To this end, the Doblò includes all of the standard safety features, such as seatbelts and airbags, but more can be added if necessary. In terms of reliability, while Fiat by its own admission hasn’t had the best reliability record in the past, its most recent models have proven to be more hard-wearing and there’s no reason to think that the Doblò should deteriorate particularly quickly.

3.      Running Costs and Interior

With the prices of fuel rising steeply, prudent spenders will be well aware of the implications of the high running costs where cars are concerned. Fortunately, the Doblò is extremely impressive as far as fuel economy is concerned. The 1.4-litre engine offers 39mpg, while the 1.6-litre diesel MultiJet engine offers 54mpg and the best model running on the 2.0-litre engine delivers 50mpg but obviously also has a greater top speed than any of the other engines. However, it doesn’t really matter how fast you’re going when you have an extremely spacious interior – because the Doblò derives from Fiat’s line of vans, the boxy lines of previous models are revisited here in order to accommodate extra seats rather than tools and equipment.

4.       Boot Space 

The boot space is also extremely impressive – this model is one of the best on the market for the amount of storage volume that the boot provides. Designed to hold another two seats to take the car up to seven, the boot can easily fit several hundred litres of luggage or whatever you want to bring on your journey with you. In addition, the parcel shelf can support about 70kg, with access to it made easy by rear sliding doors.

5.      Equipment and Technology 

Because the Doblò is a budget model, it’s generally intended to perform basic functions and not really have any frills. Air conditioning, alloy wheels and electric rear windows are only available with more advanced versions of the Doblò, while the entry-level model offers remote locking, a CD player and electric front windows.  To be fair, though, who needs air conditioning? All you need to do is wind the windows down in the summer.

For those on a budget, it’s clear that the Fiat Doblò is one of the most cost-effective, high-value five-to-seven seat cars on the market. From the performances of the range’s various engines and the extremely spacious interiors and boots, there are few reasons why those who don’t need the myriad of extra features that come with more expensive cars shouldn’t look into investing in one.

Editorial Team
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