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First look: Fiat debuts new Doblo

No appearance: The Fiat Doblo arises from a joint venture with PSA Peugeot-Citroen.

Redesigned Doblo mini-van emerges from Fiat, but it won’t come to Australia

Fiat logo19 Nov 2009

By MARTON PETTENDY

FIAT has revealed a redesigned Doblo mini-van in Italy, but it won’t be arriving as a smaller sibling for the Fiat Scudo in Australia.

Local Fiat importer Ateco Automotive says it has no intention of releasing the new Doblo here, despite almost doubling sales of the larger Scudo this year.

The five-door Scudo is a badge-engineered model that’s virtually identical to the Citroen Dispatch and Peugeot Expert. Powered by an 88kW 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, it joined the larger Ducato in Fiat Commercial’s Australian stable in April 2008.

The new Doblo, meantime, has appeared in Europe with four engines, including 70kW petrol and 67kW, 78kW and 100kW diesel engines – all equipped with a fuel-saving idle-stop system as standard.

It replaces a model that attracted about one million sales globally and would compete directly with the Holden Combo, Suzuki APV, Volkswagen Caddy, Renault Kangoo and the Berlingo from Citroen, which is also imported by Ateco.

Fiat says the 2010 Doblo sets new class standards in terms of space, by being based on a new platform with a longest-in-class 2755mm wheelbase that accommodates up to seven seats and 790 litres of luggage space.

36 center imageClass-leading emissions are also claimed, with the entry-level 67kW 1.3-litre Multijet diesel returning average CO2 emissions of 129g/km. The same engine returns combined EU fuel consumption of just 4.8L/100km, providing a driving range of up to 1250km.

Fiat says a dual-fuel (petrol and methane) ‘Natural Power’ engine and an additional diesel mated to an automated manual Dualogic transmission will also be added to the range.

Available for delivery in Europe from mid-January, the new Doblo features a new bi-link rear suspension system that is tuned to suit various vehicle applications. They include regular, square, “fully exploitable” load compartments, plus a version with sliding side doors.

No less than seven different body styles will be available in Europe, including short and long-wheelbase vans, a high-top van, short and long-wheelbase five-seater Combis and new short and long drop-framed version that Fiat says can be affordably converted to suit refrigerated an fixed/tilting flatbed applications.

The biggest Doblo ever offers an interior length of up to 2.2 metres, 1.23 metres between the wheel-arches, cargo volumes of between 3.4 and 4.2 square-metres and payloads ranging between 750 and 1000kg.

Standard features include electronic stability control and an anti-lock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution and a hill-holder system, plus twin front and front-side thorax airbags.

The new Doblo is also available with an automatic climate-control system with distribution to the rear seats, as well as cruise control, parking sensors, a built-in ‘Blue&Me’ hands-free system and ‘Blue&Me TomTom’ navigation system.

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