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Driven: Fiat Doblo makes Australian debut

Little load carrier: The Doblo van has taken its place at the entry point of Fiat Professional’s light-commercial line-up and will do battle with Volkswagen’s Caddy and Renault’s Kangoo.

Doblo has gone on sale locally strengthening Fiat’s LCV line-up

Fiat logo13 Nov 2014

By RICHARD BERRY

FIAT Professional’s Doblo van has landed in Australia, joining the Italian brand’s refreshed light-commercial line-up as a new rival from top-selling small workhorse rivals the Volkswagen Caddy and Renault’s Kangoo.

While the fourth-generation version of the van made its debut at the Hanover motor show in September and goes on sale in Europe next year, GoAuto understands Fiat Chrysler Australia has decided to launch the current third-gen model locally now as global allocation for the newer model could push its arrival out by two years.

The Doblo sits below it larger Scudo and Ducato vans in Fiat Professional’s local arsenal.

Buyers can choose from four Doblo variants, which comes in short-wheelbase form (Cargo Van) at 2755mm and a 3105mm long-wheelbase version (Maxi Van), with a choice of three diesel engines and one petrol unit.

Kicking off the range at $22,000, plus on-road costs, is the short wheelbase-only petrol variant with its 70kW/127Nm 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine matched with a five-speed manual gearbox.

Sitting above this is the short-wheelbase entry level diesel van with a 77kW/290Nm 1.6-litre oil-burner and six-speed manual at $27,000. A five-speed automatic version is available with a lower output 66kW/200Nm version of the engine for $29,000.

At the top of the range is the long-wheelbase Maxi Van with a 99kW/320Nm 2.0-litre diesel and a six-speed manual for $31,000.

Inside, all models are 1305mm high and 1714mm wide, with 1230mm between the wheel arches. The short wheelbase has a load length of 1820mm with a payload capacity of 750kg and 3.4 cubic metres (3400L) of volume.

The long wheelbase has a load length of is 2170mm, while payload capacity is 1000kg and volume is 4.2 (4200L) cubic metres.

Loading access is through sliding doors on both sides of the van and rear doors in the form of side-hinged or a tailgate with a 180-degree opening option.

Standard features across the range include air-conditioning, electric door mirrors, PVC floor and Bluetooth connectivity. Safety equipment includes four airbags, plus stability and traction control.

Stepping up into the entry diesel brings rear parking sensors, cruise control and body coloured bumper and mirrors, while the automatic diesel adds idle stop.

Fiat Chrysler Australia senior manager corporate communications Andrew Chesterton said the Doblo would complete the company’s local van line-up.

“FCA Australia is hugely excited about the upcoming launch of the Fiat Professional Doblo, which – along with the new Ducato and Scudo – completes our impressive commercial vehicle range,” he said.

“We feel the new Doblo will fit perfectly into the Australian commercial sector.

“We’ve had no indication of when the next-generation Doblo will be made available to the Australian market, but of course we will assess the suitability of that vehicle if and when it is made available.” The Doblo will battle other little load carriers in the sub-2.5 tonne light-commercial segment which is currently dominated by Volkswagen’s Caddy with 1632 sales year to date. In second place is Renault’s Kangoo with 603 , followed by Suzuki’s APV on 438 and Citroen’s Berlingo on 222.

Fiat Doblo pricing*
SWB low roof cargo petrol $22,000
SWB low roof cargo diesel $27,000
SWB low roof cargo diesel (a) $29,000
LWB low roof maxi $31,000
*Excludes on-road costs.

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