Fiat’s rather curiously designed Doblo and Doblo Cargo have metamorphosised into a whole new shape for 2010, with a fresh set of engines and class-leading payload.
Now in its 10th year and with worldwide sales of one million under its belt, the new Doblo will be sold as a five-seat car, seven-seat car, panel van with short and long wheelbases and standard and high roofs and as a chassis-cab at its UK launch in March.
Only 3% of parts are carried over from the previous model and Fiat is expecting sales to rise from the current 800 per year to 2,000.
Outside, the new model looks more solid and robust than the old one and van versions can now carry more than the old Scudo model, which was in the segment above.
Inside van versions, loads of up to 3.4 metres in length can be carried, while there is room for two Euro pallets.
Volumes go up to 4.2 cubic metres for the long wheelbase version with a special fold-down passenger seat.
Payloads, meanwhile, range from 750 to 1,000kg – the first van in this sector to carry one tonne.
On the safety front, ESP, ABS brakes and EBD are standard but ESP is a paid-for option on van versions.
Under the bonnet there is a huge range of engines.
A 1.4-litre petrol engine offers 90bhp at 6,000rpm and 94lb-ft of torque at 4,500rpm, while 1.3, 1.6 and 2.0-litre Multijet diesels in both Euro IV and Euro V formats offer between 90bhp and 135bhp and torque of between 147lb-ft and 236lb-ft.
Fuel economy ranges from 40.4mpg to 58.8mpg and CO2 figures go from 126g/km to 163g/km.
All Euro V engines will feature Fiat’s Start&Stop system as standard.
This cuts out the engine after it has been idling for two seconds and automatically restarts it when the driver depresses the clutch.
The new Doblo and Doblo Cargo are a quantum leap forward over the old models and catapault Fiat up near the top of tree in this sector.
Fiat should become a major force in the LCV market.