Fiat Fullback Reviewed
First Drive: Turin, Italy
By Tim Barnes-Clay, Motoring Journalist – tweeting @carwriteups
Fiat Professional’s Fullback is fundamentally a Mitsubishi L200 with a different badge and lots of Italian flair.
It looks far sexier than the Japanese automaker’s offering on the outside, but inside it still has the familiar utilitarian scratchy plastic – and just a Fiat badge on the steering wheel to remind you what you’re in.
The pickup is only available in double cab arrangement in the UK – and comes with a 2.4 litre diesel engine in two states of tune – 150hp or 180hp. As with the Mitsubishi, Fiat’s Fullback is hooked up to a six-speed manual or five-speed auto transmission. We only drove the 180hp manual version at its international media launch in Turin, Italy.
Behind the wheel, the Fullback is surprisingly capable of weaving through busy city traffic or thundering along highways. It picks up pace quickly and the brakes scrub off speed very efficiently. But the most surprising thing is that the Fullback has very little body lean – even when chucked fairly hard around corners. The Fiat will run wide if you try and drive it like a sports car, and it can feel heavy, but it really is very car-like in every other respect.
Once clear of Turin’s busy suburbs we tackled a muddy, rocky, off-road woodland trail. But before we left tarmac, we spun the Fullback’s rotary dial from two-wheel-drive to 4×4 mode. This turns the Italian motor into a limpet. Not only does the Fullback handle slippery sludge, loose gravel and wood chips, the suspension soaks up potholes and glides over rocks with ease.
Fiat’s Fullback will seat five-up at a push – or four-up in comfort. It can also cart a maximum payload of 1,045kg. That’s only 5kg less than the Mitsubishi L200 it’s modelled on.
The Fullback is the Italian motor manufacturer’s first venture into Europe’s contemporary mid-size commercial pick-up marketplace. Fiat only produces the more diminutive Strada in the Americas.
Available with all-wheel drive, as standard on all versions, the Fiat Fullback starts at £20,995 in SX trim. The high-spec LX manual is priced from £22,995, while the flagship LX automatic is priced from £24,395 (all prices exclude VAT and on the road charges). The all-new Fullback will be available to order from 4 July 2016.
PROS ‘N’ CONS
- Stylish √
- Powerful √
- Spacious √
- Practical √
- Interior plastics X
FAST FACTS (2.4 180 LX manual)
- Combined mpg: 42.8
- Engine layout: 2442cc 4-cylinder 16v turbo diesel
- Max. power (hp): 180
- Towing (unbraked) 3100 kg
- CO2: 173 g/km
- Price: £22,995 (excluding VAT and on the road charges)