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2017 FIAT Fullback 2.4 180hp D-CAB Review

2017 Fiat Fullback Review

After a full week testing out the new Fiat Fullback truck, here are my thoughts on this workhorse and why you should buy one.

What is the Fiat Fullback all about?

Chances are you might have never heard of the Fiat Fullback. Perhaps you might have seen something similar on the road, the Mitsubishi L200? Fiat and Mitsubishi worked together on the Fiat Fullback which has been built since 2016.

Although the Fiat Fullback and the Mitsubishi L200 seem identical, the Fullback has a different front grille and some interior finishing specifications. Also, the Fullback comes with large cargo space, great performance, solid economy, a configurable four-wheel-drive system and space for up to 5 people. This truck ticks a lot of boxes so let’s see what it’s all about!

By looking at the truck you’ll notice the Fullback has a gorgeous black body which creates a uniquely stealthy look. The 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome mirrors and black rear roof bars also contribute to the Fullback’s off road ready aggressive look.

Under the bonnet there is a 2.4-litre diesel engine that creates 180 hp and a massive 430 Nm of torque. All that power drives a 6 speed manual gearbox with a clever drive train that switches from 2WD to 4WD at the turn of a knob, ready for rough conditions. If you’re towing, there’s also a low range gearbox which allows you to get the most out of the power. Thanks to typical diesel traits, the engine emits 186 g of CO2/km and gets 40 combined mpg which is pretty impressive.

How does it drive?

Getting up into the Fullback requires you to take a small hop, but there’s a nicely designed sidestep to help you. Once inside, you sit at a good height, similarly as in a large van or SUV, looking down onto the road. The Fullback on test used a standard key ignition, so turning the keys fired up the 2.4-litre diesel engine. The truck has a loud sounding engine, but it’s nothing to worry about. In fact, it sounds more like a hard working engine.

Stick the car into drive and once you get moving you’ll instantly notice that the Fullback has a van-like feel and driving characteristics as it caters for heavy cargo loads. The rear of the car is equipped with leaf springs to support the extra weight in the cargo area.

The 2.4-litre diesel engine is punchy. The torque delivery is extremely powerful when you’re on boost with a significant amount of 430Nm of torque. When driving the car with no weight at all in the back, the car feels super fast. The car’s manual gearbox works really well with the engine. Personally, I may have opted for an automatic but, to keep the cost down, the manual gearbox works just as fine.

Whilst driving the truck, the engine noise is still present in the cabin. But, knowing how capable the truck is, you soon learn to look past this. The engine sounds and goes like a workhorse, so if you are purchasing the truck for some proper use like towing you will be able to move up to 3,100 kg without a problem.

You can get this Fullback off-road on a regular basis too if you need to. A simple touch of the drive system dial allows you to switch from two-wheel-drive to four-wheel-drive and, within seconds, you will have all the traction you need. The truck has the perfect ride height for going off-road, meaning you’ll be able to take on some pretty rough terrain. Regular roads only require the use of 2-wheel-drive because of the better economy it offers. Besides all of this, there is also a low range setup for pulling heavy weights.

What is it like inside?

The inside of the Fullback is rock solid and hard wearing. So you get what you expect: hard wearing plastics, buttons you can press with gloves on and surfaces that you can easily wipe clean when needed. It’s not exciting but it certainly is practical.

The dashboard holds a 6.1″ touchscreen infotainment system that controls SatNav, DAB radio CD, and hands-free telephone functions on the car. Although the system meets all your expectations, it does looks a bit retro. Still, I would much rather have this system fitted there than not have one at all. The most important function of this system includes a reversing camera which is a massive help on a car this size.

The Fiat Fullback has a 1.9 m²  load capacity allowing you to move a lot of gear when required. The test model has a rear hardtop with side opening windows and roof rails on top which is a great addition to the pickup truck. Although it does limit some of the usability when accessing the rear of the truck, it gives you an additional element of security. The rear hardtop allows you to store and lock valuable items in the rear of the truck. Whilst it prevents thieves, it also keeps your items waterproof.

The Experience

The Fiat Fullback truck is a true bred workhorse: it is built to get the job done. Perhaps the outside styling makes the truck a bit of a status symbol. Fiat created a rather special truck for those who do not want anything fancy. It just looks good and has the power needed to get things moved.

Verdict

You just don’t expect a pickup truck from Fiat. Yet, the Fullback is just as capable as all other pickup trucks on the market. Knowing that the Fullback is actually a Mitsubishi L200 under the covers will certainly give buyers more confidence.

The Fullback looks and feels like a proper pickup truck. The basic interior will work well for most customers and will certainly help keep the cost down.

Specification

Fiat Fullback

  • Price: £28,653
  • Engine: 2.4-litre Diesel
  • Power: 180 hp
  • Torque: 430 Nm
  • Transmission: 6 Speed manaul
  • Weight: 1,860 kg
  • Economy: 40 mpg
  • CO2: 186 g/km
Gallery

Author: Paul Hadley

 

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