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Fiat Dobló Natural Power - the bivalent space glider

Fiat Doblo lounge instruments

Fiat Doblo lounge instruments

The Fiat Dobló panel van has been adding new accents since last year with a revised front and an extensive interior renovation. We are testing it in the bivalent variant that works with natural gas and petrol. The 1.4 16V is equipped with a 16,15 kg underfloor natural gas tank and a small 22l petrol tank.

From the outside, some cosmetic corrections have been made with the facelift and the new design of the vehicle front including the headlights, hood and bumpers. The moderate changes give the massive station wagon a few new highlights. The folds on the bonnet emphasize the shape, the front appears more elegant and the rear lights have been redesigned and the trim strip painted in the same color as the car.
The real reason to opt for a Doblò only opens up when the tailgate is opened. This is where the true size of the car becomes apparent, because work, family and
Combine hobbies with one another without any problems. The extensive storage space, coupled with the flexibly foldable seats, offers space for exhibits, family vacation suitcases or entire surfboards. The loading edge at knee height makes loading easier for all users. The rear seat bench can be folded down in a split 60:40. The trunk has a load volume of 790 liters (with a 3,10 meter long wheelbase: 1050 liters). With the rear seats folded down, the load volume increases to 3200 liters, in the long version up to 4000 liters). That represents a top value compared to the competition.
The storage space is supplemented by large storage compartments in the door panels of the front seats. There is space for bottles of up to 1,5 l. Additional storage spaces in the interior make the Doblò a predestined mobile storage space on four wheels.
List prices start at 17.490 euros for the Doblò petrol engine in the "Pop" version up to 25.290 euros for the Doblò in the natural gas version with the "Lounge" version that we tested. Those who like it more rustic can get the “Trekking” version as a diesel vehicle for the same price.

In addition to the storage space, we of course also took a closer look at the other equipment. With the new dashboard, which comes with a matt contrasting surround, there is also a visual update inside the Doblò. The navigation and connect system is fully integrated into the center console. There is a choice between three different systems (Bluetooth radio, Uconnect with 5 inch touchscreen and the optional extension to a navigation system). On the front seats, an asymmetrical seating position remains, due to the distance between the seat and the door, which means that the driver does not have an optimal support surface for the left arm. On the other hand, the height of the trolley provides generous headroom.
The natural gas engine is astonishingly quiet when it is started, and the improved insulation of the engine compartment is noticeable. Technically, Fiat relies on a bivalent 120 hp engine with a six-speed gearbox that can be shifted easily and precisely - with little resistance in the shift gate. The maximum torque of 206 Nm for the small-volume 1,4 liter engine is 2.000 rpm, the car has an output of 120 hp at 5.000 rpm.Thus, the optimal driving conditions lie between these speed ranges. The turbocharger only switches on from approx. 1.800 rpm - the acceleration is accordingly slow up to this speed. In practice, the Doblò Natural Power shows the optimal driving style in the medium speed range with many gear changes. That is sufficient, but not necessarily optimal in view of the original tasks in the transport sector. Here the large-volume 1,6 liter diesel engines with 95/120 hp run more smoothly and have more torque.
The clutch, accelerator and brake are smooth and respond well, the steering is direct and responsive. Control elements are plentiful in the lounge equipment, everything is placed for a specific purpose and easy to use. The multifunctional display in the middle looks a bit small in view of the internal size and could be more inclined towards the driver. Radio, navigation and connect systems are integrated in the lounge equipment, so that all fields of activity are covered in everyday life.
The chassis is designed for road use, poorer routes with holes are roughly compensated and not cushioned as comfortably. The front seats provide sufficient lateral support, while the rear bench seat provides enough space and legroom for three adults.
The generous window areas give you a good all-round view - but also like to freeze over the whole area in frosty weather overnight.

 

Steering wheel with controls

Steering wheel with controls

center console

center console

Driver's inside door

Driver's inside door

N. Hawthorn
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