Fiat claims to have made a “giant step forward” in terms of comfort and driving dynamics with the new Doblo.
It’s no longer van-derived – despite being available as a van as Doblo Cargo – but is based on the Punto Evo.
And Fiat’s claim seems justified as the Doblo’s refinement far surpasses its predecessor’s.
Class-leading space is one of its key attractions for fleets.
A longer wheelbase than the previous model means there is more room for passengers and luggage.
There is a 790-litre boot, which extends to an enormous 3,200 litres with the rear seats folded flat.
All versions come with five seats as standard, but on the more expensive Dynamic and Eleganza versions there is an option to add an extra row.
The cabin feels spacious and there is great visibility from the driver’s seat.
It also feels good on the road with surprisingly little body roll.
But the 1.6-litre MultiJet diesel engine is noisy at low speeds and takes around 13 seconds to get from 0-62mph.
When stopping in traffic the Doblo’s Start&Stop kicks in (standard on all models).
Fuel economy can also be improved by taking hints from the gearshift indicator – also standard.
Fleet operators can keep track of fuel economy with Fiat’s free eco:Drive technology, which ranks’ a driver’s eco driving ability and gives advice on how to improve.
Fiat claims it can boost fuel economy by up to 15%.
The 1.6-litre diesel engine, which Fiat expects to be the best seller, has a combined fuel economy of 54.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 138g/km.
Fiat believes the new Doblo will attract fleets looking for a less pricey MPV.
While the price might be attractive and styling is much improved, the Doblo’s appearance is still likely to divide opinion.