At the top of the range sits a 2.0 diesel, which is flexible but not that quick. We’d recommend one of the 1.6 diesels – we haven’t driven the 89bhp version, but the 104bhp version doesn’t lag far behind the 2.0 for outright pace and it makes Doblo ownership far more affordable. The entry-level version has a 1.4 petrol engine, which again, we haven’t driven yet.
The Doblo isn't as unwieldy as its bulky looks suggest and it can hold its own on demanding roads. It doesn't require much effort around town, either, but it's not exactly fun to drive and the steering is short on feel. The ride is generally comfortable, but you can feel the suspension doing its work over sharp bumps.
The Doblo's 1.6-litre diesel engine is reasonably smooth, but the noise it creates when you work it hard tends to echo through the big, boxy body. You can hear the suspension clunking over big bumps, too, while the Doblo's upright shape creates some wind noise at speed. Even so, none of this is deafening.
The Doblo is reasonably priced considering its size, although cheaper versions don't get much kit. The diesel engines are clean and efficient thanks to standard stop-start across the range, so running costs won't be too high, but we don't expect the Doblo's resale values to be particularly strong.
The Doblo MPV shares much with its Cargo van counterpart, so it's built to withstand hard use. That means rugged rather than plush materials inside, but the smart centre console and switchgear shared with other Fiats means that it doesn't feel sparse inside. Fiat's reliability record is poor.
All versions come with stability control, twin front airbags and side airbags that also cover the windows. There's no option for curtain airbags that cover the rear windows, though. Deadlocks and an immobiliser are standard.
The Doblo's interior is user-friendly, with simple, well-placed controls and a gearlever that's mounted high, within easy reach. The steering wheel adjusts for both height and reach, but entry-level versions miss out on driver's seat height adjustment. Visibility is good, thanks to the large glass area.
The Doblo's height guarantees lots of headroom and a deep boot, while sliding side doors aid access, and there's a flat floor in the back. No one will struggle for space, but the Doblo has no more rear legroom than a VW Golf. There's the option of two occasional seats that fold up from the boot floor, but these need to be removed if you want to carry more than a couple of bags. The huge tailgate requires a strong arm and plenty of space to open and close it.
Entry-level Active versions make do with little more than electric front windows, remote locking and a CD player. You have to upgrade to mid-spec Mylife trim to add air-conditioning and a height-adjustable driver's seat. Extras on range-topping Eleganza models include alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel and electric rear windows.
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