Great car for the price, Having come down from a caravelle I appreciate van build quality. But the plastics are'nt VW spec. I got a very good price by buying just before a new plate and when sales numbers were of greater interest to the salesman than price. Niggles are squeeking windscreen wiper, rattle from somewhere near the back when pulling away. Other than that it is great to drive, very positive handling and good for long distances Edinburgh to London was a doddle. But do watch out on a windy day on the motorway! I can get 50mpg on a mixed run from london to Hastings by driving carefully but it goes down to 40mpg if I want to go a bit quicker. Good driving position and very adjustable drivers seat makes for comfy driving. Less of a van than earlier Doblos, but lets face it it does look a bit odd. But so am I. I love it.
Known as 'the van', my Dobbin is now 5 years old and I'll either change it for another or keep it until it drops. It's done 83000 and hasn't been perfect but I've always forgiven it, even when it swallowed a valve from somewhere in the airbox and needed a new engine. Fiat dealers won't admit to this problem, but a 15,000 mile unit was sourced and off we went again. Needed a new clutch at 80000, has always eaten front tyres (wears on inner or outer edges - must be properly checked for tracking), interior plastics cheap, fabrics can wear and are difficult to keep clean but hey, it's 'the van'. Never does better than 45mpg but never less than 42! Great for French shopping trips, carrying all and sundry, but I reckon it needs more storage space despite what Fiat say. Standard fit radio is average! Stuff can fly out of roof storage bin unexpectedly! I'd really like a full length sunroof like a 2CV! Oh, the 4WD from the Brazilian version would be nice! Best thing? Complete and utter lack of image!
The drawbacks of the 7 seat model are lack of luggage space and the two rear seats are fixed together and are very heavy to lift in and out. We bought ours in August '06 and we had to fit a roofbox to go on holiday as we have 4 children. I would advise that you pay the extra and order one with factory fitted roofrails, not the cheaper roof bars that we bought as they're awkward for fitting a roofbox.
Having said all this it's a lovely car to drive with the powerful 120 bhp diesel and it handles well too. We cruised down to the south of France at 80 to 90 mph with 6 in the car plus luggage for 2 weeks and still got 40mpg.
Also, we haggled at the dealer and got £2,300 of the list price.
I bought this car for my wife thinking it would be little underpowered but very practical, but what a suprise it was ,the 1.3 multijet is a little cracker ,in fact its the smoothest diesel I have ever driven almost petrolike even from outside. Motorways are no problem and all 7 seats can seat adults in comfort. Its no great looker but it has a charm all of its own. There is no pretense with this car it just does exactly what it says on the tin. with cheap insureance and cheap road tax and low running costs its perfect for anyone who wants a no thrills 7 seater mpv.
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