Thanks to the new front-end, which is a vast improvement on the older model, I finally went for the 1.3JTD Doblo. I was worried that it would be slow, but nothing could be further from the truth.
The engine is more than capable of powering the car up and down the Lake District hills, and overtaking is not a problem. Fuel consumption is as good as promised, averaging 43mpg even at only a few weeks old. Handling is fantastic, as is visibility, though parking is slightly hampered by the thick rear corner window frames.
The driving position is the best of any car I have driven - you feel like you are in a much bigger car than appears from the outside. Sliding doors and an enormous boot space are great for the family, as is plenty of head space and leg room. The interior is tough and well laid-out, but there are not many extras or luxuries. However, a car of this size with such low running costs represents fantastic value for money when compared with other MPVs.
On the down side, the steering wheel feels quite hard and plasticky and you need to make sure the kids close the rear sliding windows properly. All in all, this is the best car I have owned, and take no notice of critics who claim the 1.3JTD is slow and sluggish.
I bought this car in July 2003. I have never had a single problem with it.
It always starts on the third engine turn in good weather and in snow. With the windows closed, motorway driving is very quiet.
The power steering tightens in line with speed increases. It is not nerve-racking as described in your review. The seats and ride are comfortable. With a central armrest, the short gearstick is perfectly positioned. Six loudspeakers provide all-round sound.
I use the vehicle all day on business, and together with the very large glass area, it is not tiring. The paintwork is very tough and resists damage. The roof is nice and high. After having so much space, I cannot go back to a saloon car.
However, I have two complaints. First, the windscreen edge columns are too thick. Second, the view of the speedo is a little obscured by the steering wheel.
It travels just over 100 miles on £10 of diesel whilst providing a lot of power. It does notconsume engine oil, although I was told by Fiat that this would be the case. I have only driven it 13,500 miles, but I do know it is the best vehicle I have used. Although it is not good looking, when I replace this vehicle I intend to have the same model again.
I'm from Vietnam and have owned a 103bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine for three years.
What impresses me is the spacious cabin, super practical, light ride and quiet engine.
The downside is the poor local service, the fact that it looks like a van, the poor plastic interior and weak air-conditioning system, without an outlet for the rear passengers.
Overall, the car is excellent - but Fiat must improve the after-sale service in Vietnam.
I bought my 1.3 multijet.
If i had test driven the 1.3 before I bought it I would of kept my money in my pocket.
On hills it's rubbish I got overtaken by a 1.0 litre Corsa. I've driven the 1.9 JTD - very nice and powerful I've just ordered the new 120bhp Doblo.
I can't wait to get behind the wheel, it is going to be worth every penny.
The 1.3 is listed 51mpg - I wish! It's more like 38pmg the only time I had 40mpg was when I was free-wheeling down a very steep hill.
I recently went to Dorset in the 1.3 and when I tried to pull away on a hill, it wasn't interested.
It's a small engine wasted on a big MVP. Big mistake Fiat, but well done on the 1.9 perfect.
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