Fiat E-Doblo van review

Category: Electric Van

The E-Doblo is a practical electric city van that's cheaper than closely related rivals

Fiat E-Doblo van front left driving
  • Fiat E-Doblo van front left driving
  • Fiat E-Doblo van interior dashboard
  • Fiat E-Doblo van load bay
  • Fiat E-Doblo van infotainment screen
  • Fiat E-Doblo van right driving
  • Fiat E-Doblo van front left driving
  • Fiat E-Doblo van front left static
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  • Fiat E-Doblo van rear static
  • Fiat E-Doblo van rear badge detail
  • Fiat E-Doblo van interior front seats
  • Fiat E-Doblo van interior parking camera screen
  • Fiat E-Doblo van interior detail
  • Fiat E-Doblo van front left driving
  • Fiat E-Doblo van interior dashboard
  • Fiat E-Doblo van load bay
  • Fiat E-Doblo van infotainment screen
  • Fiat E-Doblo van right driving
  • Fiat E-Doblo van front left driving
  • Fiat E-Doblo van front left static
  • Fiat E-Doblo van right static
  • Fiat E-Doblo van rear right static
  • Fiat E-Doblo van rear static
  • Fiat E-Doblo van rear badge detail
  • Fiat E-Doblo van interior front seats
  • Fiat E-Doblo van interior parking camera screen
  • Fiat E-Doblo van interior detail
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What Car? says...

The Fiat E-Doblo is the first all-electric version of the Doblo van and follows on from zero-emissions versions of the E-Ducato and E-Scudo.

The E-Doblo certainly has potential to be a class-leading electric van because a previous incarnation of the diesel Fiat Doblo won an International Van of the Year award.

It’s also one of several small vans from Fiat’s parent company Stellantis that are now available in electric form. So, the E-Doblo is closely related to the Citroën e-Berlingo Van, Peugeot e-Partner and Vauxhall Combo Electric

While there’s very little mechanically and electrically different between the four models, Fiat has done what it can to make the E-Doblo stand out – as we’ll explain in this review.

Read on to find out whether the Fiat E-Doblo is the leader of the pack or falls behind the best electric vans – which also include the Mercedes eCitan and Renault Kangoo E-Tech.

Fiat E-Doblo van rear cornering


There’s a lot to like about the Fiat E-Doblo – which is no surprise as it’s closely related to three other well-executed small vans. With a longer warranty than rivals, not to mention a cheaper starting price than most it’s an affordable way into owning a well-built, practical electric city van.

  • Punchy performance
  • Competitive payload
  • Good interior layout
  • Rivals have more comfortable ride
  • Limited cab storage
  • Top trim is pricey

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The line-up for the Fiat E-Doblo van is very straightforward – every version has a 100kW motor and a 50kWh (46.3kWh usable) capacity battery pack, for an official range of up to 175 miles.

That’s the equivalent of 134bhp – which is plenty for a small van – and enough to see it achieve 0-62mph in 11.7 seconds. Not fast, but no slouch either. 

While the battery size may also seem modest compared to passenger cars, it is almost identical in size to the 45kWh you’ll find in its key rival, the Renault Kangoo E-Tech, which claims a slightly better 186 mile range.

There are three driving modes: Normal, Eco and Power. Eco mode gives you 140 lb ft of torque, Normal has 155 lb ft and Power the full 192 lb ft. 

Power mode is enough for a little van, even with a substantial load, and the instant torque you get with most electric vehicles makes it feel rather lively off the line.

Performance in Eco mode feels a bit underwhelming, but in theory it’s useful for eking out the mileage from the battery.

Otherwise, it’s probably best to leave the van in Normal, where the E-Doblo proves to be a great companion, whether you’re in the city or on a main road or motorway.

There's very little in the way of wind noise, which is good considering it's often more noticeable in electric vans because of the lack of engine noise.

With a folding mesh bulkhead, the majority of noise comes from the rear loadspace amplifying the noise of the rear wheels. Other than that, it’s very quiet overall, but not quite as sophisticated as the Mercedes eCitan, Nissan Townstar Electric or Kangoo E-Tech. 

Fiat Doblo image
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The ride comfort is slightly firm, but there’s little to complain about. It gives the E-Doblo a slightly sporty feel, especially combined with its sharp steering. It may not be quite as quiet and comfortable as an eCitan, but the handling and driveability are certainly on a par. 

The regenerative braking effect is increased with the use of the B-mode button, which is on the centre console near the driving mode selector. It increases the force of the regeneration from almost non-existent to a moderate amount.

Driving overview

Strengths Punchy motor; adjustable driving modes; sensible levels of regen

Weaknesses Noisy with a folding mesh bulkhead; less comfortably than rivals

Fiat E-Doblo van interior dashboard


The interior layout, fit and finish

Cost-saving measures from Stellantis mean many elements of their small vans’ interiors are the same, so the Fiat E-Doblo interior is very similar to the Citroen ë-Berlingo and Vauxhall Combo. The notable difference, however, is that Peugeot chooses to use its i-Cockpit design for the e-Partner.

The entry-level trim, simply called Doblo, is fairly basic, with a standard DAB Bluetooth radio, steering wheel controls and manual air conditioning. The driver’s seat is comfortable and highly adjustable with height adjustment as well as lumbar support and an armrest.

Electric mirrors are standard, along with one-touch front windows. There are also rear parking sensors, a tyre pressure monitoring system and automatic headlights. Electric vans also get an electronic parking brake, rather than a manual.  

Upgrading to Primo trim adds significantly more equipment and some visual improvements too, including body-coloured bumpers and painted mirror housings. There’s also rain sensing wipers, LED headlights, folding mirrors and a double bench seat with load-through bulkhead.

To help with parking, Primo also adds front and rear parking sensors and a digital rear view mirror. Most notable, however, is the addition of a 10in infotainment touchscreen with wireless smartphone mirroring and built-in sat-nav.

Like all Stellantis vans, the touchscreen system is shared across the brands and it works well with a clear and easy to read layout. While its functionality is broadly the same, it’s nicer to look out than the screens you find in the Renault, Nissan or Mercedes competitors but perhaps a bit slower to spring to life – particularly if using the smartphone mirroring. 

The quality of the interior is decent, and although there’s nothing significant to differentiate it from the other Stellantis vans, it’s well-built and functional.

It does lack some of the glamour of the Mercedes eCitan and feels of a cheaper quality than the Renault Kangoo E-Tech, but it has a logical layout and is very much geared towards the driver, with its angled screen and vents. It feels like a cabin built around the driver. 

Interior overview

Strengths Generous equipment in Primo trim; good driver-centric layout

Weaknesses Basic entry-level model; not the most upmarket van on offer

Fiat E-Doblo van load bay

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Internal cabin space for occupants in the Fiat E-Doblo is good for a small van. While it's compact, tall drivers can make themselves comfortable thanks to the adjustable seat and rake and reach adjustable steering column. 

If you regularly travel with passengers the single seat of the E-Doblo van is a slightly better option, as the Primo trim automatically gets the bench seat. While the single seat is adjustable for legroom and the back rest, the bench is fixed reducing comfort. On the plus side, it adds storage with storage trays on the back of the folding centre seat back.

There are a number of other useful small compartments for storage, but you won’t be able to keep a lot in the cabin. It’s more suited to small items like keys, phones and drinks, with the overhead storage being the best space for storing anything of any size.

The opposite is true of the loadspace, which is on a par with rival small vans, including the (non-electric) Ford Transit Connect.

The E-Doblo is available in two body sizes – short-wheelbase L1 and long-wheelbase L2. The L1 has space for up to 3.3m3 and can carry load lengths of up to 1,817mm, while the L2 takes up to 3.9m3 with space for items as long as 2,167mm.

Top-spec Primo trim models get a load-through hatch as standard. This is the key difference with having the bench seat, rather than a single passenger seat, as it allows for longer items to be carried – load lengths increase to 3,090mm in the L1 and 3,400mm in the L2.

The E-Doblo has a maximum payload of 803kg, which is for the short-wheelbase Primo. The standard trim short-wheelbase models can carry around 800kg. Opting for the long-wheelbase model knocks 50kg from the payload of each.

For comparison, you’ll get just 550kg from a standard Mercedes eCitan, with a possible 722kg payload from the equivalent long-wheelbase model. An eCitan, Renault Kangoo E-Tech, Nissan Townstar or even diesel Transit Connect can all also carry around the same maximum lengths as the E-Doblo.

A key feature of the E-Doblo is the Magic Plug electrical socket in the loadspace. It runs off the traction battery and is powerful enough to run power tools of up to 400V. There are sockets for both three-pin and 12V items. It’s not dissimilar to the Pro Power Onboard systems you’ll find on electrified Ford vans.

Practicality overview

Strengths Great payload; roomy for occupants; Magic Plug tool charging 

Weaknesses Storage is limited in the cab

Fiat E-Doblo van infotainment screen

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The Fiat E-Doblo is priced in the middle of the Stellantis range, making it more affordable than the Vauxhall Combo Electric but similarly priced to its French brand siblings. It costs considerably less than the Renault Kangoo E-Tech, Nissan Townstar Electric and Mercedes eCitan. It's therefore an accessible small electric van in terms of price, although the standard Doblo trim is a little basic. 

Fiat does however, offer a number of option packs that tailor the E-Doblo to specific uses, which could enable you to add items you want rather than simply opting for the around £3,000 upgrade to Primo trim. 

Useful option kits include the Worksite Kit pack that increases the ground clearance, adds engine protection and reinforced tyres as well as Grip Control for better off-road abilities. 

The Access & Go pack is probably the most useful for day-to-day equipment and includes keyless entry, wireless phone-charging and electric folding mirrors, while the Driver Assistance pack gives you adaptive cruise control and Lane Position Assist. 

Winter pack is an electric-only option and highly recommended because it includes a leather heated steering wheel, a heat pump and automatic air-con, all of which help to improve the range the electric batteries are capable of.

Operating any electric van will very much depend upon how you’re going to use it and when you’re able to charge. Fortunately, the E-Doblo comes with DC Charging as standard which means it has a maximum charging speed of up to 100kW. That’s enough to charge the battery to 80% in just 30 minutes.

There’s also the possibility of 11kW charging as an option. A suitable home wall box should give you a full charge in around five hours.

The E-Doblo has 17 safety and assistance systems, ranging from standard items like rear parking sensors, cruise control with intelligent speed limiter, lane-keeping assist, emergency braking and automatic headlights on both the Doblo and Primo trims. Primo vans also get a full 360-degree camera system with blind-spot detection and rain-sensing wipers. 

Servicing is every two years or every 25,000 miles but Fiat recommends a check every 12,500 miles. Fiat will also support it with a five-year warranty which makes the E-Doblo a better value option than the three years offered on the Citroën ë-Berlingo, Peugeot e-Partner and Vauxhall Combo Electric.

As a van platform, the E-Doblo’s underpinnings are well established and have proven themselves over time. With fewer mechanical things to go wrong as an electric van, the E-Doblo should be a reliable van to own. 

Costs overview

Strengths High levels of standard safety equipment, flexible option packs, improved warranty over rivals

Weaknesses Primo trim adds significantly to cost, 11kW three-phase is a cost option

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