Review: FIAT Doblo (2001 – 2009)

Rating:

Utilitarian looking. Bigger than Berlingo. Available with seven seats. Best with 1.3 Multijet diesel. Handles decently.

Problems with turbos of 1.9 diesels.

Recently Added To This Review

9 January 2014

Timing chain of 2007 Doblo 1,252cc Multijet snapped, luckily without valeve and piston damage and injection pump failed at the same time. Four figure bill. Read more

20 June 2011

Oil cooler of 1,248cc diesel is integral with oil filter mount, using engine coolant to cool the oil and these sometimes fail. Check header tank for any sign of oil in it. Read more

1 February 2011

ECU seems to be vulnerable to moisture ingress leading to severe running problems. Read more

FIAT Doblo (2001 – 2009): At A Glance

Peculiar looking contraption, the Doblo. Deliberately styled to look utilitarian, almost like a pastiche of a 1930's hotel bus. The kind of car you could bump in a carpark with an even chance of it ending up looking better.

So no worries about the odd scratch, then. And the big advantage of the ‘Family' versions tested here is that they're the cheapest 7-seaters you can buy (in the UK, at least).

Fiat Doblo Family 7 seater 2004 Road Test

What does a FIAT Doblo (2001 – 2009) cost?

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FIAT Doblo (2001 – 2009): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4253 mm
Width 1722 mm
Height 1818 mm
Wheelbase 2583 mm

Full specifications

The back seats are held in place by big locks at the tops, so there's no fiddling around at floor level to try to fold them. The centre outside pair are the neatest folding for rear seat access that I've ever folded. The side doors slide, like a Berlingo's. Unlike some bigger MPVs, there's bags of headroom for everyone to wear hats. And, if that isn't enough, Fiat even does a raised roof version for an extra £705.

The rearmost seat is a bit of a clunky old thing and doesn't fold out of the way to leave bags of room for bags. If you want serious space in the back you have to get some help and lift it out completely. But at least all of the seats are proper seats. Not the world's most comfortable in which to travel any distance. But real seats with real head and legroom for seven.

Child seats that fit a FIAT Doblo (2001 – 2009)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the FIAT Doblo (2001 – 2009) like to drive?

You can now get the Doblo Family with a 105PS version of Fiat's venerable 1.9 litre JTD diesel engine, and that's the version I drove first.

Disconcertingly, it didn't drive or handle anything like as well as I remember a 1.2 petrol engined Doblo a few years ago. The steering seemed over-light. The centre of gravity felt too high one-up. And it really didn't want to be hustled. I don't know what it would be like seven-up with a top box of luggage on top. The extra weight might stabilise it. But on the other hand, it might not.

On, then, to the original version of the Doblo Family, fitted with Fiat's useful little 70PS 1.3 litre Multijet diesel, now adopted by Vauxhall for the Corsa and even the Tigra.

Within a few hundred metres it was easy to see why. This Doblo has real character and is great fun to hustle along. It turns flatter, the engine revs sweetly all the way to 5,000rpm, even the steering has more feel. But, of course, I was driving one-up. Quite what it would be like with a family of junk food lovers on board is another matter entirely.

Doblo Family 1.3 Multijets list at just £10,595 on the road. 1.9 diesels are a very reasonable £11,195. While, if you don't need 7 seats, a 5-seater 1.3 Multijet is just £9,785.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.3 MultiJet 54 mpg 16.4 s 137 g/km
1.4 38 mpg 17.0 s 174 g/km
1.9 MultiJet 105 49 mpg 13.3 s 153 g/km
1.9 MultiJet 120 46 mpg 12.2 s 160 g/km

Real MPG average for a FIAT Doblo (2001 – 2009)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

94%

Real MPG

33–56 mpg

MPGs submitted

65

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the FIAT Doblo (2001 – 2009)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Tyre specification for Fiat Doblo?

I am interested in purchasing Goodyear Vector 4 Season tyres for my Fiat Doblo. Fiat’s tyre specification is 175 70 R14 T88 and I have been informed that Goodyear only make this size in T84. What does this mean and if I fit these is it likely to be a problem?
T is the speed rating, maximum 190kmh. 84 is the load rating, maximum 500kg per tyre, whereas 88 is maximum 560kg per tyre.
Answered by Honest John
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