Review: FIAT Doblo (2010)

Rating:

Huge space. Massively practical. Great diesel engines. Decent ride quality and hardwearing interior.

Can be noisy especially under hard acceleration. Styling not to everyone's taste. Lacks refinement.

Recently Added To This Review

13 December 2011

Can also be supplied with Traction Control and Fiat's very effective off road diff called 'Traction Plus'. Read more

12 March 2010 New Doblo launched

Eight versions of the Doblo featuring seating for up to seven will be available when it goes on sale this month, with prices ranging from £12,295 to £17,145 (OTR). As well as a sophisticated... Read more

FIAT Doblo (2010): At A Glance

The original Doblo, launched in 2001, was little more than a van with windows. And there was nothing wrong with that, it was an honest, reliable car that proved great value for buyers looking for massive space on a small budget.

And now, nine years on, the 2010 Doblo has moved the game on. The best bits remain: it's incredibly practical, has a huge amount of space inside and comes with some excellent engines, but it's so much more car-like than before. That's because it now shares much with the Punto Evo on which it's based. It handles better, has a far more user-friendly and attractive interior and gets a whole raft of electronic goodies including ESP with hill hold function, hands-free phone connectivity and touch-screen Blue&Me TomTom satellite navigation. 

A lot more thought has gone into how it looks this time round, too, with a number of styling tricks that make you think that you're looking at more than just a van with windows. There's no getting away from the overall van-like shape, but Fiat has created a floating roof, large glazed side area and what on first glance seems like a huge screen at the back, all of which makes Doblo look far more interesting and differentiates it from similar models. Styling-wise it now has more in common with the likes of the Skoda Roomster and even the Kia Soul than other van-based cars.

All cars come with five seats and a huge boot as standard, but as with the previous generation model, it's possible to specify two seats in the huge boot space, turning it into an affordable seven-seater.

Engines come in the shape of a 1.4-litre petrol and 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesel. The two diesels are the pick of the range. They're powerful, punchy and incredibly efficient, keeping Doblo's CO2 emissions - and therefore running costs - down.

What does a FIAT Doblo (2010) cost?

List Price from £16,510
Buy new from £13,822
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

FIAT Doblo (2010): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4390–4740 mm
Width 1832 mm
Height 1845–1905 mm
Wheelbase 2755–3105 mm

Full specifications

The first thing that strikes you about the interior of the Doblo is the sheer amount of space. The square shape lends itself to excellent headroom and there's plenty of shoulderoom inside for passengers too. The large front screen and big side windows lets in loads of light, making it particularly light and airy inside, while providing the driver with great all-round visibility.

The driver benefits from a commanding driving position, with a seat that's multi-adjustable and a steering wheel that adjusts for height and reach. There are also steering wheel-mounted controls for the stereo, too. The new dash is smart, practical and, as it's partly shared with the van version of the Doblo, should take everyday knocks and scrapes in its stride.

Blue&Me - a system for phone connectivity and satellite navigation - which is available on several other Fiats, is now available on Doblo as an option. It's a touch screen TomTom that's integrated with the car. It's a great compromise between a built-in system and an off-the shelf portable sat nav. It's portable and works in synch with the car, yet costs a fraction of the cost of an integrated system.

The boot is huge, too. Five seat versions have a colossal 790 litres on offer, which will be more than enough for the needs of most families. In fact, it's so large that there's room for two extra seats, which can be specified on Dynamic and Eleganza versions at extra cost to turn Doblo into a value-for-money seven-seater. All the seats in rows two and, where fitted, three can be folded and tumbled or removed altogether for a incredibly practical 3200-litre load area.

It's easy to load too. The large tailgate lifts up and with no lip, large objects can slide straight in. An adjustable parcel shelf does a good job of disguising anything that's in the boot and is capable of supporting up to 70kg. Elsewhere in the cabin there are lots of built-in storage area, including a large shelf above the windscreen and large door bins.

Getting in and out of the Doblo is easy for passengers. The big sliding doors can be opened simply and quickly from either the outside or inside by pulling on large grab-handles, which are more practical than on other small MPVs. The large opening provides plenty of space for entering the car in comfort, plus it's close to the ground, too, which means you don't need to step up into it.

Equipment levels from launch:

Active has height and reach adjustable steering wheel, electric front windows, remote central locking, a radio CD player, three rear head restraints, body coloured bumpers and body coloured door mirrors with indicator repeaters.

Dynamic gets manual air-conditioning, remote central locking and a height adjustable driver's seat.

Eleganza includes electric rear windows, electric heated door mirrors, front fog lights, a leather steering wheel and gear knob and 16-inch alloy wheels.

Child seats that fit a FIAT Doblo (2010)

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 (2010) like to drive?

The engines in the 2010 Doblo significantly outperform those in the old model and, crucially, they're a lot cleaner and provide better economy too. The sole petrol is a 95bhp 1.4-litre 16v engine. Power is up on the previous model by 18bhp and torque is pretty flat between 1500 and 400rpm.

The Multijet diesels are the stars of the show, though. The first, a 1.6-litre with 105bhp, replaces the old 1.9-litre JTD. Although it has the same 105bhp power output as the old car, it's improved in almost every other respect. Torque is up by 90nm to 290nm, while emissions have tumbled from 153 g/km in the old 1.9 JTD to 138 g/km, knocking it down a couple of Road Tax bands in the process.

That's thanks to a diesel particulate filter and a system to recirculate exhaust gases; owners will also get better economy as the Combined Cycle figure is now 54.3mpg - a 5.6mpg improvement.

The range-topping 2.0-litre Multijet is a surprisingly powerful engine. It feels far more powerful than its 135bhp figure suggests, especially at lower speeds where it provides plenty of low-down pulling power. It's quick for its size, too, with 60mph achieved in just over 11 seconds and a top speed of 111mph possible. With 320nm of torque available at just 1500rpm and a braked towing weight of 1500kg, this is the version for towing small and medium trailers and horseboxes, further underlining Doblo's credentials as a practical workhorse. Economy is good, too, with 49.6mpg on the Combined cycle and emissions of 150 g/km CO2.

The 1.4-litre petrol engine get a five-speed manual transmission, while the two diesels have a smooth six-speed transmission. An auto is available on the 1.6-litre diesel. It can either be a traditional automatic, or the driver can make changes by pushing or pulling on th gearlever.

Out on the road, Doblo's Punto Evo underpinnings soon become clear. It steers well, has plenty of grip and bodyroll is kept well in check. The ride is a bid fidgety when there's just the driver on board, but once fully loaded, Doblo feels far more settled. Around town, it's easy to manoeuvre and park, with a tight turning circle and plenty of visibility. All cars have a Start&Stop as standard, which cuts the engine when it's idling at traffic lights or in heavy traffic. It's re-started automatically by pressing the clutch.

It can be off-putting when you first use it, but soon becomes second nature. It does a good job of reducing unnecessary fuel consumption. And that's also the aim of eco:Drive, an on-board fuel efficiency tool that can cut consumption by up to 15 per cent, which can add up to a saving of £175over 12 months. On the move it gathers information on the car's efficiency and stores it to a USB stick. This can then be analysed online to show you how drive more efficiently.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.4 39 mpg 15.4 s 165–166 g/km
1.4 95 39 mpg 15.4 s 165 g/km
1.6 39 mpg 15.4 s 165 g/km
1.6 MultiJet 105 38–54 mpg 13.4–15.9 s 138–171 g/km
1.6 MultiJet 120 49–54 mpg 12.1–12.6 s 137 g/km
1.6 MultiJet 90 Dualogic 38–57 mpg 13.9–15.9 s 133–171 g/km
1.6 MultiJet 95 49–54 mpg 13.9–14.4 s 137 g/km
1.6 MultiJet Dualogic 57 mpg 15.4 s 133 g/km
2.0 MultiJet 46–50 mpg 11.3–11.8 s 150–163 g/km

Real MPG average for a FIAT Doblo (2010)

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

90%

Real MPG

25–54 mpg

MPGs submitted

49

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 (2010)?

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

Garage is telling me to look for a secondhand engine or scrap my van - what should I do?

I took my Fiat Doblo (86,000 miles) for a regular service and MoT to my normal garage, who I feel are trustworthy. On that morning, and afterwards at the garage, the car was found to be misfiring and smoking quite a lot intermittently - sometimes white, sometimes black. They did lots of diagnostics and sent injectors off for testing but found they were not the problem. They seemed quite puzzled about it but eventually concluded after three weeks with the car that there was a lack of compression in the engine due to degeneration of the engine and suggested I either look for a secondhand engine or scrap the car. Does this sound like a reasonable cause of this sort of problem and is there any way to fix this without replacing the engine?
I'd recommend getting a second opinion, as the lengthy diagnostics procedure suggests that the garage are not entirely sure what they are dealing with. You should be able to find one with our Good Garage Guide, here: https://good-garage-guide.honestjohn.co.uk/ There are a number of potential causes of compression loss and I'd expect the garage to pinpoint the cause, given the time they've had the van. If the engine is shot then it might be better to sell the van for spares online via eBay: https://vans.honestjohn.co.uk/buying-and-selling-a-van-on-ebay/ I wouldn't recommend buying a second-hand engine unless it is sold with a comprehensive stack of paperwork to prove its history. Many used engines are in a poor condition and you may end up back where you started with an engine that's in a similar condition to the one that's already in your van.
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What Cars Are Similar To The FIAT Doblo (2010)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Diesel engine, Family friendly, Petrol engine, Versatile interior and MPV.

Unclear on what your next car should be? Use our Car Chooser to pick something that suits your needs.

What do owners think?

Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.

  • 5 star 67%
  • 4 star 33%
  • 3 star
  • 2 star
  • 1 star

See all owners' reviews