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Have a dabble with a Doblo Climate control is available to point the driver to the; RoadTest.

Byline: Fiat Doblo 1.6 Multijet Elegance By Ian Johnson

ONE-SPACE motoring can take various forms but the cube-shaped compacts based on light commercials or hatchback platforms are becoming increasingly popular with those who desire a specific mix of practicality and comfort.

One of the mainstream choices is the Fiat Doblo. Forget sweeping styling and grace, the Doblo is all about space.

It's versatile, practical and above all great value for money.

The model has been around for a while and its latest version builds on established qualities with improved comfort, style, economy, safety and better running costs.

Having clocked up more than a million units since it first went on sale, the Doblo has forged an enviable reputation for hard work and has become the one-vehicle-fitsall transport solution for many families.

There are eight versions available with seating for up to seven and wisely Fiat has concentrated attention on one of the Doblo's best features, an excellent ride.

The latest model incorporates an innovative bi-link rear suspension system for a higher level of comfort.

The Doblo has the longest wheelbase in its segment with literally bags of space for luggage. The roomy 790-litre boot can be expanded, with some nifty seat folding, to a class-topping 3,200 litres.

There is a choice of three engines, all of which produce more power and torque than their predecessors while drinking less fuel and emitting less carbon dioxide. This vehicle featured the 1.6 MultiJet diesel, allied to a six-speed manual gearbox which provided a satisfying drive with an amazing amount of torque from what is a 105bhp diesel.

The engine employs Fiat's ground-breaking MultiJet diesel technology to combine best-in-class fuel consumption and exhaust emissions with lively, yet smooth responses.

Inside, the Doblo features much family-orientated thinking. Five seats come as standard but a third row can be specified to bring the number to seven.

The two back rows of chairs fold and tumble to liberate a vast amount of space in seconds.

They can even be removed if you need more space. It means the new Doblo can accommodate just about any combination of passengers and their luggage and can fill in as a van when bulky items have to be transported.

Electronic stability programme is standard and this includes a hill holder function so all the driver has to do is concentrate on other road users rather than the mechanics of a hill start.

ABS anti-lock brakes are standard, accompanied by electronic brake distribution to maximise stopping power. Also standard fit are front and new full-size side airbags, and crumple zones designed to shield passengers from the forces of impact.

Basically, in safety terms, Doblo is up there at the front with saloon and hatchback specifications.

In the event of damage, the new Doblo has been built so that it's simple to repair, thus keeping insurance costs to a minimum.

The new dashboard, instruments, upholstery, seats and steering wheel are also good looking and comfortable. And the Doblo has been crammed with features more typical of a high-end family car, including height and reach adjustable steering wheel, rear head restraints, electric front windows, remote central locking and a radio/CD player.

Climate control is available too, as are cruise control, parking sensors, anti-whiplash front head restraints and the handsfree system.

TomTom connectivity and sat nav can also be specified. This revolutionary system features a practical colour touch screen that acts as a hub for a mobile phone, navigation system and information about the car. It is even sophisticated enough to point the driver to the nearest fuel station when it detects the tank is nearly empty.

It's also fully portable to combine the best attributes of aftermarket and factory fit systems.

Included is Fiat's groundbreaking eco:Drive system to give real-time fuel consumption information and advice on how to get the best economy out of the Doblo.

FastFacts PRICE: PS17,505 MECHANICAL: 105bhp, 1,598cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox MAX SPEED: 102mph 0.62MPH: 13.4 seconds COMBINED MPG: 54.3 INSURANCE GROUP: 11 CO2 EMISSIONS: 138g/km BIK RATING: 22% WARRANTY: 3yrs/60,000 miles SPACIOUS: The Fiat Doblo is great value for money
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 26, 2013
Next Article:Eco warrior has plenty of style; RoadTest.

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