Fiat has taken on the pick-up market with a newly introduced double cab 4×4 pick-up called the Fullback. This is a re-badged Mitsubishi L200 and Michael MoroneY assesses the value and the offer from the Italian brand.
Fiat has entered the 4×4 pick-up market with a new Fullback model that was developed in partnership with Japanese 4×4 specialists Mitsubishi.
Fiat has added some style changes to Mitsubishi’s well-known L200 to give a look that’s in-line with its Fiat Professional model range; effectively with a Fullback pick-up you are driving a re-badged L200.
It takes all of the impressive features of the Mitsubishi L200 that was significantly upgraded in 2015 and presents them with Fiat badging to add more competition to the growing 4×4 pick-up market.
Unlike Mitsubishi, Fiat Professional only offers the double cab version and also only offers a four-wheel-drive version.
Fiat teamed up with Mitsubishi for good reasons so that this new pick-up aims to set new standards in 4×4 pick-up fuel economy.
And like the Mitsubishi L200 it is close to being the best performer when it comes to 4×4 pick-up in fuel economy comparisons.
I took the Fiat for some interesting test drives in recent weeks, coupled with some trailer pulling tests to assess its potential. The towing capacity at 3.1 tonnes is impressive for a pick-up, but struggles to achieve the higher 3.5 tonne towing rating being offered in the Nissan Navara.
The 2.4 litre 180bhp turbo-diesel engine is smooth and quiet to drive. While the road holding was impressive driving across narrow winding roads, the heavy boat trailer we used was noticeable on behind, especially when driving downhill.
Across a range of driving conditions I achieved a fuel economy figure of 12.5km/litre which is about 30% less than rated figure of 15.2km/litre (6.6l/100km or 43mpg).
Fuel economy calculations were a little different to normal as Fiat offered the Fullback with British economy figures and a speedo rated in miles rather than our now standard kilometres.
For me, that meant covering close to 900km on a full 75 litre capacity diesel tank. While relative to a car, this is seen as a thirsty machine.
This improved economy has been achieved by a light and efficient four-cylinder turbo-diesel Mitsubishi engine coupled with a lighter structure of its 4×4 pick-up. The Fiat Fullback uses a higher level of high tensile steel for lower weight and added strength.
My recent test Fiat Fullback was fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox while a five-speed automatic version is available. The manual unit is impressive to drive and smooth in operation.
The Fiat uses the proven Mitsubishi Super Select 4WD system for off-road driving. It is well able to cope with sticky off-road areas when engaged at a low setting. This system also uniquely allows permanent on-road 4×4 driving in the 4H or higher speed setting.
Off-road the system works well, it’s easy to engage. When you opt for the lower gears you will get noticeably more pulling power at lower speeds to pull through the mud. The system is engaged electrically using a dial and a central differential lock is engaged at low speeds.
For most buying a 4×4 pick-up the ownership costs can be significant, so getting commercial tax at €333 is just one bonus. The extended service interval for the new Fiat Fullback from 15,000km to 20,000km will still mean an annual main service. Entry prices start at €30,670 incl. VAT (VAT refunds are possible for VAT registered businesses).