Fiat Fiorino Combi Review
|Facts At A Glance|
BHP:73bhp - 75bhp
LOAD VOLUME: 2.5m3
GROSS VEHICLEWEIGHT: 1,680kg – 1,700kg
FiatFiorino Combi- SPATIAL AWARENESS
Fiathas a small van that can seat five and hold their luggage.
Combi is a common term incommercial vehicle circles. It’s used by a number of manufacturers toindicate a van that has had some extra seats installed in its load bay.You might expect to see it attached to a panel van or some othersuitably roomy model but Fiat’s Fiorino?
This is one of the smallestpurpose-built vans on the market, yet a Combi version there is. Oncethe default reaction of "I’m not getting in the back of that" hassubsided, the Fiorino Combi might just surprise a few people with itscapacity and versatility.
TheFiorino is Fiat’s smallest purpose-built van. The Italian firm willalso supply you with a commercial version of its Punto supermini butits teeny load carrying capacity precludes it for many. The Fiorinodelivers a reasonably spacious load bay coupled with micro dimensionsthat should make the cuts and thrusts of metropolitan motoring that biteasier to avoid. The van, like the mainstay of Fiat’s light commercialvehicle range, was created in partnership with PSA Peugeot Citroen.This means that prospective buyers can obtain vehicles that areborderline identical to the Fiorino in the shape of the Peugeot Bipperand Citroen Nemo. This Combi version also has a close relative in theshape of the Qubo, a model from the Fiat passenger car range that alsoamounts to a Fiorino with seats but is more opulently appointed thanthe Combi.
Theengine line up is unsurprisingly made up of small, economical units. Aswell as a 1.4-litre petrol engine, Fiat has installed its acclaimed75bhp 1.3-litre Multijet oil-burner, an extremely compact andlightweight affair that gives rise to excellent fuel economy and with190Nm of torque, it feels strong as well. With that maximum torqueproduced at 1,750rpm, the Fiorino has the punchy element to itsperformance that’s perfect for darting in and out of traffic. It alsohas the accurate steering and tight turning circle that operators wantwhen space is tight.
"Fora vehicle of just under four-meters in length, the Fiorino Combi usesits space very effectively"
The1.4-litre petrol alternative has 73bhp. Here torque of 118Nm isproduced at 2,600rpm so there’s less urgency at low revs but the petrolis smooth, refined and, crucially, costs less. Petrol tends to beroutinely avoided by van buyers but the low-mileage, urban usage forwhich the Fiorino was designed might make unleaded a viable option forsome. All models get a five-speed manual gearbox as standard but thediesel is available with the 6-speed ComfortMatic sequential manualtransmission which can operate in automatic mode.
Fromthe outside, things don’t look promising. The Fiorino Combi shares thepleasantly chunky styling of the van version with the only visual clueto its additional seating being small extra side windows behind thefront ones. It’s just hard to imagine five people and even a little bitof cargo fitting comfortably inside when you view the thing from acrossthe street. Happily, the Fiat Fiorino is bigger than it looks and fiveoccupants do fit. Getting three across the rear bench seat might bedifficult if they’re of the burlier persuasion and access is hinderedby the presence of only one sliding side door (a second is optional)but legroom is OK and there’s loads of fresh air overhead. With theseats in use, there’s a handy 360-litres of cargo space behind. Whenthey’re not, the backs fold down and the bases tumble forward to yield2,500 litres, which is only 300-litres down on the capacity of theFiorino van.
Theinterior of the Fiorino will feel a little confined to those familiarwith full size compact vans but there’s reasonable space for driver andpassenger. The driving position is upright and affords a good view ofthe Fiorino’s surroundings with the seat and the steering wheeloffering a good range of adjustability. Storage space is less generousthan in models from the next class up but with 12 compartments tochoose from, there should be room for most of the essentials. Lots ofthe switchgear in the Fiorino will be familiar to owners of Fiatpassenger cars and these days the Italian firm is well up to speed interms of build quality. The general impression is one ofuser-friendliness and sturdy design, just what you want.
TheFiorino Combi should prove extremely economical to run, particularly inMultijet diesel from where combined economy of nearly 63mpg is not outof the question. The petrol is rather less impressive, achieving justover 40mpg and emissions of 165g/km compared to the diesel’s 119g/km.Fiat has also worked hard to minimise repair costs for the van and toextend service intervals.
Thereare no trim levels as such with the Fiorino Combi but quite a fewoptional extras to mull over. Standard spec is quite basic but includesa nearside sliding side door, 15" steel wheels, side windows for thesecond row with a hinged opening, PVC floor lining for the load area,carpet for the forward areas, power steering, a driver’s airbag,three-point belts for all seats and a CD stereo.
Theoptions list has stuff like air-conditioning, a Bluetooth hands freephone system, remote central locking, an automatic gearbox, a secondsliding side door and front fog lights on it. Fiat also offers theFiorino in some particularly lurid paint colours for operators who liketo make an impact.
Fora vehicle of just under four-meters in length, the Fiorino Combi usesits space very effectively. It has five usable seats and, even whenthose are all being used, a reasonable amount of luggage capacity. Withonly one or two people on board, the seats in the back can be foldedand the result is carrying capacity that isn’t too far shy of astandard Fiorino van. The number of operators who need a five-seatervehicle of the Fiorino Combi’s modest dimensions will be limited but asa cost-effective way of moving people and equipment around town, it hasa lot going for it.