Fiorino Cargo Adventure 1.3 Multijet2
I was watching the film Roman Holiday recently. Set in the 1950’s & starring Gregory Peck as a reporter & Audrey Hepburn as a royal princess, the story centres on Hepburn sightseeing around Rome incognito, with Peck as her tour guide, their journey made mainly on an Aprilia moped, with the rest of the city dominated by various Fiats, Alfas & Lancias, including several Fiat 500’s. If the story had been set today, I have no doubt that the most likely small commercial vehicle of choice in Rome, would be Fiats Fiorino van. As cities get bigger, small urban runaround cars like the Fiat 500 have grown increasingly popular & the Fiorino van is Fiats answer to those businesses who need a commercial vehicle with low running costs, but also offer a decent sized load bay & payload.
It’s a very pretty little van & although it shares most of it’s components with the PSA Citroen Nemo & Peugeot Bipper, Fiat have sensibly fitted their own 1.3 diesel engine to the Fiorino, which has proven so popular that Citroen & Peugeot have recently pinched it for their models. Fiat’s Fiorino is also handily small, 3864 mm long and 1716 mm wide to be precise & it’s a compact van with the footprint below that of most superminis. Despite this, there’s a 2.5 cubic metre load volume to play with and a payload capacity of 660kg. My test model, the aptly named Fiorino Cargo Adventure, was fitted with Fiats excellent 1.3 Multijet ll 16V 80 bhp Ecojet Euro6, featuring a Start&Stop engine, perfect for those city streets. With 200Nm of torque produced at 1500rpm, the Fiorino delivers a punchy performance that’s perfect for darting in and out of traffic. It also has the accurate steering and tight turning circle 9.95 m (kerb) that operators want when space is tight.
This is clear to see with the design of the Fiorino, as the four wheels are located at the corners of the vehicle to maximise interior space and manoeuvrability while keeping the van compact and wieldy. The wrap-around bumper protects against parking knocks and expensive components like the headlamps, bonnet and radiator are set well back to lessen the chance of them coming to harm. As well as the ubiquitous rear doors, there are two side doors plus the two front doors, making the Fiorino extremely easy to load & unload. The rear door width is 1056 mm& rear door height 1040 mm, with both side doors measuring 570 mm in width by 1041 mm in height. Add in impressive loading measurements of rear load height 1205 mm, length 1523 mm, width 1473 mm & load space height 1181 mm & you have all the makings of a Tardis. Volume can be increased by means of an optional folding passenger seat which folds down to increase capacity to 2.8 cubic metres. It may not sound like much but it increases the available load length from 1523mm to 2491mm.
As luck would have it, I was able to utilise the Florin for my own purposes. Firstly a trip to Sweden’s number one export after ABBA, IKEA, saw me load in a new desk top & shelving unit for my office. Secondly, I managed to sell our trampoline locally so after taking it apart & putting the pieces in the back of the Fiorino, I delivered this to it’s new owner & finally, yet another trip to the tip saw me get rid of of my old desk top & some hardboard from the garage. I only use the rear doors but my ‘Adventure’ test van came with twin side doors, a useful addition for city deliveries.
Gone are the days thankfully, when vans were supplied with only an AM radio as an extra. The Fiorino Adventure pack gives additional protection on unsurfaced roads by adding raised suspension, fatter tyres and various body shielding & comes with Fiat’s Traction+ electronic differential locking system.Standard equipment included a 12v front plug in socket , ABS + EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution), adjustable headlights , athermic windows, dead locks , driver’s seat armrest seat with lumbar support adjustment & driver airbag, height adjustable steering wheel & drivers seat. Add in electric door mirrors & windows , PAS, air con, remote control central locking, a radio CD & Start/Stop & you have avery well equipped little number. As part of the 2016 upgrade, the van has a redesigned steering wheel with remote audio controls, plus new instrument graphics & a new dashboard storage compartment. A new 5” touchscreen with Bluetooth and DAB radio is also available, with SatNav as an option. My test model featured the new SatNav, although the 5” touchscreen & the almost mono graphics of the SatNav made it hard to decipher & unfortunately, it didn’t have DAB
The interior of the Fiorino offers space for both driver and passenger. The driving position is upright and the seat & the steering wheel has a good range of adjustability. There are also a handy 12 compartments to choose from, in fact plenty of places to put in my case my water bottle, phone & USB cable. The Fiorino is great around town although the Stop/Start which can be turned off, can be a little temperamental. There’s no such problems on the motorway, with a good mid-range pull the Fioriono comfortably reaches 70 mph going on to reach a top speed of 97mph. I travelled both around town & up & down the M56 a couple of times to see how good the fuel economy would be & managed to average 46.8 mpg. Fiats claimed combined figure is a rather adventurous 72.4 mpg, but C02 emissions are good, at just 104g/km. Fiat has also worked hard to minimise repair costs for the van and to extend service intervals which are now up to 21,000 miles.
For those in need of a small van the Fiorino is a hard act to follow. It’s comfortable, spacious, well equipped & with a decent turn of speed on the motorway, it may well prove a sound investment for those who don’t need a large or medium sized van for their business, because the small but perfectly formed Fiorino, offers almost as much capacity as the larger lighter versions of the Kangoo, Citan & Berlingo. It certainly appealed to me because compact vans are so much fun to drive & easy to park unlike their larger siblings.
Any negatives ? Only the price. My test van came in with an OTR price of £17,457, & with options added totalling £2415, the total OTR price was £19,872 , which is steepish. Better to remember that the range begins at a far more comforting £11,315 + vat for the Fiorino Goods Transport Cargo 1.4 75, with lease prices starting from £139 per month + vat, on a 6 + 35 10,000 per annum contract for the 1.3 Multijet2 EU5.
With all of their models completely re- launched over the past 18 months; Ducato, Talento, this Fiorino & the Fullback pick-up, the entire Fiat Professional range is now highly competitive both on price & for practicality & is right up there with the best in class.
A Don’t Try to Stop It 4/5