Hey Good Looking !
A new 4×4 ‘Cross’ version of the Fiat Professional Fullback has recently been launched, which adds a new top-of-the-range version of Fiat’s Mitsubishi-inspired model. Priced from £26,495 (excl. VAT) for the 2.4 180 HP 6Spd Manual Cross, the new model is aimed fairly & squarely at attracting leisure customers to Fiat’s pick-up range. It features exclusive style details, such as an aerodynamic textured black sport bar, front grille with black ingots, a satin silver skid plate,silver rear view mirrors, silver handles & 17″ wheels with matte black finish, while the side steps are finished in black. The Cross features a load bed that’s 1,510mm long by 1,470mm wide & this too has been ‘pimped,’ as it’s finished in matt-black.
It’s powered by the 181hp 2.4-litre turbodiesel from the regular Fullback LX. This produces 430Nm torque & as we discovered when we drove the Fullback, is a surprisingly smooth & refined engine in use & the unit in the Mitsubishi L200 which won our Commercial Award back in 2015. This unit also meets the stringent Euro 6 standards, without the need for an SCR (selective catalytic reduction) system and AdBlue tank– the emissions reducing exhaust treatment technology engineered for diesels.
Fullback Cross buyers will have the option of a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission, complete with the usual electronically switchable four-wheel drive. The traction system stands out in comparison to its competitors: with no fewer than four different driving modes, able to get drivers to any destination, and making it the most comprehensive in the lifestyle category. It switches from 2WD to AWD at the touch of a button, ideal for fuel-saving at the same time as tough terrain driving. Its official combined-cycle fuel economy figure is 40.9.MPG (6.6L/100km) & its CO2 emission figure is 186g/km.
Whilst the Fullback Cross looks like ‘Mean Joe Greene,’from the outside, from the inside it’s highly polished & standard equipment for your investment includes, bi-xenon headlights , dual-zone climate control, 7” touchscreen infotainment system with DAB, Bluetooth & USB connection, SatNav, reversing camera, leather upholstery, heated front seats, with six-way electric adjustment for the driver, seven airbags, lane departure warning & trailer stability assist.
The Cross will be unique among Fullbacks for being made available to buy via Fiat’s car showrooms as well as the Fiat Professional van network. Although Fiat describes the Fullback as a ‘leisure vehicle’ – and I’m sure in North America, Asia and Africa it will be used both for work and for play – in Europe, including the UK, the Fullback is very much a working pick-up, and as far as leisure time is concerned, it will not in necessarily be a replacement for your SUV soft roader.
Riding in the front of a pick-up is normally okay & that is the case with the Fullback.The two front seats offer a fairly comfortable ride, but if your Fullback is unladen the rear ride is bumpy. There is though, plenty of headroom in the rear with even the leg room acceptable, unless you’re sitting in the middle seat. The rear seats are also placed high in comparison with the two front seat passengers, allowing those in the back to look down on the driver & front seat passenger & to get a great view of the road ahead.
Whether in town or on the motorway, there is very little in the way of diesel clatter inside the Fullbacks cabin & once up & running, the engine soon settles into a smooth idle. Put your foot down & the thrust of 317lb ft of torque increases the decibels pretty quickly & you really get a feel for the power on tap that the Fullback offers. The real bonus of this is that on road you’ve got plenty of overtaking power. Add in a nicely balanced clutch & the gear-change feels smooth too, certainly compared to what pick-ups used to offer & the Fullback scores highly as a drivers car.
If like me you are shallow & covet a car or van based mainly on looks, then the Fullback Cross scores highly. The L200 Barbarian is a stunner, but Fiat have managed to make the Fullback Cross the best looking pick-up in the pick-up sector bar none.
From a purely practical point of view, the Fullback may not quite match the capabilities of the larger Nissan, Ford or VW pick-ups, but it is undoubtedly better-looking than all of these & it’s slightly more diminutive size enables one to drive & park it in town, much more easily than it’s larger competitors. From a full economy perspective we averaged a respectable 32.9mpg in our time in the Cross, a better figure than we achieved in the larger VW & Ford as well.
In conclusion, the Fullback may be a little bit fly, but even if it is, it’s a bloody good pick-up that looks great ! We would happily drive one every day. If you need a pick-up for work, then the Fullback is definitely in the mix, because it offers an awful lot of what both lifestyle & working customers want, at a price that will make both happy.
With the Fullback being sold in the UK by Fiat Professional dealerships as well as at Fiat car showrooms, it’s probably worth noting that, customers who buy or lease one from a Fiat Professional dealership, will get the benefits of a fully commercial network, meaning out-of hours servicing & a willingness to listen to your commercial needs, something that perhaps a car based dealer wouldn’t do. And, if you already run Fiat Professional vehicles, you now have a ready-made pick-up to complete your fleet.
A Hollywood Botox 4/5.
Height 1,780mm; Kerb weight 1,875kg
Towing (unbraked) 3,100kg
Off-road angles: approach 30°, departure 22°
Ground clearance 205mm