Fiat replaced the Scudo van in 2016 with the Talento. Based on the Renault Trafic, the Talento is reassuringly familiar to anyone who’s driven the Renault or Vauxhall Vivaro. Fiat have taken the opportunity to sharpen the exterior of their version with the forward- stretching windscreen connecting elegantly to the short bonnet with the Fiat Professional family front grille designed both to wrap around the headlights & to distinguish it from the competition.
Inside too, the Fiat designers have added some nice touches to the dashboard, with the “Living Brown” colour scheme the standout. The large front seats are comfortable & the familiar dashboard is easy to use, understand & functions really well. There are 90 litres of in-cabin storage space in a variety of shapes and sizes, including compartments hidden under the seat base & behind the seat back of the passenger seats. There’s an additional blind spot-mitigating ViewPlus interior mirror & an innovative fold-down central seat with detachable clipboard holder & the available smartphone/tablet holder.
There are nine body styles to choose from in the range. The standard low & high-roof vans in short/long-wheelbase versions, short/long-wheelbase people carriers & crew vans & a long-wheel base platform cab. Innovative features include the “CargoPlus” storage area under the passenger seats which allows professionals to carry objects up to 3.75m in length (4.15 for LWB versions) by sliding them into a special bulkhead opening. Rear doors can open up to a wide angle of 255° allowing easy access & usage of the loading bay while the sliding side door has an aperture of 1,030 mm and a load edge just 100mm above the ground. The load volume equals 5.2m³ in short wheelbase models, 6m³ in long wheelbase versions and a generous 8.6m³ in the long wheelbase high-roof derivative. This means that the Talento, even in the short wheelbase trim level, is capable of carrying three Euro pallets & depending on the version, a payload of up to 1,249 kg with a GVW of up to 3,060kg.
On the best performing model, the EcoJet with Stop/Start, fuel consumption of up to 46.3mpg should be possible, with CO2 emissions as low as 155g/km.
In terms of safety, all versions are fitted with LED daytime running lights, ABS with EBD (electronic brake distribution) and EBA (emergency brake assistance) in addition to a sophisticated ESC system with Hill Holder and Traction+ as standard. Available safety features include side airbags and window-bags a Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) system which guarantees total stability when towing by automatically modulating engine power and braking force applied to each wheel to stabilise both the vehicle and a wayward trailer. A front parking assist system & a reversing camera (with a display in the rear-view mirror) are also available.
Standard equipment on the entry level Talento includes remote central locking, electric front windows (one-touch lowering on the driver’s side), electrically operated and heated door mirrors, a full bulkhead, a height adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support & an arm rest, dual passenger seat, a powerful audio system with Bluetooth, DAB, USB, Aux-in, a full-size spare wheel & steering-wheel remote controls. The entry-level Combi Active adds a rear tailgate with window wiper and de-mister, luggage cover, passenger airbag & folding/removable rear seats.
The SX version adds air con, Mobile Office, ViewPlus, rear parking sensors, upgraded “Living Brown” interior trim & enhanced exterior detailing, while the SX Combi adds 17-inch alloy wheels, front fog lamps, automatic lights & wipers, a leather steering wheel, cruise control with speed limiter, the upgraded audio system with satnav & enhanced exterior & interior detailing. SX versions of the Talento van & crew van are priced at £1,000 more than the standard model, while the Combi SX is £2,000 more than the Active trim level.
I had the opportunity to drive the Talento for a week around the north west. It’s an easy van to like, with car-like handling & a user-friendly interior. It’s so good to drive you forget that your in a mid-size van which as primarily a car driver, is a real bonus. Add this easy-to-use factor to the van’s obvious practicality & the Talento is now one of my favourite vans. Existing Renault & Vauxhall customers already know how good this van is & so too will Fiat customers from now on. Importantly, the UK Fiat Professional network can now compete with it’s siblings in the sector & with the current Vivaro due to be replaced by a Group PSA van, similar to the Citroen Dispatch & Peugeot Expert, Fiat may just pick up some Vauxhall business too.
An Il Grande Torino 4/5.