Fiat Fullback 2.4 LX 180bhp auto
What is it?
The final pick-up piece of the Fiat Professional range jigsaw, as the Fullback’s job is to take Fiat into this lucrative area of the market where previously it has not been before.
Think it looks familiar? Well you’d be right, as apart from the Fiat badges and re-styled nose, the Fullback is basically the latest fifth-generation Mitsubishi L200.
Only available in two trims, we’ve tried the range-topping 2.4 180bhp LX auto version of this new pick-up challenger from Italy via Japan, to see what it’s like.
- The Fullback’s styling might be little more than a nose job, but we reckon the Italian stylist’s makeover has made the L200 Series 5’s styling a bit more butch. Losing the Mitsubishi’s chrome grille and the cleaner front bumper have made a big difference in our opinion.
- Inside, like the L200, the front seats and driving position are comfortable and the neat twistable ×4 control that’s behind the gearlever makes it easy to engage the different four-wheel drive modes. Plus, the classy piano black trim remains unchanged.
- In range-topping LX trim, you’ll not want for standard equipment in the Fullback with Keyless go, leather trim, remote central locking, a touchscreen infotainment system, electric windows and auto wipers, all fitted as standard.
- So, the standard kit on the Fullback LX is impressive, but this is not at the expense of safety systems. Included in the LX are seven airbags, advanced Electronic Skid Control, TSA (Trailer Stability Assist), LED daytime running lights, hill start assist and cruise control with a speed limiter, together with Land Departure Warning and a reversing camera.
- You’ll have to climb in the Fullback because of the ground clearance (watching your vulnerable trousers and shoes if you’ve been mud-plugging!), but once in, it’s easy to get comfortable behind the wheel of the new Fiat pick-up. The dash looks modern, the switchgear in general is logically placed and it’s reasonably spacious whether you’re in the front or back.
- Going off-road important? Well, with its L200 underpinnings, the Fullback shouldn’t disappoint. Fiat was confident enough for us to try this pick-up on an off-road route, but it was tame enough for us to meet a couple of standard Italian family hatches coming the other way! Oh well, the twistable 4×4 control gives access to two low range settings, a torque-sensing Torsen differential and ASTC active stability control. We also like the fact you can go between two and four-wheel drive at up to 62mph. Towing? Well, four-wheel drive on the Fullback isn’t all about the off-roading, as the 40:60 rear-based torque split can even give more stability and help with the handling when towing.
- So the Fullback should be great when the going gets really rough, but better news is that like the L200, the Fiat is pretty good on it too. Firstly, despite the LX’s 17-inch alloys, the ride is refined. Then, there’s the body control, which as long as you stay within Fullback’s limits is impressive considering how tall this Fiat is – with good maneuverability.
- Also available in a 150bhp version, this range-topping 180bhp version of the 2.4-litre diesel engine is best described as smooth and torquey – although it does seem to run out of puff quite quickly and feels a bit lazy with the six-speed automatic transmission we tried.
- Despite keen performance on and off-road, the Fullback is still capable of 39.2mpg on the Combined Cycle, with CO2 emissions of 189g/km.
- Fiat are keen to talk up their lifestyle aspirations for the Fullback, but this is a working pick-up and you’ll be pleased to know that the bed is a practical 1,470mm long and wide, with a 1,035kg payload. Like the Mitsubishi, Mopar, Fiat’s accessory arm are offering loads of covers and other parts to make the Fullback truly your own.
- As we’ve already said, the Fullback drives and rides well for a pick-up, but is still easily upset by pot holes and can sometimes feel a bit bouncy. Plus, drive it beyond its limits and grip and handling levels are easily hit.
- We’ve no complaints about the ride and handling of the new Fullback as long as you don’t try too hard, but the steering, which although not lifeless, would benefit from more feel.
- The Fullback feels tough and built to last, but like the L200, we wish the shiny, textured plastics and switchgear didn’t feel so low-rent when compared to rivals.
- The standard touch screen audio/CD/sat-nav system is a welcome standard feature with its DAB radio. However, it’s fiddly to use, making changing radio station or direction quite complicated.
- Our range-topping Fullback LX might have a standard fit rear camera, but it’s still not easy to reverse with its long rear bed.
The Verdict on the Fiat Fullback 2.4 LX
2016 has already seen massive growth in the pick-up sector, with many new models launched or planned.
Check out the Mitsubishi L200
Fiat wants a piece of this pie and the Fullback is a logical solution that’s a great all-rounder.
In fact, the only thing that could have an effect on whether it will be a success or not, is Fiat’s lack of pick-up heritage.
Don’t let that put you off, it is definitely worth serious consideration if you’re considering buying one of the latest Mitsubishi L200 models.
Fiat Fullback 2.4 LX
|On the road price (ex VAT):||£24,395|
|Load width (max):||1,470mm|
|Load capacity:||1.0 tonne|
|Towing capacity braked/unbraked:||3,100kg/750kg|
|Engine:||2.4-litre four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel|