The Fiat Fiorino is built alongside the Citroen Nemo and Peugeot Bipper, but comes with its own engines, lifting it above the French duo
The Fiat Fiorino Cargo and Combi are compact one-box urban vans that offer a surprising amount of load capacity. Built alongside Citroen’s Nemo and Peugeot’s Bipper, all three now use Fiat’s 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel engines, though Fiat keeps the most powerful 95bhp version for its own van only. An economical urban van that offers nippy performance and the ability to work through city traffic with ease, the Fiorino is also available in Adventure form, with Fiat’s Traction+ electronic differential locking system, increased ground clearance and larger wheels for occasional off-road use. The Fiorino Combi offers a second row of seats that can be folded forwards to provide additional load space. The passenger seat in the regular Fiorino Cargo can also be folded flat, with a hinged-mesh bulkhead wrapping around the driver’s seat, to extend the load space for longer loads.
MPG and Running Costs
Fiat offers a 1.4-litre petrol engine in the Fiorino, with 73bhp and combined fuel economy of 44.1mpg. However, the majority of buyers will opt for the 1.3-litre MultiJet diesel engine, available in 75bhp and 95bhp versions. The 75bhp engine can be ordered with or without stop-start, while the 95bhp engine has the technology fitted as standard, leading to a combined fuel figure of 65.7mpg with CO2 emissions of 113g/km. While these are impressive figures, Ford’s recently updated Fiesta Van, with the 1.6-litre TDCi engine, delivers a similar 95bhp but offers a claimed return of 78.5mpg, with CO2 emissions of only 95g/km. The Fiorino drives through a standard five-speed manual gearbox to the front wheels, though an automated Comfort-Matic version is also available as an option with the 75bhp diesel engine. This provides automatic gear changes without the losses associated with a full automatic transmission. Service intervals for the Fiorino are set at 21,000 miles.
Load Space and Practicality
For such a compact van – its overall length is just 3.8 metres – the Fiorino offers a surprisingly spacious load bay. The 2.5 cubic metres of load volume can be extended to 2.8 cubic metres by folding flat the optional retractable passenger seat and swivelling the bulkhead round to the side of the driver. This also provides a maximum load length of 2,491mm. A sliding side loading door, standard on SX and Adventure models, and twin rear doors provide easy access to the load area, with a floor height from the ground of just 530mm, making it easy to load. A second sliding side door is optional on Cargo models (£200). While similar in footprint to car-derived light vans such as the Fiesta, the Fiorino delivers a much more competitive payload of up to 660kg, compared to just 500kg in the Ford. That's similar to lighter versions of vans in the next class up, such as the Renault Kangoo and the Citroen Berlingo, making the Fiorino an ideal urban delivery van. The Fiorino Combi provides the additional versatility of a second row of seats behind the driver. Available in two versions, the Combi offers M1 (car specification) seating for up to five people and a 175kg load capacity, or N1 (LCV) seating for four and up to 293kg of payload. The rear seat can be folded or removed completely, to provide the full 2.5-cubic-metre load of the Cargo version, if required. A ladder bulkhead is standard on Cargo models and the Fiorino can be supplied with a full-panel bulkhead (£70) or a bulkhead with a window (£70). Roof bars are standard on the Adventure models, but cost £110 on other vans. The Fiorino has a towing capacity of 1,300kg.
Reliability and Safety
The Fiorino comes with a driver’s airbag, ABS brakes with EBD electronic brakeforce distribution. An ESP electronic stability programme is an option (£330), though it comes as part of the standard equipment on the Adventure models, with the Traction+ driveline. Passenger and side airbags are available on the options list (£100 and £160, respectively), while rear parking sensors can be added for £110, though they are standard on the Tecnico specification. Fiat’s Fiorino, along with the Peugeot Bipper and Citroen Nemo, have been winning compact urban van awards since the trio were launched in 2008. There have been no major reliability issues, other than general wear and tear, and oil-change intervals are set at 21,000 miles. Fiat provides the van with a three-year/120,000-mile warranty.
Driving and Performance
The Fiorino is not intended as a long-distance motorway cruiser, though the van copes well with higher-speed inter-urban travel. Where it excels, however, is in town and on local country roads, where the compact dimensions, lively engine performance and quick steering make the Fiat an enjoyable van to drive. The short wheelbase and load-carrying suspension can make the ride a bit choppy when unladen, but the Fiorino holds the road well. The five-speed manual gearbox is light and easy to use, while the Comfort-Matic automated gearbox makes reasonably smooth progress. Though riding slightly higher, the Adventure model handles equally well and its Traction+ system provides extra grip if you need to tackle muddy lanes or construction site roads. It would also prove reassuring if you regularly drive in poor winter conditions.
Cab and Interior
Despite its compact dimensions, the Fiorino provides plenty of room for taller drivers. The standard van has a fairly minimalist interior, with hard and, in places, flimsy-looking plastics. The driver’s seat is supportive and comfortable for longer journeys, however, the optional fold-flat passenger seat is thin and can prove uncomfortable. The basic Fiorino comes with a height-adjustable steering wheel, driver’s seat armrest and lumbar adjustment, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and a radio/CD player. The SX trim adds remote central locking, electric windows and mirrors, and a rear compartment lock in the cab. Opt for the Adventure model, and you get Traction+ with ESC electronic stability control, roof bars and larger wheels. There's also a Tecnico version of the Fiorino, available only with the 75bhp diesel engine. This adds fog lights, reverse parking sensors, stop-start, air-conditioning, Blue&Me audio controls on the steering wheel, the folding passenger seat, Fiat’s Blue&Me infotainment system with ECO:Drive Professional, and a TomTom sat-nav with a powered mounting point in the top of the dash. At £13,190, the Tecnico model is £750 more than a similarly powered Adventure model and £1,400 more than the SX van.
(Widths are body width without mirrors. With mirrors: 2,019mm)
Load area dimensions
(Widths are maximum, width between wheel arches is 1,046mm)
- Power: 75bhp – 95bhp
- Weight (GVW): 1,680kg – 1,750kg
- Payload: 610kg – 660kg
- Loading height (approx, unladen): 527mm