Fiat Doblo review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
There’s a lot of room in the Doblo, but it’s a shame so much of it is located above your head where it’s not as useful.
Practicality is what the Doblo does best. Its generous interior space is accessed by sliding side doors on each flank or a lifting tailgate at the rear. You need a huge amount of room behind the car to let the tailgate swing upwards. If you think that might be a problem, a pair of asymmetrically split side-hinged rear doors is available as an option. Inside you get five seats and a big boot or seven seats and a very small boot if you opt for the Family Pack.
Cabin storage is very good with wide door pockets, a small glovebox and a sectioned shelf in front of the passenger. There are further cubbies on top of the dash and cup holders in the centre console. Basically, you won’t be short of places to keep things and there’s even an additional shelf above the windscreen to store even more.
The Fiat Doblo is 4,406mm long and 1,836mm wide, which is a little bit longer and wider than a Citroen Berlingo Multispace. The height is 1,845mm but if you go for the high roof option that jumps to 2,115mm, which will put you in peril of some car park height restrictors. To be honest, the amount of headroom in the standard Doblo is so huge that we’re not sure an extension up top is strictly necessary.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
While headroom is massive, legroom in the Doblo’s rear seats could be better. It’s just about possible for a 6ft passenger to sit behind a 6ft driver but they wouldn’t want to stay there for very long. The sliding side doors are also quite narrow so, although the outer seats fold and tumble forwards to aid access to the third row in Family Pack versions, it’s quite a struggle to climb back there. The easiest option is to get in to the back seats through the doors at the rear.
Space in the third row is even tighter than in the middle row but these seats are better than the back seats in most 7-seaters of this size and could take a small adult at a push. The windows alongside the third row don’t open fully and there’s only the option of popping the glass panel outwards for extra ventilation.
The downside to choosing a Doblo over a purpose-built MPV is that the seats don’t fold into the floor. You can lift the third row seats out of the car but they’re very heavy and if you fold them up in the vehicle, they don’t leave much boot space.
You can carry a huge amount in the Doblo. Officially the boot is 790 litres in a 5-seater model but you can get up to a huge 3,200 litres with the seats folded down. The seats may not fold flat like in some MPVs but the Doblo will trump most cars of its size for outright capacity. A word of warning is that, like the Doblo itself, the available space is quite tall so you’ll end up having to stack items in the vehicle if you want to make full use of it all. To help with this, Fiat has designed a load cover that can be positioned at different heights to act as a shelf and increase the boot floor space that’s available.
In this review
- 1Fiat Doblo reviewThe Fiat Doblo is a van-based MPV with lots of space that’s better to drive than you might expect
- 2Engines, performance and driveDon’t expect blistering pace but the Doblo’s diesels are up to the job and the drive is better than you’d think
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsFuel economy is nothing to write home about but the Doblo should be tough and otherwise cheap to run
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Doblo feels built to last but it looks like a van and some of the passenger car creature comforts are missing
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingThere’s a lot of room in the Doblo, but it’s a shame so much of it is located above your head where it’s not as useful.
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe basic safety kit is standard and the Doblo should be reliable, if only because there’s little to go wrong.