Fiat Fullback (2016-present)

Capable and curvaceous (for a pick-up truck), the Fiat Fullback offers car-like comforts

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Curvier and more stylish than most pick-ups
Lots of equipment as standard
Practical double-cab offers room for the family

Weaknesses 

Gearbox feels clunky
Load area & tow capacity is less than rivals'
Ride not as smooth as the best in class

Thanks to various tax breaks, sales of double-cab pick-up trucks are on the rise, with company car users realising that these four door vehicles can actually make a fairly practical everyday proposition.

The Fullback is Fiat's first attempt at producing a pick-up and it has started by borrowing most of the mechanical parts for its latest model from the Mitsubishi L200.

In fact, take the Fiat's exterior styling away and it is practically identical to the big Mitsubishi underneath, but where the Mitsubishi offers a choice of cab styles and loading capacities for a range of uses, the Fullback is designed only to those looking for a luxurious, tax-efficient option.

As a result, the Fullback is only offered in a double-cab body style, which limits the amount of company car tax that it incurs. The only engine available is a 2.4-litre diesel available with two different levels of power.

It is still capable, with four-wheel drive and a large load area that is capable of carrying 1,045kg in a load space that measures 2.2m2 - that's roomy enough for a Euro pallet but a little smaller than the 2.4m2 that rivals commonly offer.

It also falls short when it comes to towing too; the Fullback can tow a hefty 3.1 tonnes of unbraked load, but that's less than the 3.5 tonnes offered by the likes of the Isuzu D-Max, Volkswagen Amarok and Ford Ranger.

The Fullback doesn’t offer the quality of a Mercedes X-Class or Nissan Navara but the generous equipment levels offer plenty to keep occupants and driver comfortable, with even entry-level SX models including the sort of luxuries that rival manufacturers insist on charging for as optional extras.

Air conditioning, a keyless entry system, digital radio with Bluetooth, cruise control, a leather steering wheel and active safety systems, including a system that improves stability when towing, all come as standard. Outside, 16in alloy wheels, side steps and body coloured front bumpers are included too.

Lease and finance payments for new models typically start at under £300 and used Fiat Fullbacks offer big savings. Prices are a little more expensive than less well-equipped versions of the Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi L200, but cheaper than the VW Amarok.

The Fullback looks less rugged than those vehicles too, with curved styling that will make less of a statement if it’s used for the school run.

However, it’s clearly a pick-up from behind the steering wheel, even if your hands are gripping leather trim. The five speed automatic gearbox is a little clunky, with abrupt gear changes that feel like the shifting of major machinery. A lack of sixth, seventh or even eighth gear means motorway cruising can be noisy.

Also, the basic suspension system (a design known as leaf spring) is unsettled and uncomfortable over rough surfaces, especially when compared with the more advanced suspension set-up found in the Nissan Navara.

But that said, the fiat Fullback never feels unwieldy or awkward to drive and its best-in-class turning circle of just under 12m and light steering makes it easy to swing around in the driveway.

Last Updated 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 16:45

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years / unlimited miles
Load area volume: 
2.2m squared
Width: 
1785m
Length: 
5285mm
Height: 
1780mm
Tax : 
£500 to £1200 in first year, £140 thereafter

Best Fiat Fullback for... 

Fiat Fullback SX 2.4 L Diesel 150HP 6MT
The least-powerful Fiat Fullback has lower CO2 emissions than other models, making it cheaper to tax. It's also the cheapest to buy outright.
Fiat Fullback LX Manual 2.4 Diesel 180HP
More power and extra interior equipment - including a rear view camera, heated front seats and sat-nav - make the LX model more versatile and comfortable for families.

Understanding Fiat Fullback car names 

  • Fullback
  • Trim level
    SX
  • Engine
    2.4 Diesel 150HP
  • Driven wheels
    4WD
  • Gearbox
    6MT
  • Trim level
    The trim levels start at SX, moving up to LX and then Cross. Each higher level means more equipment and a larger price.
  • Engine
    The size of the diesel engine is shown, along with its horsepower.
  • Driven wheels
    You may see the Fullback badged as 4WD - indicating that the car has four-wheel drive. It's fitted to all versions of the Fullback.
  • Gearbox
    Fullbacks with a manual gearbox may be badged 6MT (indicating a manual car with six gears). Automatic cars are shown with either 5AT in their name or just the word Auto.

Fiat Fullback Engines 

Diesel: 2.4 150HP, 2.4 180HP

The Fiat Fullback's engine range is pretty simple. there's just one engine - a 2.4-litre diesel - which is available with 150 horsepower (hp), for lower emissions, or 180hp for greater power.

It's the larger 180HP engine in LX models that seems to suit the Fiat Fullback better, as this unit not only boasts a bit more pulling power to get the big pick-up going, it also has to rev a little less at a steady speed, making it slightly quieter. The extra power doesn't translate increase the Fiat's maximum towing capacity, although it will make it easier to pull heavy loads.

Choosing the automatic gearbox cancels out that advantage because it uses one less gear, increasing the engine's revs while travelling on the motorway. That said, if you're thinking of using the Fullback every day - particularly in traffic - the automatic does make life easier.

The Fullback comes with two different drive systems. The SX models, which are only available with the six-speed manual gearbox have a three-position switch to control off-road settings. You can select two-whel drive, four-wheel drive or four-wheel drive with low ratio gears, which help the pick-up to climb steep slopes.

The LX models, on the other hand, come with Mitsubishi's Super Select 4x4 system. It means drivers have the option of two- or four-wheel-drive on tarmac, plus the option to lock the centre differential, which improves grip when accelerating on slippery ground.

On top of this, the range-topping Fullback Cross model also benefits from a locking rear differential, which further boosts grip under acceleration, which will appeal if you're thinking about tackling some seriously tough terrain.

Fiat Fullback Trims 

SX, LX, Cross

Choosing a specification of Fiat Fullback is refreshingly simple. It's available in a capable yet basic package (SX trim), a more luxurious everyday offering (LX models), or a top-of-the-range version with rugged looks.

SX cars have 16in alloy wheels, side steps for easier entry, a body coloured front bumper, front and rear fog lamps and under-body protection from off-road shunts and bumps.

Inside, there's a relatively basic Radio/CD system with Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free phone calling and smartphone music streaming, while the cloth seats are functional if a little drab.

However, there is a leather steering wheel and gear lever, while a front armrest gives the driver somewhere to place an elbow. The door bins are sizeable, although the interior does lack the cubbyholes and large storage areas of some rivals.

There is plenty of room in the front and back, along with Isofix child seat mounting points in two of the rear seats.

Step up to LX models (around £2,000 if you're buying new) and you'll gan more prominent 17-inch alloy wheels, chromed accent mirrors, brighter xenon headlights, a big rear bumper and privacy glass at the rear.

Inside, LX models have leather seats a rear-view parking camera, steering wheel-mounted controls and heated front seats.

A touchscreen dashboard system with navigation is also included and it works well, proving quick to load and easy to navigate. It does look a little bit like an after market product, rather than something developed in-house by Fiat.

Other handy extras include a more powerful six-speaker sound system, which does a good job of drowning out the engine noise at higher speeds, keyless entry and ignition, as well as rain-sensing wipers and dusk-sensing lights.

It is also possible to select the automatic gearbox on LX models, which comes with steering wheel-mounted paddles for manual shifts.

Selling at a £3,000 premium over Fullback LX models (before discounts), the Fullback Cross adds a more distinctive design and extra off-road ability. The latter is achieved with 17in black alloy wheels, black wheelarch panels, a black grille and a sculpted "sport bar" over the rear load area.

A differential lock for the rear wheels increases grip when accelerating on slippery surfaces, or where one of the rear wheels isn't touching the ground, which makes this version the most capable off road.

Fiat Fullback Reliability and warranty 

Fiat might not have the best track record in terms of reliability but the Fullback is covered by a 3-year/unlimited-mileage warranty, while the large majority of its underpinnings are borrowed from the hardy Mitsubishi L200, which is often praised for its bulletproof dependability. However, Mitsubishi offers a five-year warranty on the L200 and similarly-specified models come in slightly cheaper than the Fiat Fullback.