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Characteristically old-world and inquisitively square, Fiat's new Qubo pushes a low-pollution and high-mileage agenda that will probably win over many quirky family-men and women alike, not to mention the vast number of van-car fans.

04 Sep 2009

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Turning vans into passenger-vehicles was an obsession of the motor industry long before the mass-family people-mover era. We just never got any of those brilliant car(a)vans.

In the UK, the Citroen Berlingo Multispace made a huge impact back in the late nineties, featuring itself as a gaudy, windowed-van that was marketed to the young, or at least young-at-heart. In reality, it really was no different from your typical light-goods vehicle with seats at the back, as well as with car-like trimmings and the usual array of “van-ities.”

Ten years down the road and Fiat’s still doing it. First with the Panda, Doblo combination, and now with its latest Qubo. The similarity with these cars? They were based on a Fiat Grande Punto platform. So it doesn’t take a genius to tell you that it bridges a huge gap between a clunker and a car.

Big deal, some of you might say. And to those who do so, I pose an important question to you – have you ever driven a van? Those familiar with Renault Kangoos, Citroen Berlingo and Volkswagen Caddys of past will know what we mean.

You’re always going to feel as if you’re about to topple over even when going in a straight line – a result of a less-than-tight chassis with leaf-springs at the back, coupled with cross-ply tyres, all good and hardy choices for a heavy payload, but not in the least bit comfortable for driver and passenger.

Styling and Interior

But more on that later. For now, we’ll concentrate on how the Qubo isn’t the least bit van-like. It has a very well designed, shark-like nose that’s rather friendly looking and side panels that appear to have been blown inwards and upwards with the help of God’s giant hairdryer.
Car Information
This model is no longer being sold by local distributors


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Engine Type


4-cylinders in-line

Engine Cap





54kW (73 bhp) / 5200 rpm



118 Nm / 2600 rpm



5-speed (M)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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fiat qubo review  fiat van  fiat fiorino