Fiat Doblo: My Tank Is Full
Automotive News [sub] reports that the newest addition to Chrysler’s new Ram brand will be the Fiat Dobló, a compact van in the style of Ford’s Transit Connect. The latest generation Dobló has been previewed, and will go on sale in Europe early next year. The Rambló will hit the US market in 2012, and like the Transit Connect, it will be built in Turkey and imported. Like Ford’s Turkish hauler, the Dobló will likely be imported as a passenger vehicle to avoid the infamous “chicken tax” and will be converted for commercial use upon arrival. European versions get a number of diesel and gas engine options (with CNG and electric options planned), but there’s no word on what choices the US market will be given. Meanwhile, how big of a crosshair grille will fit on that thing? Or, to put it differently, how will this Euro-derived efficiency-oriented urban hauler jive with the Ram brand’s overbearingly bro-magnon branding?
I don't have much experience with the Astro vans, but the Aerostar and Caravan cargo models were retrofitted back from a vehicle primarily designed for passenger duty, so they never really had that commercial grade feel or capability. The great thing about the Transit Connect (from a business point of view) is that it was designed from the ground up as a commercial vehicle - durable materieals inside, lots of bumpers to protect the doors on the outside, rear leaf springs for a big payload, and lots of upfit options to turn it into anything from a catering van to a mobile locksmith's station. The Doblo looks cool, and I hop dodge doesn't muss to much with the design. It would be interesting to see passenger variants, but with Ford bringing over the C-Max (or is it S-Max?) and Fiat likely having a similar Euro MPV to give to Chrysler, I doubt we will see it.
The front end treatment actually seems similar to the current trend on Mazdas.
I think the Fiat Doblo cargo is a good choice for small businesses, mainly because it is low in fuel consumption, which to be honest, with the increase in fuel prices, I think anything that can be done to save my money helps.
You are right. It's a great commercial van. My husband just bought a Fiat Doblo recently. The car has a good load capacity and the van's engine is fuel efficient. I like that!