Fiat Fullback – Fiat scores big with its first bakkie

What’s that you say, yet another bakkie on the market and it’s a Fiat? Well, yes. Sales figures bear out evidence that there is a seemingly endless demand for bakkies in South Africa and Fiat’s have decided to try and take a slice of that cake. No easy thing, given the enduring popularity of the Ford Ranger and the Toyota Hilux, not to mention the VW Amarok and Nissan Navara, both of which will be coming out in refreshed forms this year.

So is Fiat crazy for trying its luck when there are already so many established players? Well, no. Because they actually have a damn fine product to sell. Before you fall off your chair laughing, consider that no less an authority than Car magazine put the Fullback up against the Ford Ranger DC 2.2 TDCi in a recent test and the Fullback scored only a single point less, achieving a 76/100 rating compared to the Ranger’s 77/100 score.

Not too shabby, Nige!

OK, so what do we have here. Well The Fullback range consists of three model derivatives:

•    The single cab 2.4 Petrol (97Kw) 4x2 comes standard with the following: 2wd High rider, power windows, manual air conditioning, central power locking, 16" steel wheels, cloth seats, ABS with EBD and the rear load bin is rubberised.

•    The Double cab 2.5 Diesel (100Kw) 4x2 LX comes standard with E-locker rear axle, leather trim, cruise control, power windows front and rear, manual air conditioner, driver and passenger airbags, ABS with EBD, central locking, keyless entry (remote), audio controls on steering wheel, 17" alloy wheels, tow bar and rubberised.

•    The flagship Double cab 2.5 Diesel ( 131Kw) 4x4 SX comes standard with part time 4WD, E-locker Rear Axle, 17" alloy wheels, Bi Xenon headlights, leather trim, cruise control, Bluetooth &USB, automatic air conditioner, rear view camera, driver and passenger airbags, ABS with EBD, keyless entry (remote), audio controls on steering, tow bar and rubberised rear load bin.

As far as looks go, it’s a handsome beast to be sure. The basic lines of the Fiat should set bells ringing in your head and that’s because it shares a platform with another well-known bakkie, the Mitsubishi Triton. The 2,5 litre Mitsubishi turbodiesel engine that powers the Fullback is another item it has in common. As you can see there is plenty to get excited about as far as features are concerned. Not only that but the Fullback is quite the performer too. When the Car mag team took it for a test drive, they found the 2,5 litre diesel very impressive. It develops 131 kW at 4,000rpms and a very competitive 400 Nm at 2,000rpms.

According to Car, ‘It’s a free-revving unit that propels the relatively light bakkie with real gusto’.  In fact, compared with the Ranger, the Car guys found that it felt like a hot hatch! Unfortunately, a sixth gear and the team found that this and the comfortable ride gave the Ranger the edge on the open road.

In terms of fuel consumption, the Fullback was no slacker, bringing in an excellent 8,9 litres per 100kms on Car’s standardised 100km fuel route.

OK so it’s bakkie, what about the load-carrying capacity? This is no city poser, the Fullback boats a large load capacity and the ability to handle whatever you can throw at it, which is mostly due to its ladder frame chassis. The length of the load compartment varies depending on the model - 2,265 mm for the Single Cab version and 1,520 mm for the Double Cab. It can carry over a ton and tow weights of up to three tonnes.

Of course, these days, bakkie owners love to pimp their rides out and there is a full range of accessories available for the Fullback.

These include locally produced front nudge bars, side steps, load body sports bar and rear bumper in polished steel or powder coated finish. These will be available as a set or individually.    

Depending on what kind of sports you pursue, there’s also a compatible Bosal tow bar and Thule roof bars from Thule for added versatility, such as roof boxes, or loading your windsurfing gear, kayaks, and bicycles, etc.

What will all this set you back? You’ll be happy to know the Fullback is competitively priced for what you get.


Single Cab 2.4 Petrol 97Kw 4x2 STD Trim    - R232 900
Double cab 2.5 diesel 100Kw 4x2 – SX Trim - R402 900  
Double cab 2.5 Diesel 131Kw 4x4 – LX Trim - R468 900   

The Fiat Fullback range comes standard with a 3 year/100 000km vehicle warranty and a 5 year/ 100 000km service plan. To test drive it, find your nearest Bidvest McCarthy Fiat dealer HERE:


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