Specifying a brown paint finish – metallic in our case – means that all the mud and slush that will spatter it at this time of year won’t show up too much.
It’s just as well, as our Fiorino Cargo Adventure got particularly grubby during a run around rural Shropshire with a cargo of 10 37.5kg bags of grey 20mm Hereford gravel, picked up from a builders’ merchant. The trip involved threading the little van down narrow country lanes and ascending and descending a series of steep hills, all the while keeping a wary eye out for ice on what were often untreated surfaces.
In this sort of bitterly cold and dirty weather you constantly need to use the screen-washers – and that’s when they usually freeze up on you. The Cargo Adventure’s didn’t let me down once, however – the strong screen wash mixture I was using doubtless helped – and the seemingly bottomless screen wash reservoir didn’t require replenishing all day.
Pulling into muddy farm entrances and onto verges that were still partially covered with snow in order to avoid the occasional oncoming tractor made me appreciate the Fiorino Adventure’s mud and snow tyres and extra ground clearance. Happily, I had no need to resort to engaging its Traction+ electronic diff lock, but it was reassuring to know it was there if I needed it.
Trying to haul wet, muddy and heavy bags of gravel out through a van’s back doors when some of them have slid right up against the bulkhead is not the easiest of exercises. With the Cargo Adventure, however, the task was made far easier because it boasts a sliding door on each side of the cargo box.
The heater stayed on full blast for most of the day and proved effective in what is a snug cabin. Now all I’ve got to do is step out of the warm cocoon I’ve created for myself and clean out the load area…
Fiat Professional Fiorino Cargo 1.3 Multijet II Adventure
Official combined consumption 62.8mpg
Our average consumption 60.0mpg
Price range (ex VAT) £11,970-£14,654
Price (ex VAT) £14,645
Service intervals 2yrs/21,000mls
Load length 1,523mm
Load width (min/max) 1,046/1,473mm
Load bay height 1,205mm
Load volume 2.5m3
Gross payload 660kg
Engine size/power 1,248cc/95hp
Report Card: Grip
Clings on well when road conditions are challenging.
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