Buying a used... Fiat Fullback (2016)

Date: Monday, March 11, 2019   |   Author: Ian Shaw

If you need to hit the ground running, why not do as Fiat has done and re-badge a class leader? asks Ian Shaw.

While the Fullback was a new departure for Fiat when the brand entered the 4x4 pick-up sector in 2016, it was actually not all that new having been largely based on the Mitsubishi L200.

Produced from 2014, the fifth generation of the L200 built upon a radical re-shape of the fourth series to take the fight directly to the iconic Toyota Hilux, with considerable success.

Fiat’s decision seemed entirely sensible, and while I may be harangued by Hilux operators and Land Rover Defender devotees for this opinion, would you not also choose the Mitsubishi L200 if you were to put your name to an existing pick-up?

The Fullback inherits all the L200 key assets: the rounded yet aggressive styling, and the real prize – that multi-mode four-wheel drive running gear. It offers rear-wheel drive with front hub disconnect for better fuel economy on the road; permanent 4WD with an open centre differential for use on the varying road conditions we get for six months a year, then locking the centre differential for snowy roads, site work and field forays; and finally low ratio with centre differential locked for real off-road work.

An optionally available locking rear axle differential adds additional benefits while electronic traction control and stability control will take care of individual front wheel spin too. Fit decent tyres and job done.

The Fullback is powered by an all-aluminium four-cylinder 2.4-litre common-rail turbodiesel with two available outputs: 150hp and 380Nm of torque or 180hp and some 430Nm of torque. However, that additional torque only appears a little higher in the rev range. It may be a benefit if you tow frequently, but be prepared for a more ‘peaky’ character to its delivery. Either engine can be had with a six-speed manual transmission or five-speed auto.

Most examples we found for sale had the 180hp and auto ’box, with the Cross trim proving popular.

The Fullback is a sizable vehicle with a 3.0m wheelbase and 5.2m overall length. It offers a load bed length of 1.85m with the four-seat two-door Extended Cab version, and a 1.52m-long load bed in the five-seat four-door Double Cab derivative. Both offer load widths of 1.47m and carry the de-rigueur 1.0t of payload. It will also tow 3.1 tonnes, falling a little short of a Defender’s 3,500kg limit but matching the class expectations.

Very few faults are documented for the Mitsubishi L200 so it can be safely assumed the Fullback will be equally bulletproof. The Fiat, however, did require a recall for potentially malfunctioning door locks, which at the extreme could allow a door to open. You can check this has been carried out by contacting Fiat with a VIN or registration number. On L200s the front suspension top mounts can wear and fail, but with used Fullbacks being no more than 30 months old this should be rare. Likewise, at this age a full service history and remaining warranty should be in place. If not for some reason, find another example.

Desirable

1) 150hp engine
2) Manual transmission
3) Upper trim versions
4) Optional rear differential lock
5) Four-mode 4WD

Undesirable

1) 180hp engine
2) Auto transmission
3) SX trim versions
4) Extended cab
5) Three-mode 4WD

Five good second-hand buys

Version

Plate

Year

Mileage

Price ex.VAT

LX Double-Cab Auto

17

2017

25,000

£15,999

LX Double-Cab Auto

67

2017

34,000

£15,495

Cross Double-Cab Manual

18

2018

4,600

£22,895

Cross  Double-Cab Auto

68

2018

1,200

£22,900

Cross  Double-Cab Auto

68

2018

Delivery

£23,000



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