Forget the Renault Kangoo, Vauxall Combo and Ford Transit Connect – when it comes to car-cube designs, the Fiat Fiorino can lay claim to being the daddy of the class. Car-derived vans have been around since Noah acquired a provisional licence, with the Mini, Ford Anglia and Morris Marina vans fine (?!) examples of the simple recipe. Panel-in the side windows aft of the B-pillar, leave the rear seats in the stores, and the only unique bit of engineering required was a pair of rear barn-doors. Then those crazy Europeans showed us the way: a high-volume cube body, clever touches like a rear roof flap to stick ladders through, a side loading door, and overnight Fiat – and Renault too if truth be told – changed the car-derived sector for good. Everyone else followed and the main exponent they were following was the original Fiorino. Many restyles on from the boxy instigator brings us to this one.

This Fiorino has a generous specification with a payload of up to 660kg and 2.5m3 load volume, which may be increased to 2.8m3 in conjunction with the optional, folding passenger seat. The 75hp 1.3-litre Multijet II diesel has a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 68.9mpg when fitted with the Comfort-matic gearbox.

The Fiorino Adventure version is worth a look. Designed to meet the needs of customers who have particular traction requirements due to their off-road work in the construction and agricultural sectors or who simply need to contend with mud and snow on a regular basis, it features Traction+, an electronic differential lock system for improved grip and control when driving in low-grip conditions, but with no impact on fuel economy or service costs. It also features higher ground clearance suspension, an increased payload, M+S (mud and snow)-specific tyres, under-engine guard, front bumper and side protection, and roof bars. Fiat doesn’t claim it can match a 4×4, but it might offer all the grip most small business operators will ever need.

Euro5 engines in the Fiorino range include a 95hp 1.3- litre Multijet II diesel, with stop-start, a 75hp 1.3-litre Multijet II diesel, and a 73hp 1.4-litre 8v petrol unit.

Vosa tells us of only one recall, issued on 7 December 2012, for the Fiorino, which also affected the Fiat 500, Punto, Qubo, and Doblo Cargo models. It states simply that braking efficiency may be reduced, so it’s something to check with Fiat on any vehicle you look at. Any Fiat dealership can check which vehicles have had the recall completed. The problem affects vehicles built from 1 June 2012 to 30 September 2012.


Second-hand buys

So how much should you pay for a used Renault Fiorino? The used van locator pointed out a few. How about a 2010 75hp 1.3 with 66,000 miles on the clock and boasting a factory-fitted bulkhead and ply-lining for £4480? Or for very little more, an early-2011 model with the same engine having seen just over 50,000 miles for £4600? Meanwhile, a low-mileage early 2012 Fiorino, with 24,000 miles elapsed can be yours for £5500. We also found a rare 2014 Fiorino Combi Adventure ex-demo on a 14-plate with very low mileage for £9995 – not cheap in this company but a versatile vehicle for a