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Pick-up back in to line The new Fiat Fullback is a genuine 1t pick-up with plenty of power and decent ground clearance.

Fiat’s Fullback 1t pick-up was introduced during late summer, filling a gap in the company’s commercial line-up. David Williams borrowed one for a week to see if it has what's needed to compete in this busy market segment. Three specification levels include two engine options and manual or auto transmission. All have crew cabs with ‘proper’ seats for a driver and four passengers. Like most other double-cab pick-ups, the layout has to compromise between space for people or a load, but the Fullback makes the most of every available inch, with plenty of room for front and rear seat passengers and load bed capacity to satisfy most users. This is despite a small gap that separates the load bed from the passenger cabin, reducing noise and vibration. The model supplied for Farmers Guide’s test was the mid-spec 180hp LX, with manual transmission. Standard equipment includes large 17in tyres on alloy wheels. Two or 4wd is selected through a centre-consolemounted rotary dial and settings include 2 or 4wd high range and 4wd high or low range with centre diff

locked. Standard equipment across the range includes remote central locking, electric windows and mirrors, Bluetooth phone and audio, air conditioning front and rear, seven airbags, trailer stability assist, hill start assist and cruise control with speed limiting. LX upgrades include lane departure warning, climate control, a reversing camera, leather seats, heated front seats with electric control for the driver, bi-xenon headlamps and a fancy Kenwood infotainment system with a display to compete with many tractor GPS guidance screens, also providing satellite navigation.

Comfort A common issue with many doublecab pick-ups is shortage of leg space. The well-designed Fullback cabin provided adequate legroom for a 6ft driver and rear seat passengers.

Space is well used with decent legroom and comfortable seats.

The seats are among the best of any farm pick-up. The leather is soft, there is plenty of support and, even after sitting in stationary traffic for almost four hours on one journey, they hadn’t become uncomfortable. Visibility to the front and sides is good, but the test vehicle’s view to the rear was hindered by the load-bed hardtop including glass screens front and back. These effectively seal the load area, but a disadvantage is that the rear mirror view is through three sheets of glass - two of them tinted, and dull in anything other than bright sunlight. Controls are well laid out. The lights and windscreen wipers each have auto settings and most switches and buttons are suitably chunky making them easy to use. Instruments are clear and easy to read. Less welldesigned is the trip computer, which displays a single piece of information

with each press of a small selector within the dial display area, and difficult to reach other than by putting a hand through the spokes of the steering wheel, making it awkward to use while driving. The infotainment screen offers a multitude of functions, including mobile phone control, and sound quality from the standard DAB radio is excellent. Less good is that every time the engine is started, even after listening to the radio or using the phone with the ignition on, the whole system reboots, cutting off the phone connection and losing the radio for a minute or so. Adequate storage includes decent front door pockets, smaller rear pockets to take drinks bottles, a large glovebox and a good-size centre console as well as trays for odds and ends.

Performance The test week's mix of driving, included muddy and rutted farm tracks, main roads and winding back roads and the Fullback’s ride quality was excellent. Pulling away from junctions on wet roads required care with the throttle when the load bed was empty as available traction was limited. The 180hp engine was flexible, and the variable geometry turbo maintained good torque across the rev range. Average fuel consumption during the test was from 26–36mpg. Off-road on rutted tracks, low range provided greater flexibility and better control where extra care was needed. Crossing a deep rutted area, where the full 205mm (8in) ground clearance was needed, the locking central differential allowed the continued over...

Equipment for the 180hp LX version is generous, including a sophisticated infotainment system.

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Farmers Guide January 2017  

Farmers Guide Magazine January 2017 Issue