Quirky don't get much quirkier than the Fiat Doblo, a leisure activity vehicle that's been available as a panel van in several markets outside the country since 2000. But don't scoff at it just yet, the same strange van has sold numbers heading steadily on towards 1.5 million units worldwide.
The 2015 version sees a complete inside-out redesign, with exterior new styling features like the completely new bumpers and a more streamlined bonnet, while the cabin gets new goodies like a Uconnect multimedia system mated to optional compatible sat-nav and digital radio.
The new Doblo retains its biggest former USP-large, flexible interior space with up to 7 seats and a segment-best 790-litre boot. The company also claims ‘world-class soundproofing' that will provide occupants with a quieter, more comfortable journey. The latest version also boasts best-in-class handling by virtue of a Bi-link suspension setup, according to Fiat Chrysler.
There are nine engine choices for buyers, ranging from engine capacities of 1.4-litres to 2.0-litres, in petrol, diesel and methane engine types, with power outputs varying between 90 and 135hp.
One tends to think that a vehicle like this may not do too well in a country like India, but who knows, Indian buyers could well adjust to the looks simply because of the massive space available. Too many vehicles here claim to offer room for large families but end up doing things like adding a ridiculously small third seat in a stretched hatchback design, thereby ‘converting' it to an MPV.
Fiat India has introduced interesting vehicles like the Avventura recently, maybe they could test Indian waters with some well-priced variants of the Doblo as well? Only because we understand practical.