2020 Fiat Fullback

2020 Fiat Fullback

If you have played the game of rugby in your life you know how important the fullback is. When all hope is lost of preventing opposition from scoring that all important try, the darting fullback makes a crunching tackle that makes the whole crowd marvel. When he boots that up and under from his territory chasing it into opposition area you know something exciting is about to happen, the game can change any second

Enter the 2020 Fiat Fullback at USD29500. This could be a game changer if marketed properly.

When I went to pick it up for a spin, as I entered into Zimoco’s showroom, I thought they were now selling Toyota single cabs for it could pass for Toyotas twin just from looks. When I took it for drive I had that awkward moment when people asked me if I was driving a Toyota Hilux only to respond that it was a Fiat Fullback. The side profile of the new Fiat Fullback does bear a resemblance to the iconic Hilux. Most were intrigued that Fiat manufactured trucks.

It may have a Fiat badge plopped between its headlights, but it’s actually a Mitsubishi L200 in a not-too-convincing disguise. That means a 2.5 litre diesel engine under the bonnet knotted with a 5 speed manual gearbox. Unlike the L200, its modern looking and handsome with a bit of aerodynamic looks

The interior houses air-conditioning, digital radio, cup holders, power steering and central locking.

The Fiat Fullback is a 1.0-tonne pickup truck based on the Mitsubishi L200 – and built in the same factory in Thailand. The 1.0-tonne part refers to its payload. You can load 750kgs easily and tow more than that

If you’re looking for a truck for severe off-roading, this is it. It has an old-school separate chassis, heavy-duty rear springs and lots of ground clearance.

Its high ground clearance means it can take on rougher terrain than most trucks will tolerate and its suspension is designed to deal with fairly chunky obstacles. The turning circle is impressively tight, too. The steering is reasonably well weighted and doesn’t feel too lumbering.

Unlike the more car-like setup of more modern looking trucks, the Fullback uses old-fashioned ‘live axle’ rear suspension. This is great at dealing with heavy loads. It’s a true work horse

The Fullback’s rugged nature becomes apparent as soon as you start the engine. The motor fires with a shudder and settles down to a coarse idle that leaves you in no doubt which fuel pump it sips from. It sounds clattery under hard acceleration, but settles down to a relatively quiet cruise. The 2.5-litre diesel engine kicks out 97 Kw and 202 Nm.

It comes equipped with a wide range of devices as standard, to guarantee maximum protection and safety for the driver and passengers. These include 2 airbags for driver and passenger, anti-braking system, brake assist and electronic brake distribution.

Fuel consumption is close to 7.8 litres per 100 kms with a 75 litres tank.

It comes with Zimoco’s Warranty of 1 year or 100 000km.  Contact Zimoco on 0242-885329/30 for a test drive

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