FIAT QUBO 1.3 16V MULTIJET 95 TREKKING
That Professor Rubik’s a clever fellow. I’m a fan of the snake, but his cube is one of the best selling toys of all time. Fiat never took his gem as the starting point for their Qubo, but it too is a six-sided puzzle of sorts.
This is a small car. It has a wheelbase that is shorter than many superminis’, yet it will carry five people and a week’s luggage quite happily.
It has the aerodynamics of a brick and a “Honey, I shrunk the van” quality, yet has mpg figures to embarrass a Honda Jazz Hybrid. The Qubo achieves 68.9mpg against Honda’s 62.8.
Behind the wheel again you have a degree of puzzlement. You entered a small car but are now sitting in a tall, roomy and airy cabin. Beyond that though, you paid budget-car money but are treated to a very stylish and well equipped interior. The seats are attractive and functional, although a tad firm and a bit short on the base. The dash is laid out sensibly, but with flourish, and even the painted areas look right rather than simply a cost cutting exercise.
Driving over shorter distances is a relaxed and mildly entertaining affair. The few extra inches of seat height compared to a standard car make a huge difference to the panorama, and the stubby Italian can get a bit giggly in the corners even at normal speeds.
This does not translate so well on motorway trips however, where a steady 70mph becomes rather monotonous and tiring. The lack of aero also makes its presence felt on the fuel gauge. Consumption figures dropped to a still acceptable but unimpressive 48mpg average on the M1 and M6 section of a trip from GOHQ to Edinburgh.
Other than mile munching this car does boast a bulging bag of tricks. Inside and out there is a feel of toughness cleverly combined with a quirky panache. It is sure to be popular with people who have the two biggest burdens in the motoring world – kids and dogs.
It has many rivals in the form of the C-Max, Meriva, C3 Picasso and Bipper Tepee, but the Fiat beats them all on consumption, and more or less matches them for value for money
You buy the right car to suit your needs, and this car will suit most family and business requirements very well. It will carry a herd of rampaging children to school. It will breeze through the weekly shop and cope admirably with buying or selling at car boot sales. It will tackle the hell of a daily commute in its own unhurried and de-stressing manner, but it is not the weapon of choice for long distance work. Nor does it claim to be; it is Gok Wan at the Kop End or Jessica Ennis at Weight-Watchers: Different, unexpected, but very good at its job.
|ENGINE||1.3 DIESEL 16V MULTIJET 95HP|
|CO2 g/Km||107 g/km|
words – Mark Wolens pics – Fiat