2017 Fiat Professional Fullback Review

Fiat Fullback driving front3 II

By Ben Harrington

Fiat is a marque you'd be forgiven for not instantly associating with mid-size pickup trucks. And yet, here we have the Italian manufacturer's entry into the one-ton (meaning it can carry about 2,000 pounds) pickup class, the global 2017 Professional Fullback.

If you happen to be a connoisseur of mid-size pickups sold outside the U.S., this vehicle may look familiar to you, and there's a good reason for that. Fiat and Mitsubishi signed a manufacturing agreement a couple of years ago; the Fullback is the first pickup fruit from that collaboration.

Exterior

Essentially, the Fullback is the well-established Mitsubishi L200 (one of the more popular mid-size pickups in the world) with a couple of subtle alterations, such as Fiat badging.

The Fullback's grille is pretty much the only other component you'll find that differs from the L200. It's a horizontal, subtle affair that some customers may prefer over the Mitsubishi's vertically slashed front end.

At more than 17 feet long and more than 70 inches wide, the Fullback is a big vessel to drive. Regular United Kingdom parking spaces stand no chance of accommodating it. A backup camera comes as standard on higher trim levels of the Fullback, but optional parking sensors cost around $300 (at current exchange rates). Considering how essential they are and how much equipment the Fullback comes with, making parking sensors optional seems quite odd to us.

The obvious advantage of the Fullback's size is not only its bed, which is an ample 60 by 58 inches that easily swallows a Euro-style pallet. It also provides plenty of space in the cabin, especially in the backseat; colleagues and children alike will thank you.

Interior

Fiat Fullback interior II

Interior trim and refinement is more than satisfactory if you look at it from a work-truck point of view. The four-wheel-drive high-low gear selector is now a simple click wheel, so no need to wrestle with a second gear shift lever in the console. Plastics are rugged, as you'd expect in this type of vehicle, and slightly lacking in imagination when compared to other Fiat models.

One area where the Fullback is a let-down is its infotainment system. LX models have a Kenwood touchscreen that's fiddly and difficulty to use. Anyone trying to pair it to a smartphone is out of luck; the system doesn't recognize them and can't even charge them.

Powertrain/Capacities

Fiat keeps things simple with the Fullback: There are only two trim levels, SX and LX. The SX is powered by a 150-horsepower, turbo-diesel 2.4-liter inline-four mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The more expensive LX has the same engine, but it produces 180 hp and can be mated to either the six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic.

The engine is an all-aluminum turbo-diesel producing either 280 or 317 pounds-feet of torque, depending on which trim you order. Maximum towing capacity is more than 6,000 pounds in the LX in addition to the 2,000 pounds that can be carried in the bed.

The 180-hp Fullback returns 39.8 mpg on combined city/highway driving with the manual. On a full tank, Fiat claims a factory-estimated range of 650 miles from its 19.8-gallon tank; however, if you do the math using the 39.8 mpg figure, the range is nearly 800 miles.

Unfortunately, the downside of an all-aluminum engine, from our experience, is the noise. The Fullback's cabin is well-insulated, but when standing outside the truck, you can hear the diesel rattle, making noise that's reminiscent of older technology. While the sound does dissipate as the engine warms up, we'll never describe it as refined.

How It Rides

Fiat Fullback load bed II

With the bed empty, the Fullback does an admirable job of keeping things level thanks to some serious chassis stiffening and an up-to-date 4WD system taken from Mitsubishi's global Shogun SUV.

The Fullback excels at handling and ride. It's stiff without being harsh, so there's no wallowing around corners, and it soaks up bumps without bouncing around — even with a load. Long road trips are as comfortable as traveling in a large sedan.

Pricing

Prices for the Fullback in England range start at $33,765 for the SX and $37,030 for the LX, based on current exchange rates. That's comparable to its L200 sibling, but the Fullback offers fewer choices.

Additionally, where Mitsubishis come with a five-year warranty, the Fiat gets just a three-year program. It seems like a bizarre way of selling two virtually identical vehicles, but that's possibly offset by more attractive finance options.

Cars.com photos by Ben Harrington

 

Fiat Fullback static front II

Fiat Fullback static rear II

Fiat Fullback badge II

Fiat Fullback buttress II

Fiat Fullback down hill rear 2 II

Fiat Fullback off road side II

Fiat Fullback rear seats II

Fiat Fullback water splash II

 

Comments

I wouldn't want to be near any roads where that thing is pulling 6000lbs or hauling 2000lbs in the bed.


Fiat/Ram need to bring a small size, not mid-size truck to the states. The size of the old Ranger/S10//D50

Fiat/Ram need to bring a small size, not mid-size truck to the states. The size of the old Ranger/S10//D50

I doubt this will see stateside, but a true compact truck would be welcomed addition.

What would you do with a truck that small? The bed is useless and the backseat is too small to haul any people. I an seed a regular cab or extended cab with a longer bed.

"Fiat/Ram need to bring a small size, not mid-size truck to the states. The size of the old Ranger/S10//D50"

@ Dave:

As long as Sergio Marchionne is in charge at FCA and has a fetish for SUVs and crossovers, there's no way we'll see a pickup in the US anytime soon. We may not see that Jeep pickup come to life, and it's a good bet the full-size Ram pickup's days are numbered as well.

Why can't the industry make sensible vehicles? Big trucks such as the F150 and Silverado and Dodge Ram are too big and fancy and costly! The mid size trucks are really not mid size. In a few years they'll be just as big as the big ones of today. Why call them midsize when there are no longer any small trucks? We, the public still demand small trucks such as the Ford Ranger. Look at the value of them today.

Nope

Roadwhale, call home!!!

Yeep ,,,,this truck Is the mother of all ugly Trucks , Most European Trucks are boring , and i am European but Love GM and Chevy

My wife's brother-in-law has a '15 Mitshitshui L200 with the 2.8 TD; I can attest my '15 global Ranger blows it away in all aspects, looks, engine noise, power, ride comfort.

As both trucks are about 3 yrs old now with approx. 60 000 KM's on them; the Mishibitshi is already rattling, squeaking in the cabin & the oil burner has gotten louder...my Ranger is still like it was from day 1 with perfect quite cabin & A/C is original untouched (the A/C on the Mit crapped out last year/condenser had to be replaced).

Another attestation how well built these global Rangers are & Ford doesn't need to do much more with the US version...

; I can attest my '15 global Ranger blows it away in all aspects, looks, engine noise, power, ride comfort.

Posted by: Lionel | Jun 24, 2017 6:56:08 PM

We hear you Lionel........Your global Ranger is the best, fastest and strongest. Never needing maintenance or repairs. Able to leap tall buildings with a simple twist of the ignition switch. What's that?......... Your global Rangers spider senses are tingling.

@Robert31
It is not European , it is Japanese

@papajim
That is how big the secondary roads are in England, top photo.
Freeways and Motorways are great, not the secondary roads

@papajim
That is how big the secondary roads are in England, top photo.
Freeways and Motorways are great, not the secondary roads

Regarding the gas mileage; it sounds as though it is based on the imperial gallon.
The towing capacity sounds a bit optimistic too; is it based on the J2807 standard?

The Fiat Fullback is the small truck that FCA needs to bring to the U.S. as a new Dakota. The Fullback is in fact within an inch in width and two inches in length of the last U.S. Ranger. Since the Fullback is an existing product, it would just need to be modified to comply with U.S. regulations, which would be cheaper for FCA than designing a brand new pickup from scratch.

Honestly, that Fiat looks like something you'd take for birth control.

The 4 wheeled equivalent of Liberace, Michael Jackson and Tiny Tim rolled into one.

This is not the truck that American truck buyers are clamoring for.

It looks like an aborted fetus.

@papajim,

This truck is still too big for our needs.

Not sure what 'professional' covers as that looks very light duty. Maybe it's a professional level grocery getter.

they say looks are subjective or personal in the case of this truck that ain't so; most everyone would agree this is butt ugly and would never sell in the U.S.

they say looks are subjective or personal in the case of this truck that ain't so; most everyone would agree this is butt ugly and would never sell in the U.S.

Oxi

Guess which is the worst vehicle #1 on the list?........... go sue Consumer Reports.......


Bottom 10: Consumer Reports rates 10 worst new cars by category

Looking to buy a car? Well be sure to keep these cars at the bottom of your list. Consumer Reports ranked these 10 vehicles the worst in their respective classes based on road-test scores, reliability, gas mileage and price.

1/10
Compact Pickup: Toyota Tacoma

Easily the most shocking vehicle to make this list is the Toyota Tacoma. Normally known for its durability, one would not expect to see a Toyota vehicle on this list, yet here is the Tacoma, taking last place in the compact pickup segment. Despite the cult following this nameplate has garnered for its off-roading abilities, Consumer Reports found it to have "much worse than average" reliability, a stiff ride, noisy cabin and and uncomfortably positioned seats.  

I an seed a regular cab or extended cab with a longer bed.

Again we will not see this truck in the USA. The way Fiat is going we might not see them in the near future. As for Liberace he would be driving a bigger more glitzy vehicle but again this is papa spouting off.

Again we will not see this truck in the USA.

@Jeff S

You never know Jeff. Mitsubishi might acquire Ford, GM and RAM and start selling a full line of large SUVs and pickups here in the US.

@Dave and Jeff- the L200 is a good bet smaller than the other trucks.
@Joe- the bed fits a pallet or whatever else most people put back there. The L200 does come in regular and extended cabs, with a 7ft and 6ft1swell.tumblr.com bed. The back seat is on par with and small to medium sedan. Not huge, but fine for kids all day and adults on short hauls.
@imoore- Ram days numbered? With sales cling I'm on Chevrolet? With a completely overhauled, larger plant being readied? Try again.

This might be okay for Europeans who don't need to do any real work, but would never cut it against our American pickup trucks.

@papa jim--More likely GM will become an all Chinese Company. Made in China Buick Envision will open the door for other Chinese GMs. I can see it now a Chinese made Silverado. Might as well a lot of other parts are made in China. See the USA in Chinarolete.

Robert,

Yes. When I was in the UK two decades ago, the country "lanes" were bit tight, but I was amazed at how easily a lorry (large truck) could squeeze past others effortlessly, --- with all due attention paid to clearances of course. No slop in those drivers!

And when I was in Germany in the 1960's, everyone (German) said that you could never drive a big American car on tight German roads, especially in villages. Gee, my real estate lady had a HUGE 1960's Cadillac, --- and had NO PROBLEM whatsoever.

So, I wonder if these things aren't exaggerations to some degree. After all, large trucks have to use those very same roads for deliveries, don't they? So, why should even full-size American pickups (for example) have serious issues in Europe, since they are smaller than large European delivery trucks?

======================

Robert,

Yes. When I was in the UK two decades ago, the country "lanes" were bit tight, but I was amazed at how easily a lorry (large truck) could squeeze past others effortlessly, --- with all due attention paid to clearances of course. No slop in those drivers!

And when I was in Germany in the 1960's, everyone (German) said that you could never drive a big American car on tight German roads, especially in villages. Gee, my real estate lady had a HUGE 1960's Cadillac, --- and had NO PROBLEM whatsoever.

So, I wonder if these things aren't exaggerations to some degree. After all, large trucks have to use those very same roads for deliveries, don't they? So, why should even full-size American pickups (for example) have serious issues in Europe, since they are smaller than large European delivery trucks?

======================

@NMGOM--I would say its more of an additional tax on the larger displacement engines. GB and most other European nations charge a large tax on most engines larger than 2.0s. Larger vehicles are there but you have to have some money to pay for not just the vehicle but the taxes and the fuel. Switzerland, Sweden, and Norway have quite a few old American cars from the 50's and 60's especially the Swedes who like the tail finned cars of the 50's.

NMGOM
Europe is no place to drive anything larger than a Pug 308 on those small secondary roads. I saw very few Vans on roads like that. Mainly they used freeways. You have one blind corner after another. Frightening driving conditions and that is on a ckear say

You should know that as Denvermike you kept on complaining about those small midsizers and diesels

More like a half-back.

2,000 pounds? Lol!

Another over rated little truck.

They must not use the bed of a truck for much. Or maybe they are quick to pay for shipping?

We can use another Dakota.

Not sure it needs a full frame, maybe a complete frame such as the older Jeep Comanche had, yet not unboltable. Similar to the old Dodge van frames, they weren't a frame them selves.

Hey, they were just fine for up to 10,700 plus pounds, the MB4000 Dodge van based RVs of the 70s and 80s were.

*MB400

TRX-4
They certainly do have a 2000lb max load, not more than that though

TRX -4
Has a tiny 1600lbs. nNot that good at all

Henry Gladstone
Europeans rarely use Pickups. About 60,000 sold for 500 million people

Robert - - -

R: "Europeans rarely use Pickups. About 60,000 sold for 500 million people"

Yeah. Agree. Americans have always had a DIY lifestyle into which pickups fit quite well. We are just "projects" people, even when not using pickups for "official" work. And we love our own amateur efforts. (BTW: "Amateur" now may mean poor or second rate: at one time it meant better than anything else because it was something done out of love.)

The attitude in Europe from my neighbors (late 1960's, admittedly), when I was working on something in the courtyard by the back garages, was:
"Who gave you permission to do that?"
"Can you really even be qualified to do this?"
"You need to have this inspected!"
"Why don't you have a professional involved?"

Attitudes like this drove me nuts, and I was glad to "rotate" back to the States.

A far as the pickup craze is concerned, some Europeans, i.e., Germans, have begun to absorb and embrace this unique slice of American culture. You may enjoy this little video, for example:
http://www.tfltruck.com/2016/11/rednecks-germany-around-1300-ram-pickup-truck-set-world-record-nurburgring/

==========================

Robert Ryan - - -

R: "You should know that as Denvermike you kept on complaining about those small midsizers and diesels"

To whom are you referring? Not me, I hope. (Because this PUTC Comment section has no ability to interleave responses under primary comments, you may have to add addressee to be unambiguous.)

To my knowledge, --- although I do have a fading memory --- I never was, am, or will be "Denvermike". I do remember some of his well thought-out comments on TTAC, however, and can only wish him well...

====================

Pickups are tools used for hauling and towing in Europe. Pickups are purchased due to need, not want. Unlike North America where so many pickups are used as a car and seldom perform any work or towing.

Pickups are tools used for hauling and towing in Europe. Pickups are purchased due to need, not want. Unlike North America where so many pickups are used as a car and seldom perform any work or towing.

AllAmerikan - - -

A: "Unlike North America where so many pickups are used as a car and seldom perform any work or towing."

Guilty as charged!
Of my three pickups, I EXPLICITLY bought one just to use as a daily driver, and NOTHING else.

Why? Because:
Better made (> more robust);
Taller (> ground clearance for snow);
Simpler in design (> less crap to go wrong and fail);
More reliable (> fewer trips to the dealer for repairs);
Lower depreciation rate (> more $$ at trade in);
More easily serviced (> I can do this at home conveniently);
Lower purchase price (> dinky sedans were even more $$).

Well, once I had it, the "Daily Driver" motive began to disappear, and I ended up using it for all sorts of projects anyway! I guess what I am saying is that a pickup truck gives people a lot of flexibility to do almost whatever they want with a vehicle, whether they use that flexibility fully or not.

I'd never leave home without one! (Oh, wait: I can't (^_^)...)

===================

Weird.

@NMGOM

I'm convinced that "AllAmerikan" (irony intended) is a commenter at PUTC who formerly chose to indentify himself under several other aliases.

The above referenced commenter seems to fall for the well worn idea that anything "European" is intrinsically superior to anything American. Like ripe cheese, it's not everybody's cup of tea.

Geez you guys make me laugh; I've lived in Europe for a few years late '90's (Italy, France, Germany) & more recently Switzerland (Lausanne);

Believe me there are many large American SUV's, trucks including all the large SUV's from Merc/BMW, VW/Audi) & even saw a few Vipers. One of Europe's biggest challenges is all the large container trucks that transverse throughout causing havoc with traffic & pollution (the Swiss bitch about all the time).

So wrong guys, Europe's roads are big enough for all size trucks, SUVs & trucks. If you venture out in the backroads/vineyards - just give way cordially...end of story.

However of course if you go into the small villages or even Paris, well good luck to find a parking for your full size truck or SUV......:-)

@Lionel
It is not much fun driving a Van on those glorified Garage entrances with blind spots everywhere. You do 40mph at your peril.
Did not see many SUV's " American SUV's ??

@Robert Ryan; of course not as many as European SUVs but it was not my point; European roads are large enough in general for all size vehicles & often much better condition/state & cleaner than most US freeways/highways.
Old farts like old papa jimbo should pull their heads out of their bu!!s & try traveling a bit - the truth is the US does not do everything well. Not knocking the US but Europe in many aspects are ahead with their public transportation, speed trains & freeways/highways...etc.



Post a Comment

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
  • Your email will not be shown.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Home | Buy or Sell a Truck | News | Special Reports

Powered by Cars.com. By using this site, you agree to our terms of service | © 2017 Cars.com | Privacy Statement | Contact Us