2016 Fiat Fullback
Not counting Fiat Chrysler Auto’s Ram division, Fiat has been absent from the truck market. That’s all changing, however, as the Italian automaker is jumping head-first into the global midsize pickup market via a partnership with Mitsubishi. Yep, Fiat now has a badge-engineered version of the Mitsu Triton pickup.
Called the Fullback in reference to the critical position in both Rugby and American Football, the truck is designed to squarely compete with the Toyota Hilux, Nissan Navara NP300, Ford Ranger, and Chevrolet Colorado. Its intended market is EMEA region, otherwise known as Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Fiat is predicting its Fullback will find decent success in that market as there were 675,000 midsize, “medium-duty” pickups sold in there in 2014 alone. Though the final sales numbers for 2015 are still out, there is great potential the market will be even hungrier for these style trucks in 2016.
The Fullback will be offered in several different configurations with three engine choices delivering a total of five different power outputs. Both 2WD and 4WD version are offered. Single, Extended, and Double cab styles, along with three cargo bed lengths give customers the ability to configure the truck the way they want.
Fiat should have the Fullback ready for delivery by Fall 2016. Price, though unconfirmed, should be on par with the Mitsubishi Triton.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Fiat Fullback.
2016 Fiat Fullback
0-60 time:9.5 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:110 mph (Est.)
Side by side, it’s impossible to miss the twin-like similarities between the Fiat Fullback and Mitsubishi Triton. However, Fiat has massaged the edged, making the truck branded as its own. The grille now incorporates the Fiat logo, while the lower front fascia has an updated design. The fenders, doors, and cargo bed all appear to be carbon copies, assuredly keeping manufacturing costs down.
The Fiat Fullback does appear to have several higher-end finishings, including the alloy wheels, chrome accents, and bed-mounted roll bar.
Beyond aesthetics, the truck is built for work. It has respectable approach, breakover, and departure angles, while ground clearance is impressive.
Even more than the exterior, the Fullback’s interior is a mirror image of the Triton’s cabin. Only the Fiat badge on the steering wheel suggests a difference. Then again, if Fiat wanted to borrow a design, the Triton’s isn’t bad. The dashboard is clean and well designed, though it looks made from hard plastics and other low-budget materials. The gauge cluster is large and easy to read, as is the HVAC system and infotainment screen. 4WD trucks get an electronically controlled transfer case that is operated via a knob mounted on the center console.
Creature comforts on higher-end models include heated front seats, a USB drive and 12-volt power port, cruise controls, keyless entry, redundant radio controls, and automatic climate control system.
The Fullback has a total of three engine options, though each are tailored for certain markets. Showing up in the Middle East and Africa is a 2.5-liter diesel with the customer’s choice of either 110 or 178 horsepower, and a 2.4-liter gasoline four-cylinder that makes 132 horsepower. Both engines are available with either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.
Trucks headed to Europe and other markets will come standard with a 2.4-liter turbodiesel. It has two available outputs, which include a 150-horsepower version and a 180-horsepower version. The turbodiesel comes mated to either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic.
The truck can carry a maximum of 2,300 pounds, which is competitive in the segment.
Fiat has not released prices for the Fullback pickup, but we suspect prices will stay close to those of the Mitsubishi Triton. Expect the MSRP to fall around £23,000, or roughly $35,000 at current exchange rates.
The Hilux may be the Fullback’s biggest competition. Totally revised for 2016, the Hilux has a new exterior design, interior layout, and four engine options. Though it’s built for tough work, the Hilux is a good looking truck with a swanky interior that appears to rival that of the U.S.-spec Tacoma.
The engine list breaks down into two categories: turbodiesel and naturally aspirated gasoline; three are of the four-cylinder variety and one is a V-6. In the turbodiesel corner is a 2.4-liter that makes 160 horsepower and a 2.8-liter that makes 174 horses. The gas engines include a 2.7-liter four-cylinder that makes 164 horsepower and a 4.0-liter V-6 that makes 278 horsepower. The truck then rides on a fully boxed frame for added strength.
Read our full review on the Toyota Hilux here.
The Navara underwent its most recent refresh for 2015, and like the Hilux, came out looking much more upscale. The Nissan is still down for work, however, thanks to a variety of engines options, cab configurations, and bed lengths. Its interior is equally nice, looking like it was pulled from Nissan’s current parts bin.
The Navara’s base engine is a revised version of the 2.5-liter four-cylinder found in the older trucks. Now with more power and greater efficiency, the engine is a solid choice. For diesel lovers, the 2.5-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder offers more grunt for towing. It puts out 188 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque.
Read our full review on the Nissan NP300 Navara here.
The Fiat Fullback is an interesting truck that Fiat will likely make some decent cash on. It’s unknown what kind of deal Fiat worked out with Mitsubishi in this product-sharing gig, but it is surely mutually beneficial. It will be interesting to see how the Fiat truck fairs in the market, especially since it has no loyal customer base as backing. Every sale will be a hard-fought conquest from the competition.