Fiat Fullback Cross 2.4 180hp D-CAB
List price inc VAT £34,673 List price ex VAT £29,074
SHARING IS CARING, and there are a few examples of this in the pickup world. Mitsubishi, for example, leant its fifth-generation L200 to Fiat, which used it to create the almost identical Fiat Fullback.
Sitting at the top of the Fullback range, here we have the Fullback Cross, which sports some subtle cosmetic changes, including larger, 17in alloy wheels.
The result? Unfortunately for Fiat, it isn’t all good. The interior is decidedly drab, with cheap-looking plastic wherever your gaze falls – apart from the unexpectedly upmarket paddle shifters for the automatic gearbox. The driving position is also the worst here (tied with the L200), with a high-set seating position combining with a surprisingly heavily raked roofline to leave a restricted view forwards; a big chunk of what you see is taken up by the roof lining.
Rear head room is the equal worst of this group as well (the L200’s is no better), although the flipside is that rear leg room is palatial by class standards. Sadly, the Fullback has the narrowest load bed of all our pick-ups and its towing capacity is among the worst.
On the road, things don’t get any better. The Fullback’s steering is vague and imprecise, with the result that if you go down a broken B-road at speed, you’ll find the steering wheel jumping around in your hands, requiring you to make continual inputs to stay on course. The Fullback also has a very bouncy ride, crashing over the slightest hint of a bump, and while the ride calms down slightly when there’s a load in the back, it’s still among the worst here.
The 177bhp 2.4-litre diesel engine has a very agricultural sound to it, but it does at least quieten down at a cruise, and it pulls impressively. The gearbox feels similarly old-hat, being a fivespeed automatic while most of the other gearboxes here have more gears and shift more smoothly.
If your pick-up has to have a Fiat badge on it, we’d suggest sticking with the standard Fullback instead of the Cross; it isn’t any better but is at least cheaper to buy.
Fullback is one of the quickest here, but its engine sounds coarse; on-road manners are poor, with vague steering and a bouncy ride
1 Infotainment system is slow-witted – and there’s no Apple or Android smartphone mirroring 2 Wherever your hand falls, you’ll be disappointed by the quality of materials used 3 Useful A-pillar grab handles help those in the front to haul themselves up into their seat
Leg room is generous front and rear, but head room is tight; relatively narrow interior means three abreast in the back is a squeeze