40 JULY 2016 PRO INSTALLER PRO MOTORING www.proinstaller.co.uk DOBLO OFFERS SOLID PERFORMANCE Here is the second in our feature looking at the pros and cons of various vans on the market. We’re taking them out for a spin and reporting back on all the good and bad bits. This month it’s the Fiat Doblo, already much favoured by installers. Thanks to Barnsley Commercial Vehicles who lent us the van. The van we’re driving is a 2013 Fiat Doblo 16V Mul tijet SWB (1.2 diesel) being offered at £4,495 plus VAT. Mileage is 64,961 and the van has had one owner. The vehicle is a plylined five speed manual diesel with central locking, driver’s airbag, electric windows, CD player, and power assisted steering. The van is immaculate inside and although the cabin ambience is somewhat heavy with all the hard, dark plastic trim material, it does look tough and hardwearing. PROS • Car-like driving characteristics • Punchy diesel engine • Terrific value and fun to drive • Plenty of usable space CONS • Boxy shape will not win beauty contests • Road and wind noise at higher speeds • Slightly sluggish in lower gears The 1.2 diesel engine is fantastic with fuel economy reckoned to be around 58 miles per gallon. Like Peugeot’s Partner and Citroen’s Berlingo, the Doblo is a small van which is a shrewd buy for those seeking practicality over performance. It is surprisingly good to drive and at moderate speeds feels agile and reassuringly rugged. The engine is refreshingly quiet on start-up and retains that unless given some welly on the revs. It delivers plenty of pull but body lean is marked at higher speeds and the boxy shape can kick up some wind roar on faster roads. The down to earth Doblo is unashamedly utility based and certainly not gadget laden but it is a comfortable ride. There is plenty of headroom and elbowroom and a good level of support in the seats which are raised for easy access. The Doblo drives more like a car than a van and has solid brakes, weighty, responsive steering and, in typical van style, generously sized door mirrors. Everything feels like it is built to be durable. That solidity can be a challenge though if you’re flagging after a long day – the rear doors do require a sizeable pull to shut. Overall though, the plentiful numbers of the Doblo in the commercial sector are something of an endorsement in themselves. A modest vehicle that won’t cost the earth to run and should hold a good proportion of its value. BARNSLEY COMMERCIAL SALES The business is at Wakefield Road, Barnsley, and supplies everything from a small van to a double cab tipper. Prices range from £3,000 to £20,000 but the company offers finance to suit most budgets. It deals in many ex local authority vehicles. General manager Wayne England, known for his humorous vehicle adverts, runs the business which has been going for 11 years. It has nine staff and two branches in Barnsley – one in town and one in Mapplewell. There are usually between 80 and 100 vehicles for sale at any given time and 340 vehicles in stock. The company prides itself on its prepping of vehicles – done to the highest standards. Most customers are self-employed people and among the most popular purchases is the Transit medium wheel base with a semi high roof.