Launched in 2008, the Fiat Qubo was a completely new vehicle and occupied a new segment, not really replacing any existing model. Based on the Fiorino small-van, the Qubo was positioned as an economical small-MPV, versatile and functional with less emphasis on style. It is a joint venture with PSA (there being also Peugeot and Citroen versions of the same vehicle) and is built at the TOFAS plant in Bursa, Turkey.
Based loosely on the Grande Punto platform, it features a conventional front engine, front-wheel-drive layout, with MacPherson suspension at the front and a torsion beam at the rear end. The engines are taken from both parent companies, the 1.4 8v petrol engine with 73bhp is a French (PSA) unit, whilst the 1.3 16v MultiJet diesel with 75bhp is the ubiquitous Fiat unit. Both units came coupled to 5-speed transmissions, the diesel also being available with a robotised ('Dualogic') gearbox.
The design incorporates various features designed to increase the usability and flexibility of the vehicle. The rear doors on both sides are the sliding type, the reat seats are modular (with a total of sixteen different arrangements possible) and even the front passenger seat can be folded flat. A large number of storage compartments make living with the car easier, and bars ont he roof enable bulkier equipment to be carried externally.
Small and compact, it offers all the advantages of manouevrability, low fuel consumption, emissions and running costs, whilst internally (showing its van heritage) it is exceptionally spacious, especially in terms of headroom. The driving position has excellent visibility and the dashboard, being designed for commercial operations where drivers spend much more time int he vehicle, is ergonomically excellent.
As with any new car of this age, safety is important, and as well as the now standard ABS, 3-point seatbelts with pretensioners, etc, the Qubo also has 4 airbags as standard and ESP available as an option. Other options include the advanced Blue&Me (phone plus USB input) system, alloy wheels, climate control, leather steering wheel, etc. At launch there were two trim levels available.
Versions added after the launch include the Trekking (diesel engines only), based around an electronic differential, using the ESP to improve traction and the Natural Power version. This latter is a dualfuel version, powered by either petrol or methane, using Fiat's 1.4 8v 77bhp engine. A 95bhp version of the 1.3 MultiJet was also added to the range later. All engines are Euro5, whilst the diesels also have Start&Stop as standard.
Driveline transverse engine at front with front wheel drive Engines 1368cc (72x84mm) 8v (PSA) sohc four cylinder with 73bhp @ 5,200rpm and 118Nm @ 2,600rpm
1368cc (72x84mm) 8v sohc four cylinder (dualfuel) with 77bhp
1248cc (69.6x82mm) 16v 4 cylinder dohc MultiJet turbo diesel with 75bhp @ 4,000rpm
1248cc (69.6x82mm) 16v 4 cylinder dohc MultiJet2 turbo diesel with 95bhp
Suspension front : MacPherson strut with telescopic dampers and coil springs
rear : torsion beam axle with telescopic dampers and coil springs
wheelbase : 2513mm
track (front/rear) : 1462mm/1464mm
Brakes front : ventilated discs, diameter 257mm (with Dualogic 284mm)
rear : drums, diameter 228mm (petrol) or 203mm (diesel)
handbrake operating on the rear via a cable
ABS, EBD, plus ESP on some models
Gearbox 5 speed manual or robotised
dual cable gearshift mechanism and hydraulic clutch
Steering Rack and pinion
electrical power assistance (Dualdrive)
Kerb Weight 1255kg (1.4 73bhp) and 1275kg (1.3 75bhp) Dimensions length / width / height (mm) : 4340 / 1790 / 1490
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