£12,000 - £15,800 Price range
40 - 68 MPG
The Fiat Qubo is a small MPV that’s very practical, with a strong emphasis on value for money.
The reviews aren’t overly positive, but critics generally agree it’s easy to drive, easy to keep clean, and cheap to buy.
Some don’t like the looks, but others think it looks quite funky. If you’re a fan of its appearance, then you’ll probably like the Qubo for what it is: a versatile family car.
You sit high and upright in the Qubo, which is probably what you’d expect given its commercial roots. The fact it’s based on a van is not necessarily a bad thing though, with most testers remarking on the huge amount of room that it gives.
Owners will also appreciate the practical sliding rear-side doors, a feature makes a huge difference in everyday use – and removes stress by eliminating the possibility of your children opening the door into the side of another car!
The Qubo is all about practicality, and to prove this there is a tough rubber floor that you can sweep and mop up dirt from with ease.
The Qubo is nice to drive according to the reviewers, with one saying that it has a “supple ride with good roll stiffness” and another remarking that it was “nimble”.
One thought that it “fidgets” on rough roads but all said that it drove like a car rather than a van, which is good news if you’re thinking of swapping your hatchback for one!
Something that can’t be hidden is the Qubo’s origins as a Fiorino van, as the driving position at least, still makes it feel like you are driving a commercial rather than a passenger vehicle.
There are two versions of a 1.3-litre diesel engine and a 1.4-litre petrol engine available, with most reviewers suggesting that the torquey and economical diesel engine suits the Qubo best.
The midrange 75 bhp Multijet diesel will probably the one most buyers will go for, and it appears that it performs quite a bit better than its 16.5sec 0-62mph and 97mph top speed would suggest.
The top of the range engine is the 95 bhp Multijet that develops 147 lb/ft of torque, which cuts the 0-62 mph time down to a more respectable 12.2sec and raises the top speed to 106mph.
The 1.3-litre diesel engine develops 75bhp and is “a bit of a gem” according to one motoring journalist, who went on to say that it propels this car “far more effectively than the modest official performance figures suggest”, thanks, no doubt, to the healthy 140lb ft of torque that is available.
The figures in question, which aren’t that impressive to read, are a 0-62mph time of 16.5 seconds and a top speed of 96 mph; ”enough power, not a surplus” in the words of another reviewer.
The fuel consumption is officially recorded as 62.8 mpg, and 50mpg should be within easy reach of every owner. The CO2 emissions are 119g/km, so the Qubo qualifies for cheap, rather than free, car tax in the UK.
The 1.4-litre petrol engine gives similar performance to the diesel engine on paper (a 0-62mph time of 16.2 seconds and a top speed of 96mph) but doesn’t feel half as nice to drive apparently.
The problem is that it only develops 87lb ft of torque – and torque is by far the more important figure in everyday use. The engine struggles as a result and has to be driven hard to get reasonable performance from it. This means that the fuel consumption suffers; Fiat reckon that you can get mpg but 40mpg is much more likely.
The diesel engine is much more flexible and economical and is the engine to go for in the opinion of most of those who have driven the car with both engines.
The Qubo hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP yet, so there’s no official rating for us to judge its safety by.
Cars the shape of the Qubo don’t look particularly stable and safe, but the standard levels of safety equipment aren’t too bad at all here. The Qubo comes with ABS, electronic brake-force distribution, and an electronic stability programme as well as six airbags.
Although the Qubo may not be as big on safety features as some more expensive rivals, it certainly doesn’t appear under-equipped in that respect, especially for the price.
If you are looking for a funky, practical and economical people-mover, then you really shouldn’t ignore the considerable charms of the Fiat Qubo.
The Qubo is huge value for money. The initial purchase price is low, it has decent levels of equipment and its strong image should help resale values. It’s cheap to run and tax too.
Practical cars are often sought-after on the used market, which coupled with the fact that you don’t see many of these on UK roads adds up to fairly reasonable resale values.
The purchase price and running costs are low, and the Qubo is hugely practical for a family of four or five people, while still being enjoyable to drive.
It’s not the fastest thing in the world, but it’s decently nimble and sprightly – and even “cool” and “funky” according to the experts! Not as bad as you were thinking, we bet.
Sound like your kind of car?
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