From Tokyo to Turin: Meet the Fiat Fullback

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If you think that Fiat’s new Fullback is familiar, you’re not wrong. Essentially speaking, it’s an Mitsubishi L200 with a bit of a nose job, a case of what’s known as badge engineering. It’s the first entry from Fiat in the mid-size pickup segment, going head to head with the likes of the Toyota Hilux or the Nissan Navara, as well as the aforementioned L200. I test drove the L200 last year and was really impressed with it, from its handling on the road to its comfort, so I expected great things from the hulking black Fiat that served as my test model for the week. It didn’t disappoint.

Two things in particular impressed me about the Fullback, not counting its muscular and flowing physique, which I found a little more appealing than the L200. Firstly the acres of space, both inside and out. It’s a big machine, with a wheelbase of 3 metres and an overall length of 5.3m. Inside there’s comfortable seating for four adults and a skinny teenager, though it could do with a few more cubbyholes for storage, while the glovebox is a little cramped. Headroom is in abundance – you’d need to be pushing 7 feet to feel claustrophobic. Secondly, the fuel economy. Combined driving (with a less than light foot) resulted in an impressive 41mpg (6.9L/100km), which is by no means terrible for a beast with a kerb weight of 1,860kg and propelled along by a 2.4L diesel engine producing 180hp. If you tend to drive fast and without regard to your fuel spend, expect somewhere in the region of 34.7mpg (9.1L/100km).

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Mercedes’ new pickup truck: no Americans need apply

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Farmers, landscapers, builders and wannabe Americans with a passion for pickup trucks, listen up – by the end of the decade you’ll be able to drive around in style. Mercedes-style.

That’s right – the German automaker has announced it’ll be adding a mid-size pickup to its range by the end of the decade (with some help from Nissan). Its main markets, initially at least, will be Latin America, South Africa, Australia and Europe. Surprisingly, given our loveable stereotypes concerning Americans with Stetsons and bulging gun racks, the US won’t be in line for the new model whenever it arrives. Volker Mornhinweg, the moustachioed head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said quite pointedly that “we are not going to develop a fat cowboy truck for North America.”

Them’s fightin’ words.