The new Fiat Qubo, that’s Qu-Bo!

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The new Fiat Qubo, that’s Qu-Bo!

I recently got behind the wheel of the new Fiat Qubo, pronounced “qu-bo”. This funky little MPV packs a lot of space behind its somewhat misleading façade. It stands 1735 cm tall, and boasts up to 2500l of luggage space with a highly flexible, removable seating design. It in no way claims to be a sports car, but rather bringing fun and style to the MPV range so that soccer moms and small business owners aren’t only restricted to expensive SUV’s or ugly vans. What the Qubo does also bring with it, is a range of creature comforts and clever features to make your travels more convenient.

The Qubo is introduced into the SA market with a 1.4 8v petrol, and a 1.3 MultiJet Diesel version, and There is a definite “cuteness factor” to this little pocket rocket. Aside from its stocky build and cheeky appearance, it also comes with a range of “Qubo family” stickers. A quirky collection of stick figure stickers to represent any family dynamic, big or small, and proudly displayed on your rear window.

From an economic point of view, the Qubo is a sturdy segment competitor with fuel consumption of around 4,6l/100 km and a 3 year/100 000km warranty and service plan, with service intervals of 20 000km.

 

What I liked:

As a tech enthusiast, I loved the ‘Blue&Me’ feature – which I spotted as soon as I took post behind the wheel. A built in USB port which automatically connects your smart phone to your sound system, and charges it at the same time. No more pesky cigarette lighter chargers and you can play your favourite tracks straight from your phone, all controlled from the multi-function steering wheel.

The sliding rear doors – Light as a feather, and given the target market makes getting kids, groceries  and just about anything else in and out of the car a breeze.

I also liked the funky look of the Qubo. It was playful and vibrant with it’s colours while not losing any practicality.

A few Niggles:

Personally the power factor was a problem, with 54kW in the petrol and an ever so slightly higher 55kW in the diesel; it took some time to get into the flow of things, but was a steady ride once in higher revs.

Being a big guy (6 foot 4), I found the location of the gear stick a little too close for my long arms, but nothing the convenient armrest couldn’t make up for.

The rear windows are hinge windows rather than being the usual sliding type, which means they only open a few centimetres.

 

Let’s talk Specs:

 

1.4 8V (PETROL)

 1.3 MultiJet 16V (DIESEL)

Price

R177 990

R199 990

No. of cylinders, arrangement

4, in line

4, in line

Capacity (cc)

1360

1248

Max EC power: kW @ rpm

54 @ 5200

55 @ 4000

Max EC torque: Nm  @ rpm

118 @ 2600

190 @ 1500

Fuel system

Phased sequential Multipoint electronic injections with returnless system

Electronically controlled ‘Common rail’ MultiJet direct injection with supercharger and intercooler

Gearbox: no. of gears

5+ reverse

5+ reverse

Fuel tank capacity (l)

45

45

Top speed (mph)

155 km/h

155 km/h

FUEL CONSUMPTION
Urban cycle (l/100 km)

8.2

4.9

Extra-urban cycle (l/100 km)

5.6

3.6

Mixed cycle (l/100 km)

6.6

4.1

CO2 emissions (g/km)

152

107

Comparison:

The most obvious competitors in this segment would be Citroen C3 Picasso; Honda Jazz; Kia soul; Nissan Grand Livina; and Suzuki SX4.

Info

Fiat Qubo 1.3 multiject

Citroen C3 Picasso VTi 120

Honda Jazz 1.3 comfort

Kia Soul 1.6

Nissan Grand Livina 1.6 Acenta

Suziki SX4 2.0

Price

R199 990

R231 900

R182 000

R196 995

R200 800

R237 900

Power (kW)

55 kW

88 kW

73 kW

95 kW

80 kW

112 kW

Transmission

5 gear manual

5 gear manual

5 gear manual

6 gear manual

5 gear manual

6 gear manual

 

Although less power than some of the other players, the Qubo makes up for it with sheer attitude and personality. The Qubo is also a highly spec’d vehicle, with almost everything except metallic paint as standard features.

 

Overall the Fiat Qubo is a fun entrant to the MPV market, and the brand seems to be quite comfortable with its market positioning. The fiat is a multi-purpose family car aimed to make life easier for the daily commuter and soccer mom. It’s a value for money buy, and will get the job done in style and comfort.

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