Fiat Talento review

The Fiat Talento is the mid-sized van from Fiat Professional, sitting in between the small Doblo Cargo and large Ducato vans. With a choice of two wheelbases and two roof heights, the Talento offers load volumes of up to 8.4m³, making it one of the largest vans in the medium sector, and it is powered by a 1.6-litre diesel engine with four power ratings.

Overview

Prior to 1996, Fiat didn’t have a dedicated medium van. Instead, it offered the Fiorino small van and the Ducato, which straddled the medium and large segments.

From 1996, however, Fiat decided to partner with PSA (Peugeot-Citroen) to develop the all-new Scudo. The two companies had a successful large van partnership (known as SEVEL) extending back to the early eighties, with Fiat building the PSA’s large vans (the Peugeot Boxer and Citroen Relay) at Val di Sangro in Italy.

This new development would see PSA construct the new Fiat medium van – called the Scudo – alongside its identical vans (Citroen Dispatch and Peugeot Expert) at its factory in Valenciennes. The medium van venture was therefore named ‘SEVEL Nord’ and the large van venture ‘SEVEL Sud’.

This cooperation lasted two generations (an all-new Scudo was launched in 2006) but, for unknown reasons, Fiat walked away from PSA in 2016 and decided to partner with Renault-Nissan instead with the new model bearing the ‘Talento’ name.

Cab and interior

Fiat Talento interior
Fiat Talento interior

One of the first noticeable aspects of the Fiat Talento is just how high the seating positions are; a good 200mm higher than most others in this sector. The dashboard is very ‘clean’, uncluttered and well-thought out. The Talento is very spacious and can easily accommodate three average-large sized workers; something that can be a bit of a struggle in other mid-size vans.

There’s plenty of pockets and compartments dotted around the cab and the total storage capacity is measured at 90 litres! There’s also a number of innovative features, including the ‘mobile office’ which consists of a fold-down middle seat with detachable clipboard holder, concealed laptop storage space and under-seat storage.

Fiat Talento specifications

Fiat Talento specification
Fiat Talento specification

Mid-sized vans are increasingly offered in more trim levels, and the Fiat Talento is no exception with four lines to choose from (Standard, SX, Tecnico and Sportivo). Aimed at the fleets and utilitarian customers, the ‘Standard’ is fitted with nothing more than the bare basics like central locking, a 3-way adjustable driver’s seat with armrest, electrically-adjustable and heated door mirrors and daytime running lights.

Moving up to the SX, customers also receive air conditioning, colour-coded bumpers and mirrors, reverse parking sensors, a detachable clipboard and laptop holder, and a wide-angle mirror in the passenger visor that gives the driver a better view of the nearside. Tecnico’s are almost identical, except for the addition of a 7-inch touchscreen display with satellite navigation.

Sportivo models get 17-inch alloy wheels, start/stop, rear-view camera and metallic paint.

Fiat Talento dimensions

Fiat Talento dimensions
Fiat Talento dimensions

There are four load variants of the Fiat Talento; a L1H1, L2H1, L1H2 and L2H2. Short wheelbase (L1) models measure 4,999mm bumper-to-bumper and have a loadbed length of 2,537mm, while long wheelbase models are 400mm longer (5,399mm overall length and 2,937mm load length).

The Talento is 2,283mm between the door mirrors (1,956mm without door mirrors) and there is a standard load width of 1,662mm (1,268mm between the wheelarches).

However, for those opting for the load-through facility in the bulkhead (not standard on any model, but just a £30 extra), the maximum load length is extended to 3,750mm (L1) and 4,150mm (L2). There’s a full solid bulkhead and nearside loading door as standard.

Fiat Talento weights

Fiat Talento weights
Fiat Talento weights

There are two nominal gross vehicle weights on the Talento of 2.8t (10Q) and 3.0t (12Q), offering payloads of approximately 1,000kg and 1,200kg respectively. All variants have a standard towing capacity of 2,000kg.

Engine and driveline

The Fiat Talento is powered by single and twin-turbo variants of Renault-Nissan’s 1.6-litre R9M engine, with power ratings of 94hp, 119hp, 124hp and 143hp. A major drawback is the sole offering of a 6-speed manual; which is surprising given the growing demand for automatic mid-size vans. We found the entry-level 94hp model to be a bit gutless, and even though the 119hp provided a bit more kick, we’d thoroughly recommend the twin-turbo 124hp and 143hp for the perfect performance and economy mix.

Ride and handling

Unlike the agile and car-like Transit Custom and the Citroen Dispatch, the Fiat Talento feels like a ‘big van’. While this gives advantages like great all-round views, it means it doesn’t feel quite as connected with the road and there’s a noticeable amount of body roll going into the corners. Refinement isn’t the best either, and very little of vibrations generated by bumps in the road travel are cushioned out.

Cost of ownership

Running costs are quite low on the Fiat Talento thanks to a decent warranty, fuel consumption and long service intervals. On the bi-turbo models, fuel economy can be as high as 47.9mpg on the combined cycle and Fiat Professional’s warranty covers you as far as three years, or 120,000 miles. Service intervals are set at 20,000 miles or two years, although the residual values on Fiat commercials are quite poor.

Price and availability

Prices start at £20,795 plus VAT for the 94hp L1H1 10Q ‘Standard’ and extend up to £26,245 plus VAT for the 143hp L2H1 12Q ‘Sportivo’. The Fiat Talento is available from Fiat Professional’s network, which consists of a mixture of Fiat car and Iveco truck dealerships.

Fiat Talento technical information

Engine: 1.6 (1,598cc) R9M diesel engine

Performance: 94hp/260Nm, 119hp/300Nm, 124hp/320Nm and 144hp/340Nm.

Fuel economy: 42.2 – 47.9mpg

Load lengths: 2,537mm/2,937mm

Load height: 1,387mm/1,898mm

Load width: 1,662mm

Rear door aperture: 1,391mm by 1,320mm

Side door aperture: 1,030mm by 1,284mm

Between the wheelarches: 1,268mm

GVWs: 2.8-3.0t

Payload range: 1,074kg – 1,249kg

Load volume range (m³): 5.2 – 8.6

Warranty: 3-years, 120,000 miles

Starting price: £20,795 plus VAT

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