- Great fuel economy
- Load volumes of up to 8.6 cubic metres
- Impressive engines and road manners
- Not the most powerful outputs
- Very little equipment on both trims
- 1,200kg maximum payload
Replacing the ageing Fiat Scudo, the Fiat Talento was launched in 2016 and is based on the reputable third-generation Renault Trafic. The Talento is a lot bigger than the Scudo, and offers load volumes between 5.4 and 8.6 cubic metres, although payloads are still set at a limiting 1,200kg.
The cab is smart and functional, although the equipment levels on both the standard and SX trim levels are poor compared with most medium vans. The 1.6-litre Renault-Nissan engine, which also features in the Mercedes-Benz Vito, is reliable and efficient but the maximum power output is just 145hp.
For a more in-depth look at the Fiat Talento, read on for the full Parkers review.
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The elevated seating position has a downside. The Fiat Talento’s centre of gravity is higher than most vans in its segment, which means it’s not as responsive and doesn’t feel quite as connected to the road as the Ford Transit Custom or Citroen Dispatch. It’s also quite bouncy although there is very little road or engine noise.
Under the bonnet is Renault-Nissan’s 1.6-litre diesel engine, which has four power outputs: 95hp/260Nm, 120hp/300Nm, 125hp/320Nm and 145hp/340Nm, the latter two of which use twin turbos to deliver more power and better efficiency.
Apart from the entry-level engine which can feel anaemic when loaded, all engines perform relatively well although there’s no option of a performance engine upgrade - these are starting to prove popular with owner-operators.
The high driving position gives a good all-round view and the cab is bright and spacious, although it does seem slightly bland and uninspiring. There is a big focus on practicality, with more than 90-litres of storage compartments and a straightforward and uncluttered dashboard.
Standard-grade models are very basic, with the small specification list consisting of just remote-control central-locking, electric windows, electrically-operated and heated door mirrors and DAB radio with Bluetooth, USB and auxiliary connectivity and steering wheel-mounted controls.
Upgrade to the SX trim level, and you benefit from air-conditioning, Viewplus (a parking camera which displays through a small screen in the rear-view mirror), rear parking sensors and a cloth upholstery.
There are also dash-mounted cradles for smartphones and tablets, a flip-down middle seat-back with a detachable clipboard and storage for a laptop. The small amount of equipment on both trim levels means there are a lot of optional extras, including cruise control, satellite-navigation and a touchscreen display.
Prices of the new Fiat Talento start at £19,975 plus VAT, which is around £1,500 more expensive than both sister vehicles, the Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro, while SX grade models will set you back an additional £1,000 at £20,795 plus VAT.
Residual values have yet to be announced, but Fiat vans are among the worst for retaining their original list price. Surprisingly, the most fuel-efficient variant is the twin-turbo 125hp engine, which achieved 47.9mpg on the official combined NEDC cycle. The least efficient variant is the 95hp output at 45.5mpg.
The Fiat Talento uses selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to meet the Euro-6 emission standard with a 20-litre Adblue tank which should last for around 6,000 miles. Service intervals are set at a lengthy 20,000 miles or two years.
Fiat vans still suffer from the poor perceived build quality of the previous generations, but users should be reminded that this is a van designed and built by Renault and based on the Trafic. The Trafic is seen as fairly reliable, and has featured in the FN50 list of most reliable vans on a number of occasions.
The 1.6-litre diesel engine is still quite new (developed in 2014), but there have been no major incidents reported and it also features in the Mercedes-Benz Vito. The Talento comes with Fiat Professional’s respectable three-year and 120,000-mile warranty.
Safety has clearly been a top priority for the development team and all versions are fitted with LED daytime-running lights, ABS with EBD (electronic brake distribution) and EBA (emergency brake assistance) in addition to a load-optimised ESC system with Hill Holder and Traction+ as standard.
However, there is still a lot of optional safety equipment too. Side and window airbags and trailer stability control (TSA) can be ordered, along with a parking camera and sensors for standard-grade models which don’t have them fitted as standard.