Fiat Fullback v Mitsubishi L200. Fiat Professional entered the European pickup market through a collaboration with Mitsubishi Motors and not, as many would have imagined, through sister brand Ram, which is world renowned for the Ram 1500. From the outside, it seems there’s very little that separates the Fiat Fullback and Mitsubishi L200, but is this the case underneath the skin?
Fiat makes no secret that the Fullback is based on the Mitsubishi L200 which, for over 30 years, has been a loyal servant to farmers, construction workers, landscapers, etc. across Europe. In many respects, it gives the Fiat Fullback more credibility.
This is one of the reasons why Fiat has taken the decision to limit the amount of aesthetic changes, as the L200 is already well known and respected, and all the main body panels and lights are exactly the same.
That said, Fiat Professional was keen to add a bit of Italian flair. The Japanese-inspired and, rather ugly-looking, vertical chrome grille on the Mitsubishi L200 has been replaced with a more stylish black, horizontal grille, while the air intakes and light positions on the front bumper are wider, and gives the Fiat Fullback a more rugged appearance.
The alloys are also different. The 12-spoke chrome alloys of the L200 have been replaced with a more attractive six-spoke black and chrome alloys that have been designed by Fiat, while there are a wide range of accessories, like the canopies and tonneau covers, that have been developed in-house by MOPAR.
Fiat Fullback v Mitsubishi L200: Interior
Like with the exterior, the Fiat Fullback and Mitsubishi L200 are almost identical inside, with only a small number of subtle differences separating the two. The dashboard and steering wheel design are the same, although the two models offer different seats. Both seats on the higher spec models are leather, electrically-adjusted and heated, although the L200’s are more comfortable and the Fullback’s are more attractive.
Fiat Fullback LX models feature a larger six-inch Kenwood touchscreen infotainment and satellite navigation system, although it is incredibly slow and counter-intuitive, whereas the Mitsubishi L200’s system is much more responsive and user-friendly.
Load area and towing
The load areas (1,470mm by 1,470mm) and towing capacities (3.1 tonnes) of the double-cab variants are exactly the same, although the Mitsubishi L200 has the option of a single and club cab models. These are only available on the basic trim level, but feature increased load lengths of 1,850mm on the club cab and 2,265mm on the single cab.
Engine and driveline
Mechanically, the Fiat Fullback and Mitsubishi L200 are identical. The sole engine option, Mitsubishi’s 2.4-litre (2,442cc) turbo-diesel unit, has two power ratings of 150hp/380Nm and 180hp/430Nm. There is also the choice between a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.
Price and running costs
All Fiat Fullback’s are double-cab and prices start at £20,995 plus VAT for the SX model, and extend up to £22,995 plus VAT for the LX model (there are just two trim levels). The Mitsubishi L200 starts at £17,999 plus VAT, £20,249 plus VAT for the basic 4Life double-cab and £24,299 plus VAT for the flagship Barbarian model.
Given that the L200 Barbarian has only slightly more equipment than the Fullback LX, but costs considerably more, and the Fullback SX has a lot more equipment than the L200 4Life but costs fractionally more, the Fullback works out at better value. They both have the same service intervals of 12,000 miles or one year, but the warranty is a lot longer on the L200 (five years/62,500 miles versus three years/120,000 miles).
Fiat Fullback v Mitsubishi L200 verdict
Unlike the badge engineered versions of the Nissan Navara (Renault Alaskan and Mercedes-Benz X-Class), it’s obvious that these vehicles are, largely, the same. The engine and driveline are identical and, aesthetically, Fiat has only changed the front bumper, grille and alloys – although they do give the vehicle a more attractive appearance. Spec-for-spec, the Fiat Fullback works out at slightly better value, although the service intervals are the same and the warranty is shorter.
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