PROS: Low carbon emissions translate to road tax costs which are virtually non-existent. This is combined with outstanding fuel efficiency to deliver a vehicle which boasts environmental and economical benefits alongside high performance levels.
CONS: Insurance premiums fall under a higher bracket than the petrol variant and it is not the most attractive model on the market. Certain features such as cruise control, an alarm and rear parking sensors still cost extra which may surprise some drivers given the higher purchase price.
With a power output of 95 bhp at 4000 rpm and torque figures of 147 lb-ft at 1500 rpm, the Qubo 1.3 MultiJet 95 offers fantastic performance for an estate car and powers past the petrol model. The top speed is increased by a full 10 mph from the petrol version, achieving 106 mph whilst acceleration is exactly 3 seconds quicker, reaching 0-62 mph in 12.2 seconds. Fuel efficiency is also more impressive, achieving 68.9 mpg.
The 1.3 MultiJet 95 also offers lower carbon emissions of 107 g/km and the Trekking trim level comes with a more extensive range of in-car tech, making it well worth the additional money.
Drivability is also enhanced through the boosted performance which makes pulling away far quicker. Steering is quick and responsive and the grip on the road is strong whilst the high seating position within the cabin helps to keep the driver comfortable.
Power steering, central locking, electric door mirrors, electric front windows and MP3 connectivity with the stereo system are all standard features of the 1.3 MultiJet 95 but the list does not end here. Unlike the 1.4 Active petrol, this diesel model also offers alloy wheels and air conditioning as standard and even contains a sat nav system – an option which is unfortunately unavailable in the petrol model.
From the outside, the car looks a little bulky and relatively small windows could impair vision. However, the quality of the build is high and the car has a superior feel on the road which more than makes up for its unique sense of style.
Those wanting to give their Qubo a makeover can take advantage of a number of options from Fiat, with a metallic paint finish costing £460. Cruise control can also be added to improve handling and will set you back just £110.
The driving position is fairly high, making it feel more like a van than a car. However, the steering wheel is adjustable in terms of both height and reach which should help to make it more comfortable. Unfortunately the seats lack height adjustment which could cause problems for drivers at either end of the height scale.
The dashboard is systematically arranged, making operating controls easy and fluid. There are three trim levels available with the model – with Trekking being the most advanced. For the additional money you get an extensive range of kit although some drivers may expect more from the top-range model. Boot capacity is the same as the petrol model, with 330 litres offered with the seats up and 2,500 with the seats down.
In terms of safety, driver, passenger and front side airbags are all standard features and the car also benefits from an immobiliser and a three year warranty at 60,000 miles.
Priced at £15,000, this diesel model is well worth the additional £3,900 it costs over the 1.4 Active petrol. Not only does it provide a much better level of in-car technology but lower carbon emissions place it in road tax band B – making running costs cheap.
Good fuel efficiency also means refuelling will not be expensive and although insurance premiums are higher than in the petrol (falling under insurance bracket 8 as opposed to insurance bracket 2) this is easily outweighed by the other savings which are offered.
All in all, the Qubo 1.3 MultiJet 95 is a great MPV which is likely to depreciate slowly, keeping resale values high. The purchase price is still low and drivers get more than their money’s worth when it comes to performance levels and in-car tech.
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