The Fiat Qubo is an odd looking creation. Based on the Fiorino panel-van its a mini MPV in the style of the Renault Kango. But they’re not a huge seller in the UK, even though they do sell quite well in Europe (where there is more choice of these mini-mpv panel-van creations). But it’s relatively cheap and can carry as much as, well – a van!
But as all things ‘Eco’ are the name of the game at the moment (which we’re all in favour of – just don’t use ‘Man-Made Climate Change’ as the reason) Fiat are bolting on their eco:Drive system to the Qubo – but don’t worry it will shove the price up if you’re thinking of getting one – it’s a freebie.
The Fiat eco-Drive started out with a launch on the Fiat 500 earlier in the year, and is now available on not just the 500, but the Grand Punto and the Bravo. Basically, it’s a USB stick that you plug in to the car which can then be read by software to tell you how badly you’re driving. And the truth is it works.
We were always sceptical about just how much difference driving style can make to economy. Yes, maybe a few miles to the gallon, but no more. But when we did a review of the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic recently, we went out and played eco-driver for 50 miles. During the test we’d averaged mid 50s mpg, but on the ‘Eco’ drive – which was as boring as hell – we managed 76mpg, which is damn nearly 45% saving. You probably won’t do that – cars tend to get pushed harder than normal when on a road test – but we reckon a 30% saving by changing your driving style is do-able.
So if you don’t mind driving as if you’re towing a caravan with a pipe in your mouth and leather patches on your elbows, you can save a shed load of money on fuel.