At the Paris Motor Show later this month, Fiat Auto will be unveiling a compact new model called Doblò, which has been designed to be as easy to handle and as comfortable as a car, yet as spacious and versatile as an MPV.

The new model's watchwords are practicality and flexibility, and within overall dimensions of 4.16 metres in length and a 1.71 metre width it can seat five people in comfort, while also offering plenty of luggage space: 750 litres to parcel shelf level is a record in the MPV category.

The back seat can also be folded down to create 3000 litres of load space. This means that the vehicle can carry bulky equipment for sport, leisure or business activities.

The facia and passenger compartment feature a host of storage spaces, (including a shelf above the windscreen), so everything is always within easy reach.

The new model's strong points include accessibility, a large glazed area and an interior that's characterised by user-friendliness and generously sized sliding side doors. The seats are also just the right height off the ground so passengers can get in and out with ease.

Doblò has been designed to create a new benchmark within its market segment, and it also stands for preventive, active and passive safety. Full control in all road conditions is assured by outstanding handling and roadholding. The body has been subjected to all the toughest and most stringent crash safety tests, and has passed with flying colours. It already complies with some even tougher anticipated future requirements.

On the passive safety front, the new model offers up to six airbags: two at the front, two at the side and two window bags.

Broad bumpers, side strips and headlamp inserts also safeguard the Doblò against minor knocks and scrapes.

Attributes such as practicality, space, comfort and safety also make the Doblò a formidable light commercial vehicle. The LCV version, (Fiat Doblò Cargo), boasts all the handling and comfort of a car, low running costs and a record-breaking load capacity for its segment.

Doblò Cargo offers:

3.2 m³ volume, rising to 3.8 m³ in the high roof version, which is due to be introduced later;
two payloads: 625 and 805 kg;
twin hinged asymmetrically split rear doors;
a 70 cm wide sliding door (also a record in its category), available on both sides of the vehicle.
The Doblò and Doblò Cargo offer a vast array of versions to meet all needs: there will be 26 body configurations (with 3, 4 or 5 doors), divided into two specification levels for the Doblò (SX and ELX) and two for the Doblò Cargo (basic and SX).

The vehicles will become available with four engine options: a 65 bhp Fire 1.2 8v petrol unit and a 63 bhp 1.9 D normally aspirated diesel. These are to be joined later by a 103 bhp 1.6 Torque 16v unit, and a 100 bhp 1.9 JTD unit.

Ten exterior colours will become available, plus a wide range of options and accessories.

The new model is a perfect base for a wide variety of applications: vehicles with specially lined and equipped load compartments, insulated vehicles for carrying perishable goods, mobile workshops or police vehicles.

Doblò and Doblò Cargo go on sale in left-hand drive markets from November, and will become available in the UK early next year.