It’s no secret that Europeans don’t typically indulge in the full-size truck models we enjoy here in the U.S. This may be why there’s substantial buzz about Fiat’s latest addition to their lineup, the Fullback Cross.
Fiat isn’t the only automaker to contribute to the 4×4 market in Europe. Mercedes and SsangYong also introduced new models. But, today we highlight the latest involving Fiat’s Fullback Cross, which originally debuted at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.
Notable features of the Fiat Fullback Cross
First, let’s break down the Fullback Cross‘s notable features. Under the hood is a 2.4-liter Mitsubishi engine capable of 180 hp. You have a choice in transmission, either the six-speed manual or the five-speed automatic. All-wheel-drive is engaged with an electronic selector, and torque management is controlled via a central differential that works three clutch modes.
The Fiat Fullback Cross has a payload of about 2,300 pounds and a towing capacity of around 6,800 pounds. Its safety-first design includes ABS, trailer stability, seven airbags, and lane departure warning systems. The average price for the standard model in Europe is $35,000.
What makes the Fiat Fullback Cross great?
Fiat stuck with the original design of the L200 when crafting the Fullback Cross. The interior features a durable plastic, ideal for rougher entry and exit use. Farmers seem to appreciate the rugged sensibility.
Fiat didn’t leave out the bells and whistles either. Drivers enjoy a host of extras, like lane departure warning sensors, reverse camera, and bi-Xenon headlights. Off-roading is a Fiat Fullback Cross’s strength, according to Farmers Weekly. It has decent ground clearance, and the narrower frame makes it effortless to steer.
What the critics say about the Fiat Fullback Cross
As far as trucks are concerned, any towing capacity less than around 7,700 pounds is viewed as a negative. There are some visible and fundamental flaws in the design and functionality of the Fullback Cross as well, causing critics to scratch their heads.
The sports bar, for example, offers no benefit whatsoever. The truck bed features no hooks or lash down points, almost essential for any working truck. Hot Cars listed the Fiat Fullback Cross as one of its worst buys of 2018, explaining that it would struggle in the U.S., especially considering the dismal acceptance of the Fiat L 500. (Consumer Reports voted the L 500 one of the most unreliable vehicles.)
Is the Fiat Fullback Cross coming to the U.S.?
Don’t hold your breath on a launch for the Fiat Fullback in America. It’s been a marginal addition at best in Europe. The American public may not welcome this one. In fact, earlier this year, Fiat Head of Brand Richard Chamberlain said that the Fullback sales had been slow, and the automaker was opting to discontinue production of the 2016-17 design.
The lackluster sales were attributed, in part, to the Euro 6 diesel emissions legislation. A refreshed version is planned for 2020, with upgrades that seem to tackle some of the critics’ former grumbles. With steep competition in the U.S. mid-sized truck market, Fiat acknowledged plans earlier this year to expand further into the Asian markets and maybe Mexico.
While it’s sleek design and notable features are worth it to Europeans, the Fiat Fullback Cross just isn’t ready to compete on American soil. Although, there were rumors that the Dodge Dakota may return in 2020 with the look of a Fullback. We’ll keep an eye out, just in case.