VEHICLE TEST: Fiat Doblò Cargo Maxi Autogas LPG conversion

VEHICLE TEST: Fiat Doblò Cargo Maxi Autogas LPG conversion

Alex Juggins gets behind the wheel of the Fiat Doblò Cargo Maxi Autogas LPG conversion, courtesy of Autogas, to discover why this cleaner type of fuel looks set to make a comeback in converted vehicles.

LPG is a mixture of hydrocarbon gases. Recent research suggests that there are already over 160,000 LPG-powered cars in the UK and that number looks set to increase as motoring costs continue to fuel consumer demand. Indeed, it’s hard to argue with the evidence, which shows that LPG can offer significant cost savings – as much as 40%.

Despite the increasing popularity of LPG, the majority of vans in the UK continue to run on diesel. As such, the Fiat Doblò petrol LPG conversion that we took for a spin is a rare beast. However, with the recent Supreme Court ruling in relation to poor air quality resulting from the use of diesel-powered vehicles, LPG vans may well become a more common choice. In light of this promising situation, Autogas is making a concentrated effort to highlight the untapped potential of gas power.

Autogas will essentially convert any vehicle with a petrol engine – although at this stage, the company is unable to convert diesel-powered vehicles. On a separate note, it’s worth knowing that converting your vehicle to LPG shouldn’t have an impact on your insurance premiums.

A brief inspection under the bonnet of our donated Doblò confirmed that you’d be forgiven for not noticing any tangible difference at all (and we certainly didn’t). Indeed, the difference between the LPG version and the standard petrol incarnation is minimal. The only slight teething problem caused by the conversion of the Doblò is that the gas tank is placed where the spare wheel would normally be housed. This is, however, something that Autogas is seeking to remedy in the future.

There are reportedly around 1,300 refuelling stations across the UK – and this number is expected to grow with demand. The beauty of driving a dual-fuel petrol/LPG conversion is that, when there are no LPG-selling stations nearby, the vehicle can be switched back to run on petrol if the gas runs out. That was certainly the case with this Doblò which, on our test runs, was able to swap seamlessly from gas to petrol while on the road, at the touch of a button – and the difference between the two fuels was unnoticeable.

Fiat Doblò LPG spec
Displacement: 1368 cm3
Power: 95 HP
Maximum torque: 127 Nm at 4500 rpm
Top speed: 100mph (161km/h)
NEDC consumption: 38.7 (7.3l/100 km) – 40.4 MPG (7l/100 km) with S&S
CO2 emissions: 169 g/km – 163 g/km with S&S
Emissions level: Euro 6
LPG Tank Water capacity: 64l
LPG capacity: 51.2l at 80% fill
Range: 300 to 340 miles

Related posts