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Fiat's new Talento is the latest van to be based on Renault's Trafic, joining the Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro. It is effectively identical to its donor model under the skin, although Fiat has made cosmetic changes by introducing a more horizontal design to the nose and including LED headlamps on the bumper.
The Talento has inherited many of the Trafic's clever innovations, including the load-through hatch in the bulkhead at the base of the passenger seat, which allows a load length of up to 3.75m in standard and 4.15m in LWB versions.
The 'mobile office' requirement is fulfilled by a fold-down central passenger seat. Standard on SX trim, this costs £170 on base models. SX, which has a £1000 premium over the entry model, also gets aircon (otherwise a £720 option), rear parking sensors and full wheel covers.
The maximum load volume of 6.0m3 offered by the Talento's predecessor, the Scudo goes up to 8.6m3, with a maximum payload of 1249kg, up slightly on the Scudo's 1212kg upper limit.
Four Euro6 diesel engines - two single-turbo and a pair of twin-turbo powertrains - are available, with outputs ranging from 95hp to 145hp. All require topping up with AdBlue. We drove the most powerful 1.6-litre twin-turbo Ecojet with an output of 145hp.
It provides impressive responsiveness across its full range and works smoothly with the slick, six-speed manual gearbox that is standard across the line-up. It is particularly happy on long motorway slogs, so operators more usually engaged in urban work may prefer the 125hp twin-turbo or either the 95hp or 120hp single-turbo.
These smaller engines are not, however, the most economical, with best official consumption of 46.3mpg and CO2 of 160g/km being matched by the 145hp unit. The most frugal honour goes to the 125hp twin-turbo with figures of 47.9mpg and 155g/km.
The trouble with basing a new van on a product that's been on sale for a couple of years is that in the meantime the competition ups its game. Peugeot and Citroen now claim economy of 55.3mpg and CO2 of just 133g/km for their new Expert and Dispatch medium vans, while Ford cites best official consumption of 49.6mpg for the Transit Custom.