Lower running costs and improved performance for Fiat’s biggest panel van
NEW Euro 5 compliant engines and a smart new cab interior are among revisions to the facelifted Fiat Ducato, which goes on sale this month.
The new engines mean the latest Ducato is cheaper to run than the model it replaces. The three power outputs from the previous Ducato’s three engines will be replaced by four outputs from two engine capacities on the new model. All the engines meet Euro 5 standards.
Prices start at £18,795 (ex-VAT) for the base model 30 Van 2.3-litre 110 MultiJet SWB – L1H1, rising to £22,545 for a 33 Van 2.3-litre 130 MultiJet L2H2 (medium wheelbase, high roof) model.
The biggest van, the 40 Maxi Van 3.0-litre 180 MultiJet Power L4H3 (extra-long wheelbase, extra-high roof) costs £29,695. Chassis-cab prices start at £21,645.
The previous entry level Ducato’s 2.2-litre 100bhp engine is replaced by a 110bhp 2.3-litre unit, which is 10% more powerful, and with 300Nm, has 20% more torque, yet is 10% more economical and has 11% lower CO2 emissions. Service intervals have also been lengthened from 25,000 to 30,000 miles.
The 130bhp version of the 2.3-litre generates 320Nm of torque at just 1,800rpm, while the 150 MultiJet II version the 2.3-litre engine develops 148bhp thanks to a variable geometry turbocharger. This makes a viable alternative to the previous generation 3-litre. Power is only 6% lower than the much bigger engine, yet maximum torque is a healthy 350Nm at 1,500rpm while consumption is reduced by 19%, CO2 emissions by 20% and weight by 40kg.
The most powerful engine in the Ducato range is the 3-litre 180 MultiJet Power unit. This achieves its maximum output of 177bhp at 3,500rpm and is 13% more powerful than the engine it replaces, making it the best-performing four-cylinder diesel engine in its class. It has the same 400Nm of torque as its predecessor but it’s available from 1,400rpm instead of 1,700rpm.
Payloads can vary between 1,000kg and 2,000kg including the driver, and van buyers have a choice between four lengths, three wheelbases and three heights. There will be eight different capacities of van ranging from 8cu m to 17cu m, as well as various lengths and GVWs of chassis-cab versions, giving converters and bodybuilders an enormous choice of base vehicle.
Fiat has given the interior of the new Ducato a thorough overhaul. The dashboard design now has a more car-like quality. It features an integrated radio/CD player with MP3 compatibility as standard and glossy black surfaces surrounding it. These combine with chrome effect plastic that makes elements such as the air vents, gear stick and ventilation controls stand out.
The sound system can be controlled hands free using the optional Blue&Me. It can also be connected to Bluetooth devices, an MP3 player and even a text reader. The intuitive Blue&Me user interface allows drivers to connect their mobile phones and MP3 players and control them and the sound system using either steering wheel or voice controls.
The upper central part of the dashboard has been redesigned to create space for the TomTom ‘my port’. Ducato owners can order the Blue&Me TomTom LIVE satellite navigation system, the result of a collaboration between Fiat and TomTom. It’s based on the popular TomTom Go1000 and sits in a purpose-built cradle that slots into the dashboard. This ensures the device is always fully charged when in the car but means it can also be removed for security or for the driver to use it away from the vehicle.
Similar facelifts are expected for the Ducato’s French siblings, the Citroen Relay and Peugeot Boxer. The three vans are built at the Sevel plant in Val di Sangro, Italy, and this year the plant celebrated 30 years of joint production between Fiat and PSA Group.
See the Ducato range
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