Commercial vehicles are definitely a forte of Italian automaker Fiat. Conclusive proof of this is the venerable Fiat Ducato panel van that has been reaping international acclaim and sales success for thirty years: the 2.2 million vehicles sold throughout the world since 1981 certainly tell their own story.
This Fiat Ducato offers a distinctive cutting-edge look; it ensures top-level comfort and performance; it offers a wealth of safety equipment; and it ensures low running costs. Not to mention the fact that load compartment access, productivity and payload are all world-class.
Ducato is powered by a 16-valve Multijet Common Rail diesel engine, with electronic high pressure injection. Power output of the 2.3-litre unit is 88kW @ 3600rpm while the torque peak of 320Nm @ 2000rpm is a further indication of the engine’s extraordinary versatility, responding instantly to the need for power, combined with extremely quiet running to optimise operational efficiencies from van and driver.
The Ducato boasts a long tradition of low fuel consumption, which has been further improved in the new Ducato thanks to thousands of hours of testing and millions of kilometres of road trials under all conditions. On the open road the Ducato uses just 6.8l/100km despite its ample size. In strictly urban conditions figures remain impressive at 8.8l/100km, while on the combined cycle the Ducato achieves an impressive economy figure of 7.5l/100km.
The load capacity and accessibility to the loading compartment are exceptional features of the Ducato.
The Ducato comes with a standard sliding side door with the option of a complementary second. The rear has two full-height side-hinged doors meaning every centimetre from the floor to the roof is open for loading and unloading goods. The doors open to 90 and 180 degrees. On request, rear doors are available that open to 270 degrees.
It is possible to load packages or pallets standing 1790mm high through the rear doors. The loading threshold is only 55cm from the ground, minimising the amount of lifting required.
Gross vehicle mass (GVM) is 3300kg for the short- and 3500kg for the medium-wheelbase Ducato and 4005 kg for the Ducato Maxi long-wheelbase. The mechanical characteristics of the Ducato Maxi mean that the maximum weight allowed on the front axle is 2100kg, while on the rear axle the figure is 2400kg.
Inside, the Ducato offers a car-like environment. The steering wheel position, gear-lever mounted on the dashboard, easily legible instruments and easy-to-reach, simple controls all ensure a comfortable drive that will not put undue fatigue on the driver.
The longitudinal position, height and back inclination of the driver’s seat can all be adjusted, while the entire cab has been designed to accommodate people of all shapes and sizes and allow them to work in complete comfort.
A whole series of compartments, niches, supports, writing surfaces and drawers mean that you can keep all your documents and the tools for day-to-day operation in order and always within easy reach. A host of other optional devices further increase the comfort of the Ducato, including – but not limited to – cruise control, fog lamps, radio CD player with MP3, parking sensors, My Port for Tom Tom and air conditioning.
Safety was a prime consideration in designing the Ducato with 120 crash tests and hundreds of tests on the components and sub-systems conducted in an effort to further increase the already impressive safety standards on the Ducato. The vehicle has been designed to absorb impacts with maximum effectiveness. It’s extremely stiff structure with programmed deformability, as well as the undeformable cab, ensure that passengers and cargo travel in maximum safety.
All the seats are fitted with three-point safety belts, with pretensioners and load-limiters. The dual-stage driver’s airbag comes as standard. A 120-litre passenger airbag (that also protects the central passenger of the two-seater bench, if fitted) is also available on request. The Ducato also features a twin-circuit braking system with four discs, ABS and EBD.
Mechanical and technological innovations mean that intervals between services are now even longer at 45 000km with an oil change needed every 22 500km.
A commercial driver’s license is not required to drive the Ducato, with either 3.3GVM or 3.5GVM range, consisting of the CH1, CH2 and MH2 that can be driven by anyone with a code 8 or EB driver’s licence.