Fiat Scudo The All-purpose People Carrier

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Easy to load and great to travel in, the Scudo offers a flexible balance of style, comfort and functionality

South Africa at last gets Europe’s best! The new Fiat Scudo, Europe’s current Van of the Year, is officially launched by Fiat Professional in the guise of the 8 or 9-seater Combi version.

This means that Fiat Professional, the light commercial vehicle wing of Fiat Group Automobiles, now boasts a very well rounded range of vehicles ranging from the Strada ¾ -ton bakkie to the 19-seater Ducato The new Scudo slots in just under the Ducato and offers the ultimate in flexible passenger transport, for both professional and private use.

The Scudo Combi is the ideal vehicle to transfer business clientele (hotel/airport shuttles, rentals with driver), but it’s equally as user-friendly for large families looking for the comfort and styling typical of a people-mover.

In short, the Scudo is for those individuals who need the convenience of an MPV in a vehicle that has compact external dimensions, is agile in traffic, easy to handle in parking manoeuvres, as comfortable as a car, but as sturdy, economical and reliable as a commercial vehicle.

According to Roberto Nobili, Fiat Professional Country Manager: “The new Scudo reconciles car-like performance, agility and comfort with the spaciousness, flexibility, reliability and productivity of a light commercial vehicle.”

Styling

The front conveys an impression of sturdiness and solidity, which is highlighted by the wrapround bumper. The front light clusters, which include the direction indicators, have clear lenses and an elongated shape that makes the vehicle more dynamic.

The rear end has square lines that immediately tell you that this vehicle is capacious and easy to load.

The sleek line of the sides, and the styling typical of an MPV, gives the New Scudo a strong stylistic dynamism; the large side rubbing strips, wrapround bumpers and door handles speak of strength and solidity, the sturdy moulding on the sides emphasises the length of the vehicle and transmits a sense of the solidity of the sheet metal; while the double sliding doors with openable windows highlight the Scudo’s practical side.

Options include attractive 16″ alloys, park distance sensors, metallic paint and the Integral Pack (body-coloured bumpers, side mouldings, electrically folding exterior mirrors and front foglights).

Interior and Safety

Inside, the new Scudo styling embodies modernity, comfort, quality and practicality. The facia has a two-tone treatment that enhances the styling and good looks more typical of a saloon than of a working vehicle.

The interior is well lit and visibility is excellent. The practicality of the cab is made even more interesting by the many oddment compartments: from the ceiling-high ‘capucine’ shelf to the locking glove compartment (refrigerated) in the facia, the door panels, the oddment compartment in the console and the cupholders on the facia.

Of course, the Scudo’s whole raison d’etre is its ability to haul human cargo – eight or nine depending on which spec you choose. Up front there are two individual seats but a two-seat bench for passengers is available as an option. In the rear there are two rows each with three seats.

Rear seats are set slightly higher so that passengers enjoy the same commanding vista as those in front. All seats come with height-adjustable head restraints and 3-point retractable seatbelts. Although the cargo bay is incredibly roomy, ingenious design means that you can totally remove the seats or reconfigure them to reshape the interior for every task.

Comfort features abound including electric front windows, a stereo system with steering controls, remote central locking, air conditioning with separate controls for the front and rear, heated and electrically adjustable side mirrors, power steering and electronic headlamp adjustment.

On the safety front dual front airbags are standard as is ABS with EBD.

Power to the people

Comfort on the road also means being able to count on a sparkling engine with smooth torque delivery – in this regard the Scudo doesn’t disappoint.

The 2.0-litre Multijet delivers a maximum of 88 kW at 3600 rpm and peak torque of 300 Nm at 2000 rpm. The secret of this Common Rail turbodiesel is the second generation Multijet system; this is the state-of-the-art technology that manages high injection pressure independently of the engine speed and the quantity of fuel injected.

Compression is not linked only to engine speed but to several parameters which are communicated to the control unit by specific sensors (air and diesel fuel temperature, engine revs, position of the accelerator, brake and clutch pedals, vehicle speed, air and diesel oil pressure).

The key element of this system is the electronic control unit, which commands a series of injections very close together (hence the name ‘Multijet’). During each engine cycle, there may be as many as five injections instead of the usual two. Inside the cylinder, the same quantity of diesel fuel is burned, but it is broken down into numerous small bursts, making combustion more gradual.

This guarantees ‘smoother’ operation in all use situations, outstanding elasticity and prompt reactions that make these engines very similar to petrol engines. The other advantages include quiet operation, reduced emissions and boosted performance, accompanied by engine efficiency that improves the driveability of the vehicle.

The 2.0 Multijet is mated to a smooth, precise six-speed gearbox.

The suspension layout adopted on the New Scudo gives the driver total control over the vehicle’s movements, guaranteeing stability, prompt reactions and pinpoint steering at all times, in all load conditions.

The front suspension is of the MacPherson type, with triangular lower struts and an anti-roll bar. The adoption of an independent wheel system allows strict control of the geometry which in turn means excellent behaviour on the road, outstanding comfort and a significant reduction in tyre wear.

The rear suspension is of the ‘torsion axle’ type, i.e. with a semi-deforming rear axle and Panhard bar.

Key Specs

  • Number of cylinders, arrangement 4 in line
  • Capacity cc 1997
  • Valves 16
  • Bore x stroke (mm) 85 x 88
  • Compression ratio 17.5:1
  • Power output (bhp) 120
  • Power output kW (EC) 88 / 3600 rpm
  • Peak torque (Nm) 300 Nm / 2000 rpm

Fuel Diesel fuel

Fuel supply Multijet Common Rail direct injection with electronic control and turbo Ignition

By compression

  • Injection pressure (max.) 1600 bar
  • Type of turbine Variable geometry
  • EGR yes
  • EOBD yes
  • Intercooler yes
  • DPF no
  • Emissions control EURO 4
  • CO2 emissions (g/km) 194
  • Combined consumption    7.2 l/100 km 0 to 100 km/h    12,8 secs
  • Drive front-wheel
  • Clutch Self-adjusting with pedal with no idle stroke
  • Gearbox no. of speeds    Transmission    6 speeds + reverse (synchronisers to engage forward speeds)
  • Steering type    rack and pinion
  • Turning circle    12.59

Braking system

  • Front brakes ventilated discs
  • Rear brakes discs
  • Front suspension independent MacPherson type
  • Rear suspension torsion axle with coil spring (independent)
  • Safety Driver’s airbag

ABS incorporating EBD or Electronic Brake Distribution (distributes the braking effort over the four wheels so as to prevent them from locking, and to guarantee total control of the vehicle at all times).

Also includes HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assistance) which provides electrohydraulic braking assistance that automatically increases the pressure of the braking circuit during panic braking.

Interior

  • Boot capacity (seats in place)
  • 770 L to window height
  • 1239 L to ceiling height
  • Both rows of seats foldable and removable
  • “Cinema” seating arrangement 2nd row is raised 7 cm above the front row
  • 3rd row is raised 3 cm above 2nd row
  • Modular seating up to 15 different seat combinations
  • Comfort features electric front windows, remote central locking, heated and electrically-adjustable side mirrors, power steering, electronic headlight adjustment and the stereo system with satellite steering controls.
  • Climate control separate temperature control (for driver and rear passengers)

Pricing & Servicing

  • Recommended retail R363 100*

Options

  • 16″ Alloys R4 240*
  • Metallic paint R3 120*
  • Front passenger bench seat R1 060*
  • Body colour pack R3 710*
  • Side airbags R2 120*
  • Park assist (rear) R2 120*

* VAT inclusive / Date effective – 1 Feb 2009

Enhancing the ownership prospect, the new Fiat Scudo, as with other premium products in the Fiat stable, has 30 000 km service intervals and enjoys full after-sales support in South Africa thanks to a comprehensive parts inventory (housed and distributed in an all-new, state-of-the-art facility) and the back-up of trained technicians at Fiat dealerships countrywide.

Fiat Auto South Africa offers a three-year 100 000 km Warranty (three years on paintwork and five years on rust anti-perforation) as well as a standard five-year 100 000 km service plan.