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Commercial vehicles are considered to be dual-purpose solutions. They serve both as passenger carriers so freight haulers. Fiat cut teeth on professional cars, having in store a lineup of praise-worthy vans & trucks. Its Ducato is an example many manufacturers try to emulate. Nonetheless, it’s quite difficult to reproduce the same quality as well as exquisite design each model boasts. Fiat Ducato review says it all.
Specs & Styling
The 2016 Fiat Ducato is designed in three body styles – passenger carrier, goods van and chassis van – each featuring various dimensions. Hence, van’s specifications differ from model to model:
- dimensions: from 4963 mm to 6363 mm (length), 2050 mm (width), from 2254 mm to 2764 mm (height);
- wheelbase: 3000 mm, 3450 mm or 4035 mm;
- top speed: 145-155 km/h;
- weight & capacity: all-up weight – 2500-4000 kg, payload – 560-1825 kg, trunk capacity – from 8 to 17 m3.
The combi version of the van might have 5-9 passenger seats, goods only modification comes with simplex (4 occupants) or binary cabin (7 occupants) layout, whereas passenger version offers space for 8/9 occupants. The chassis of the passenger Ducato houses an innovative sliding side door with perfect maneuverability.
New Ducato is distinguished by a wider hood with a larger grille, a three-piece bumper and LED headlights. The grille ensures free access to the engine compartment & provides for a better airflow; the folding bumper is easy to remove, if necessary; LED clusters secure 40% more light efficiency and better fuel consumption.
Engines & Performance
All modifications of Fiat Ducato are available with 4 different powertrains. Thus, each van is furnished with MultiJet II turbo-diesel engines which produce 115/130/150/180 horsepower. They are paired with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed Comfort-Matic robotic manual transmission. The latter features Load Adaptive Control system; it signalizes about heavy load and adjusts the gears accordingly. Besides, it offers three driving modes (manual, automatic or automatic Up) to better suit your business needs.
According to the test-drive results, Ducato has shown the best-in-class efficiency index. At average, it consumes 6.3 liters of fuel per 100 km, saving up to 15% on urban driving with Start/Stop system enabled (on the short wheelbase). Long wheel-based trucks might consume 7.7 or more liters per 100 km, still showing competing efficiency results.
It’s impossible to omit interior configuration aspect in Fiat Ducato review. The cabin is spacious and functional. There is an integrated bulkhead to separate the passengers from the freight compartment and protect them from accidental errant items. The bulkhead also improves acoustic efficiency as well as ventilation.
The cabin boasts myriads of storage niches: a roomy glove-box, deep bottle holders (with a chiller), a phone holder, cup-holders, and a tablet holder. The middle passenger seat can be folded down into a desk with a document clip. A super-wide windshield is replenished by external mirrors which feature standard & wide-angle view.
The driver’s seat deserves special attention. It’s a comfortable saddle with multiple adjustments. The driver can adjust the height of the seat, the angle of the backrest, move frontwards and backwards, change the position of the armrest and the steering wheel. Optionally, the seat might be equipped with heating, ventilation & lumbar support. Moreover, the customer may choose between fabric, velvet or leather upholstery.
To continue, the dashboard is offered in three trims: basic plastic, Techno and with wood finish. All controls are easy to reach. The central stack accommodates 5-inch touchscreen that allows managing Bluetooth phone calls, Uconnect radio, MP3 player, SMS, voice commands, climate control, MyPort connection, TomTom set-up, and other functions.
The cabin boasts the implementation of Flex Floor system: it consists of three aluminum movable guides which allow for the change of the dimensions of the luggage compartment, moving or rotating the freight. The trunk is freely accessible thanks to the swing doors; they can be opened to 90-180-270 degrees for comfortable loading/unloading.
New Fiat Ducato is packed with advanced safety facilities. Therefore, the customer might take benefit from: rearview mirrors, rearview camera, parking sensors, cruise control with Speed Limiter, hill descent control, electronic braking assist, rollover mitigation, lane departure alert, Traction + system, ESC, and airbags for the front passengers.
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