Fiat Ducato review

Category: Large Van

Section: Introduction

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Introduction

What Car? says...

When the Fiat Ducato was launched, it very much slid under the radar. There was no fanfare and no gimmicks. It just arrived and began delivering. That’s part of the reason why the Ducato has become such a phenomenal success in the large van sector – not that you’ll notice many of them around, and that’s because it's most commonly used as a motorhome.

It’s also a shared product with the Peugeot Boxer and Citroën Relay. They, too, are popular in the motorhome sector, but it’s the Ducato that has stolen a march on its rivals. That’s not to say it doesn’t make a competent van too. A high payload capacity is, after all, one of the reasons why so many body builders use vans for motorhomes, the other being that, unlike the Peugeot and the Citroën, the Fiat comes with a choice of engines and power outputs.

Previously available with a choice of a 2.0, 2.3, and 3.0-litre engines, Fiat has long yo-yo-ed on the engine choices it offers customers. Today, the Ducato range is powered by only a 2.3-litre engine, covering 120bhp to 180bhp. Unlike previous Ducato engines, these all require AdBlue. Buyers also get the option of a nine-speed automatic gearbox which replaces the Comfort-Matic previously offered.

The Ducato is available in more than 10,000 different configurations, with four body lengths and three body heights. Sizes L1H1 to L3H2 constitute the regular vans, while a heavier-duty Ducato Maxis is available in L2H2 up to L4H3 sizes. There’s also the option of a Comfort-Matic automatic gearbox, available on all models except the entry-level engine.

Competition for the Ducato comes in the form of the Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter and Nissan NV400, not to mention its own Peugeot Boxer and Citroën Relay family members.

As well as a panel van, the Ducato is available as a platform and chassis cab (used for those motorhome conversions), dropside, three-way tipper, crew van and minibus. The Ducato is available only with front-wheel drive.

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