By: Sam Bisby
In celebration of the launch of the new Fiat Ducato, we decided to put on a bit of an open day and invite local businesses, as well as some national bodies, to come down and get a first-hand look at the new van.
Potential customers enjoyed a few hours to explore the details of the new Fiat Ducato, taking it on a test drive if they desired and also entered into a training programme on the van itself.
Fiat has been producing commercial vehicles over the last 110 years and this new Ducato is the sixth generation of the flagship model, as well as the most advanced iteration so far.
Built in the world’s largest light commercial vehicle factory in Italy, the new Fiat Ducato has been graced with numerous revisions and updates to ensure it can brush shoulders with its biggest competitors.
While a typical van owner might have looked solely at practicality when looking for a new commercial vehicle, modern day motoring asks for economy and efficiency and is such an area the new Ducato takes in its stride.
The new Ducato’s entry-level 110bhp 2.3-litre engine returns a pretty decent 44.1mpg, but it is the 130 and 148bhp variants that steal the show with 45.6mpg and CO2 emissions of just 164g/km, thanks in part to Fiat’s Start&Stop technology.
Other factors that help the new van reach such figures include a gear-shift indicator, low rolling resistance tyres, low friction oils and a slippery low drag coefficient of 0.31 cx.
Meanwhile, upgraded brakes, a new clutch system and tweaked front suspension mean that the new Fiat Ducato has service intervals of up 30,000 miles. Body reinforcement and upgraded door hinges help prolong the durability of the van.
For those who still rate the practical elements of a van ahead of any other will be glad to know the new Ducato is right up there with the largest load capacities in its class. With 17.0 cubic metres of space and gross weight ranging between 3,000-4,250kg, the Ducato makes for a very versatile asset.
Dividing the range into two, the standard Ducato has dimensions that allows for weights between 3,000kg and 3,500kg with the L1H1 and L3H2 versions. Meanwhile, the new Ducato Maxi features models between L2H2 and L4H3, with max gross weight limits of 3,500kg, 4,005kg and 4,250kg. Every new Ducato gets a full height metal bulkhead as standard.
A 1.42m loading width is also a helping factor in ensuring the new Ducato is as useable as possible.
Another area the new Fiat Ducato excels in is safety and employs several gizmos and gadgets to let the driver feel as safe as possible.
Among these are ABS, ESC stability control, Roll-Over Mitigation and Load Adaptive Control; the last two are built into the ESC system and are designed to increase the stability of the van regarding its height and weight. In addition, the new Ducato gets a hill holder system and ASR anti-slip regulation as standard.
Those going for the new Tecnico Ducato will be rewarded with a tyre pressure monitoring system and automatic headlights, while further options include a self-dipping full beam and even technology that incorporates sign recognition and can read road signs, waning drivers of speed limits and no-overtaking zones.
In the cabin, occupants will be able to make the most of the Ducato’s large amount of storage space that is covered by numerous cubbyholes, deep door pockets and under-seat draws. A flash-looking infotainment unit is now on offer in the Ducato and allows the driver and passengers (up to two) access the van’s media centre.
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