- New look and new equipment
- Emissions down, payloads up
- Durability said to be improved
Fiat has given the Ducato van a facelift for 2014 along with a series of improvements in durability, fuel efficiency, CO2 emissions and standard equipment.
First of all, the front end has had a comprehensive redesign. There are new headlights, including daytime running lights, a new grille in either matt silver or gloss black, a reshaped bonnet and a different front bumper that’s designed to be cheaper to repair. A new range of alloy wheels complete the visual updates.
Similarly, the cabin has had some attention as well with new seats, larger cup holders and a ‘Multifunction Tablet Holder’, which is designed to hold different-sized smartphones, tablets and even pads of old-fashioned A4 paper. Two interior trims are offered – ‘Classic’ or ‘Techno.’
Cleaner and better on fuel than before
Both CO2 emissions and fuel economy have been improved. The base 109bhp 2.3-litre Multijet II engine can achieve emissions as low as 170g/km (in the smallest, lightest bodied versions) and average up to 44mpg.
Higher powered versions of the same engine with the optional start/stop system can do better still, with CO2 output as low as 164g/km and average fuel consumption of nearly 46mpg.
All models get a six-speed manual gearbox and a ‘ComfortMatic’ automatic transmission is available as an option (apart from on the base 2.3-litre engine).
As before, the Ducato is front-wheel drive.
The van weighs a little less than before and higher payloads than before are possible thanks to new composite elements in the rear suspension.
That means as much as 2.5 tonnes of weight on the rear axle and a payload of up to 2.1 tonnes – a figure Fiat says is the best in the segment for single-wheel vans. The same goes for the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), which ranges as high as 4.25 tonnes.
Fiat says the Ducato is more robust than before, with the clutch and suspension components going further before needing replacement
Upgraded equipment levels
Bluetooth connectivity is now standard across the Ducato van range while top models will include a new five-inch touchscreen with a reversing camera, sat-nav and DAB digital radio.
Optional equipment will include lane departure warning and road sign recognition, which uses a camera to detect speed limits and displays them on the instrument panel as a reminder. Fiat’s ‘Traction+’ system, which helps to find grip on slippery surfaces and includes hill descent control will also be available.
The standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system now incorporates a suite of extra functions including the ability to reduce the likelihood of a rollover accident, compensate for uneven loads and hill hold, which keeps some pressure in the brake system for a small amount of time after the driver has removed their foot from the pedal.
On sale later in 2014
Fiat says up to 10,000 variants are available, including minibus and chassis cab versions. The panel van Ducato is available in four lengths, three heights and eight load capacities from eight to 17 cubic metres. Whereas before the the chassis cab variant was available in four lengths there are now five.
Apart from the UK, the renewed Ducato will also go on sale in 80 regions across the word including Russia, Australia, the Middle East and both North and South America.
Full UK specs and pricing are yet to be announced.