Fiat Ducato. The Italian Answer To The Transit Van

By: Kerry Plowright

If you're after a good one owner van, then there are several obvious choices. There's the Toyota HiAce, the Ford Transit, and now there's the Fiat Ducato.

The Fiat Ducato was only introduced to Australia in 2004. It is available in both a mid roof and a high roof model. One of the major attractions of the Fiat Ducato is the range of Fiat's advanced JTD diesel engine range. These engines, which include the 2.8-litre turbocharged diesel engine, have proved popular in Europe with their performance and good fuel consumption as well as their quiet operation. All important fuel consumption is around 10 litres per 100 kilometres. From the 80 litre tank, you'll be able to drive for 800 kilometres before you need to re fuel.

The Fiat Ducato is front wheel drive and so there is plenty of room in the back. You can fit two pallets into the back of this van which has a GVSM of just over 3,500 kg. When loading this Fiat van, you can use the rear barn style door which opens at 270 degrees or the side sliding door making for easy access. In the back, you'll find the floor of the load space lined with rubber mats that will stop the load from sliding around dangerously.

For the driver darting about town in traffic all day, there is good news with a very comfortable and upmarket cabin that is fully separated from the load space. The stubby gear shifter for example, is mounted on the dashboard which makes for far quicker gear changes. Other interior features include dual air bags, air conditioning, power windows and mirrors, remote central locking and keyless entry. This last option will prove extremely popular with delivery drivers who are in and out of the van all day long. For the busy businessman on the road, there are document holders in the passenger compartment.

For safety, there is ABS braking and great visibility due to the large windscreen and high seating position of the driver.

When it comes to parking, the Fiat Ducato van is no longer than the average larger car so you will be able to park it in the street without too much problem. But like most vans with high roofs however, you'll find it difficult finding an undercover car spot due to the height of the van.

As the Fiat Ducato has only been available in Australia since 2004, there may not be as many one owner vans available as other more popular models. Similarly, spare parts may not be as easy to come by however the fiat Ducato is well worth considering if driver comfort and safety is important to you.

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