Sold by Peugeot as the Expert and Citroen as the Dispatch, Steve Banner describes what in particular you should look out for when purchasing a second-hand Fiat Scudo Van
When the current-shape front-wheel drive Scudo arrived in 2007 it represented a marked departure from the old model. Whereas its predecessor had offered customers zero choice – one wheelbase, one height, and one size of cargo area – its successor was marketed with two wheelbases, two heights and three load cubes.
You could opt for the 5.0, 6.0 or 7.0m3 with payload capacities ranging from getting on for a tonne to almost 1.2 tonnes. It was also sold as a combi, an MPV and a platform cab.
Buyers could pick from a 90hp/180Nm 1.6-litre diesel married to a five-speed manual gearbox or a 2.0-litre diesel hooked up to a six-speed box and offering either 120hp/300Nm or 136hp/320Nm. ABS was standard along with Emergency Brake Assistance.
Like the Expert and Dispatch, the Scudo has not stood still. Last year saw the arrival of Euro5 versions, which were sold alongside Euro4 models throughout 2011, and the Scudo is now produced as a 163hp 2.0-litre diesel.
The ride and handling are both passable, the more powerful models offer plenty of performance, and there is ample in-cab storage space, although tall passengers may complain about a lack of legroom.
Road noise can be an issue, especially from the rear of the vehicle, so ensure that whatever you opt for is fitted with a bulkhead and has a ply-lined load area. Both features will help deaden the racket.
If you are tempted by one, then start by checking that both side load-area doors slide cleanly down the full length of their runners. That’s the first piece of advice proffered by UsedVanExpert.co.uk. If they fail to slide smoothly then the runners may have to be replaced, so press the vendor to knock at least £100 off the asking price.
The next thing you should do is settle down behind the wheel, start the engine from cold with the cab door open and listen for any exhaust growling. The exhaust is expensive to replace says UsedVanExpert.co.uk. If it sounds as though it is going to be a problem, then ask the vendor to cut the price he’s looking for by £500.
Take a test drive and try to ensure that your route includes a hill. Descend it, use the gears to slow down, and lift your foot off the accelerator while you are still in third gear. Can you hear a droning or whirring noise? If you can then that is a sign that the differential needs replacing, and that could land you with a £1000 bill. The vendor should be told to chop the price accordingly, although it would probably make more sense to hand back the keys.
You should also find a stretch of rough road surface or a speed bump and drive over it. If you can hear a knocking sound emanating from the suspension then a bottom ball joint may need swapping. It’s a £50 job.
Check the mileage. If it is approaching 70,000 then it is possible that the steering rack will need repairing in the not-too- distant future, so insist on a £300 price reduction. Remember that if the work is not done you will end up with excessive play in the steering arms, and that spells a MoT test failure.
Auctioneer Manheim recently disposed of a white 90hp short- wheelbase standard-roof 12 in Comfort trim, 2009-registered on a 59-plate with 20,534 miles recorded, for £6100. It also sold a blue 120hp short-wheelbase standard-roof 12 in Deluxe trim with 49,527 miles on the clock dating back to 2008 on a 57-plate for £4700.
A white 120hp long-wheelbase standard-roof 12 Comfort, 2008 on a 58-plate, with just over 67,000 miles to its name, was knocked down for £5000, Manheim reports. The auctioneer also sold a 45,324-mile 90hp short-wheelbase standard-roof 12 Comfort in red, on a 07-plate and going back to 2007, for £4550.
• Visit www.UsedVanExpert.co.uk for further advice and information.