New Ducato, along with its close relatives the Citroën Relay and Peugeot Boxer, has a soft, friendly face, but don’t be fooled. It is still built for hard work.
It has the same 100hp 2.2-litre and 160hp 3-litre engines as its French rivals, but has raided Fiat’s corporate parts bin for the 120hp alternative. It uses the 120hp 2.3-litre common rail diesel also found in the new Iveco Daily. All three engines are excellent with the 2.2 developing 250Nm of peak torque with the 2.3 managing 320Nm and last, but not least, the 3.0-litre tops out at an impressive 400Nm.
There isn’t a bad engine in this trio and we are particular fans of the Iveco lump. It just seems to produce torque, no matter what the revs. The 100hp 2.2- litre drives the front wheels via a fivespeed manual gearbox, while the other two benefit from a six-speeder. Disc brakes are fitted in all four corners with ABS a standard feature across the range. ESP can be specified as an optional extra.
Unlike its predecessor, Ducato is on offer as a 4.0-tonner — handy for minibus applications — as well as at gross vehicle weights of 3.0, 3.3 and 3.5 tonne. Payloads range from 1,000kg to 2,000kg with load volumes from 8.0m3 up to a cavernous 17.0m3. There are three wheelbases (3,000mm, 3,450mm and 4,035mm) and there are four overall lengths as well as three roof heights. Ducato now offers load heights up to 2,172mm, a maximum load length of 4,070mm and a width of 1,870mm, narrowing to 1,422mm between the wheel boxes.
The cab is identical to that of the Boxer and Relay with an abundance of storage space and in line with all modern LCVs, the options list reads like one for a passenger car.
What a difference a generation makes. The new Ducato is streets ahead of its predecessor.