First Drive: Fiat Ducato Tecnico

Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fiat’s Tecnico trim level kicked off on this Ducato L3H2 model last year, and has become a permanent element of the range on both the Ducato and Doblo Cargo line-ups. There are now both L3H2 and L1H1 Ducato bodystyles, and the Tecnico edition adds a variety of standard equipment that’s welcome for drivers and operators, including air conditioning, start-stop, reverse parking sensors, the Blue & Me infotainment system with steering wheel controls, Bluetooth and USB connection, front fog lights, special wheel trims, Fiat’s Eco Drive software and preparation for a Tomtom satnav system.

That’s a lot of extra kit, though it does come with a hefty £2345 price tag, so it’s not suitable for operators looking for a low-cost job tool, but that additional equipment is all appreciated by drivers spending significant amounts of time behind the wheel.

As with all Fiat Group stop-start systems, the Ducato’s is a little too easy to catch out. Declutch at the wrong moment, just as the traffic lights change to green, and the system is still shutting down, and there’s a small pause that seems like longer with a queue of traffic behind that’s wondering why the van at the front of the line isn’t going anywhere on a green light. Then the engine fires up again and all is normal, but it’s a little too easy to trip up.

The big Ducato’s 130hp engine copes will with longer distances, and the seat comfort and visibility are good. It could do with more appropriate cabin storage though, there’s not really anywhere useful to put cans or bottles of drink and other smaller oddments, though the deep door bins are handy for larger items. The interior design and materials are also showing the Ducato’s age compared with newer but more expensive entrants.

The Ducato is an uncomplicated and efficient working tool not at its most refined when at higher speeds, and in this large L3H2 body style it’s as big as the Ducato goes without switching to heavier-duty Maxi models. To drive, it doesn’t feel as big as it is, thanks to the light steering, and maneuverability is decent.

 

Verdict

Bundles desirable kit nicely into one package, for a price

 

 



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