The What Van? Road Test: Fiat Professional Ducato

Date: Tuesday, September 4, 2018


Fi Cab

Interior and equipment

Fiat Professional could without doubt stand to improve the quality of the three-seater cab’s plastic trim, especially so far as the dashboard is concerned. It looks a little low-rent when compared with the material used in some of Ducato’s key competitors.

On the positive side, cab access is easy (although exiting it can be a mite awkward, as we point out later) and there is certainly no lack of storage space.

Each of the doors boasts two bins, the glove box has a shelf above it, and you will find a lidded bin on top of the fascia on the passenger side; if your van has air-conditioning then it acts like a mini chill cabinet to stop your chocolate from melting.

A removable cup-sized container is positioned on the dashboard, which you can put sweet wrappers in and tip into the nearest waste bin once full.

Look down and you will find a couple of cup-holders with a tray in between in a console that projects from the bottom of the dashboard. Unfortunately, it steals some of the centre passenger’s leg room.

The console also plays host to a smartphone holder plus awkwardly positioned aux-in and USB sockets. If you didn’t know they were there then you’d never find them.

A clipboard to keep paperwork tidy is permanently attached to the top of the fascia with small shelves on each side. In some models it pops up so that whoever is behind the wheel can get a better look at its contents. In our test van it did not, apparently because our demonstrator was fitted with an optional dual passenger airbag.

The driver was protected by an airbag too.

Pull down the centre section of the middle seat and it turns into a desk with two cup-holders – one big, one small – a pen tray and another clipboard.

The height and the angle of the driver’s seat cushion can be adjusted and the steering wheel, which is annoyingly offset to the left, is height-adjustable too. The seat has an inboard armrest plus lumbar adjustment.

Electric windows are fitted, as are electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors with a lower wide-angle section.

Bluetooth is standard and the radio features remote controls on the steering wheel. Both the wheel and gear knob were trimmed in leather – a pricy option (see options list, left).
Our Fiat Professional Ducato was laden with a mountain of other options including air-conditioning, cruise control operated from a stalk on the steering column, and a DAB Uconnect radio with a CD player and TomTom satellite navigation.

The map display is on a 5.0in dashboard colour touchscreen. It really needs to be a 7.0in screen at least for greater clarity, especially since it also shows what the optional rear-view camera can see when you reverse. Engaging reverse triggers the rear parking sensors and the reversing beepers.

Disc brakes are fitted all round. The Ducato comes with ABS, electronic stability control, rollover mitigation, load adaptive control and hill holder among other safety features.

For those who might find some of the options listed on the first page of this road test a touch confusing – we certainly did – the reference to ‘saddle head restraints’ means that the ones fitted to the passenger seat are height-adjustable. ‘High-level panel board’ apparently means that this Ducato sports fancier than usual dials on its instrument panel.


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