The What Van? Road Test: Fiat Professional Ducato

Date: Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Fi Rear 3-4

Buying and running

The Fiat Professional Ducato is covered by a three-year/100,000-mile warranty with no mileage limit in the first two years, while the service intervals are set at two years and 30,000 miles.

Roadside assistance is provided free for the first 12 months of ownership.
Our Ducato was provided with a full-size spare wheel.

Side rubbing strips helped protect our demonstrator’s optional metallic paint.

The bumpers and big, easy to use with a gloved hand, vertical door handles were colour-keyed to match the rest of the body.

The front bumper is in four sections, which means it does not have to be replaced in its entirety if only part of it is damaged.

Ducato Van 35 MH2 2.3 Multijet II 130hp
Price (ex VAT) £28,420
Price range (ex VAT)   £23,470-£34,370
Gross payload  1,575kg
Load length     3,120mm
Load width (min/max)            1,422/1,870mm
Load bay height          1,932mm
Load volume   11.5m3
Loading height            550mm
Rear door aperture     1,562 x 1,790mm
Side door aperture      1,250 x 1,755mm
Gross vehicle weight  3,500kg
Braked trailer towing weight  2,500kg
Residual value             18.1%*
Cost per mile    54.9p*
Engine  2,287cc, 130hp @ 3,600rpm
Torque            320Nm @ 1,800r-2,500rpm
Gearbox           6-speed
Fuel economy 44.8mpg (combined)
Fuel tank          90 litres
CO2      166g/km
Warranty         3yrs/100,000mls
Service intervals          2yrs/30,000mls
Insurance group           9E
Price as tested             £33,410

Options fitted
Manual air-conditioning          £800
Alloy wheels    £500
Metallic paint  £500
Satnav/DAB/5in touchscreen/CD       £450
Body-colour bumpers             £340
Rear-view camera       £340
LED daytime running lights    £280
Reversing parking sensors      £260
Alarm system £230
Cruise control £230
Passenger-side airbag             £230
Rain and dusk sensor  £190
Leather-trimmed steering wheel & gear knob     £170
Front fog lights           £140
Black front grille and chrome bars     £120
High-level panel board            £120
Body-colour door handles       £60
Front adjust. saddle head restraint     £30

The Final Verdict



 Nothing that jumps out as truly original.



Plenty of storage space but quality needs an uplift.



Acceptable but not outstanding.



 As with the ride, acceptable but not outstanding.

Load area


Big doors, low loading height and decent illumination.



 Both exemplary, the former especially so.



 Love the engine; gear change could be smoother.

Standard equipment


You need to spend a bit to get the kit.

Operating costs


Decent warranty and service intervals.

What Van? subjective rating


 Solid but unsophisticated workhorse.


Ford Transit
Price (ex VAT) £24,470-£36,285
Load volume    9.5-15.1m3
Gross payload    872-2,169kg
Engines     105hp, 130hp, 170hp 2.0 diesel
Verdict: It’s a long time since it was assembled in Britain, yet the all-conquering Transit remains the nation’s LCV flag carrier. Impressive engines, a slick gear change and a well thought-out cab are all reasons for opting for it. Check out the SelectShift six-speed auto gearbox if you’re on parcel delivery work.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Price (ex VAT) £24,350-£44,275
Load volume      7.8-17m3
Gross payload    804-2,547kg
Engines    112hp, 140hp, 163hp 2.1 diesel, 190hp 3.0 diesel

Verdict: Now offered with front- as well as rear-wheel drive and with a nine-speed auto gearbox listed as an option, the latest Sprinter is one of the most impressive vans you will ever encounter. Once again safety gets top priority, with a variety of onboard systems available to protect both vehicle and driver.

Vauxhall Movano
Price (ex VAT) £24,645-£37,335
Load volume 7.8-17.0m3
Gross payload 920-2,200kg
Engines 110hp, 130hp, 145hp, 163hp, 170hp 2.3 diesel

Verdict: While the Movano doesn’t have quite the image of the Transit or Sprinter it is well worth investigating. It offers plenty of payload capacity and cargo space depending on the version selected, decent engines and an okay level of kit. Note it has the same basic design as Renault’s Master and Nissan’s NV400.


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