What Van? Awards 2022: Large Van of the Year – Fiat Professional Ducato

Date: Friday, December 17, 2021

As winner of the Van of the Year Award it follows that the Ducato also won its category: Large Van of the Year. 

Its abilities are a massive leap forward in the large van sector and all in a van that is still just as functional as ever. Available with a GVW of up to 4.25t giving a payload of 2,200kg, there are panel vans with up to 17m3 of capacity with four body lengths and three roof heights. Throw in crew vans, chassis cabs and dropside or tipper variants and the Ducato range is as complete and versatile as any other and that’s without considering the new addition of the electric eDucato, which is currently still based on the previous model. 

Other innovations include a digital centre mirror, found in other Fiat/Chrysler group products like the RAM pick-up, that provide a crystal-clear view of the road behind you in a screen, which not only looks like a traditional rearview mirror but can also function as one at the flip of a switch. A 7in digital TFT touchscreen is fitted as standard but it’s the 10in Uconnect system newly added to the Ducato that transforms the interior. It not only allows wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but also a raft of connectivity systems to monitor the vehicle. It is without doubt the most modern and up-to-date infotainment system in the segment. 

The new Ducato is the first in the range to wear the new modernised FIAT badge on its bonnet and the first since the Stellantis merger. But the Ducato, so often an unloved and overlooked large van, is pleasingly independent in its new skin. Buyers might not even think of the Ducato as being in the same category as a Volkswagen Crafter, Mercedes Sprinter or Ford Transit. 

Those powerhouses of the large van sector have sat together at the top of the hierarchy and may continue to do so for many years to come. But at this moment in time, they sit together below the Ducato, which remains the big van to beat.

Highly Commended: Maxus Deliver 9 

HC Large Maxus 9

If LDV stood for cheap and cheerful, the rebranded Maxus range should become known for value and surprise. With a starting price of just £28,200, which includes air conditioning, automatic headlights, cruise control, rear parking sensors and lane departure warning the value is obvious, but the surprise is that for not much more money you can get a Luxury model that not only has a fancy 10in infotainment screen with smartphone integration, blindspot monitoring, lane change assist, keyless start, parking sensors and a reversing camera that is arguably the best specified van of any in the sector and at a price where most models are still yet to give you anything more adventurous than a Bluetooth DAB radio.

Its 120hp, 2.0l engine isn’t the most refined or the most economical but a five-year warranty makes sure the Deliver 9 is a stand out performer when it comes to delivering what should be known as its Maxus’ value and surprise promise. 



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