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Ducato wins Best Base Vehicle

21st June 2007 Print
Fiat Auto’s new Ducato, which went on sale here in October last year, has already won its second UK accolade – a prestigious award from Which Motorcaravan magazine, which voted the Fiat Ducato 160 MultiJet Power as its 2007 winner in the Best Base Vehicle category.

Which Motorcaravan is the UK’s leading motorhome buying guide. Its roadtesters, who judged the awards, drive dozens of motorhomes every year and the 160 MultiJet emerged as a clear-cut winner.

Commenting on the award, Which Motorcaravan says: “We knew that the new Ducato had not just to raise the game of its pensionable predecessor, but surpass it in every conceivable way.

“And surpass it it has. The chassis is unique to Ducatos destined to become motorhomes, and offers wider rear track and a host of modifications, including special electrics and cab roof pre-cutting, to make life as easy as possible for motorhome manufacturers.

“The 130 MultiJet engine may be exclusive to the motorhome market, but the 3-litre, four-cylinder 160 MultiJet makes everything else seem a little insipid by comparison. Naturally, with all that class-leading power, it’s quick, but understanding just how potent, comes only from hands-on experience.

“It handles superbly, too, and while the suspension is perhaps just a little too firm for some people’s liking, it doesn’t feel crashy or uncomfortable. The cabin is also an object lesson in clarity and modernity, and the swivel seats with in-built safety belts, driver’s airbag, electric windows, mirrors, and remote central locking are real advantages.

“Perfect? Not quite, but factor in Fiat’s Europe-wide Camper Assistance and promised forthcoming automatic transmission option, and the new Ducato is unquestionably king of the current crop.”

Fiat is market leader in Europe and the UK for the supply of base vehicles to the motorhome industry. The UK motorhome market is one of the largest in Europe, with over 136,000 registered on our roads, and sales of new motorhomes currently running at over 11,000 per annum. The average price of a new motorhome is around £30,000, and motorhome travel is one of the fastest growing leisure activities in the UK.

The new Ducato panel van range, which is designed to be the most versatile in its segment, encompasses panel van, dropside truck and crew cab truck variants, chassis cabs as a base for conversion, and a nine seat commercial passenger vehicle, the Combinato. It features larger dimensions, both within the passenger cab and to the length, height and width of a load compartment which now offers a maximum volume of 17m3. The new Ducato range offers an increase in Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) to a maximum of 4.0 tonnes, and a driver-inclusive payload of up to 1850 kg.