Fiat Ducato (2006–)

What's good

Variety of payload options and lots of different body styles on offer thanks to 25 different shapes and sizes from launch. Versatility of different wheelbase and roof heights on offer

Punchy engines are all now Euro 5-compliant and they include a low-powered and frugal 110PS version of the 2.3-litre diesel solely for the UK market.

Tight turning circle makes the Ducato a good van for those who drive in town or tightly packed streets regularly. It also helps make the Ducato very easy to reverse into compact spaces.

Comfortable cabin provides the sort of pampering you need when spending all day in the van and it has room for three in the front.

What's bad

Recall 01-09-11: Rear axle leaf spring bolts were not tightened correctly. This could potentially lead to movement between the axle and leaf spring and, in extreme cases, cause the vehicle to lose control.

Engine noise is more noticeable than in many rivals, even with the revised Euro 5 diesels, which detracts from the Ducato’s otherwise good refinement.

Sluggish semi-auto gearbox means the manual transmissions are the ones to go for unless you drive mostly in town or really cannot be bothered with a clutch pedal.

No ESP as standard shows the Ducato is beginning to drop behind the specification of the class best and it can be more expensive than some rivals to run. It was only added as standard fit in April 2013.

Drivetrain problem of failing clutches, dual-mass flywheels caused by over high reverse ratio. Less of a problem with 100bhp engines and 5-speed transmissions. 

Major problem for many of the larger/heavier vans which have either the 2.3 litre 130bhp or 3.0 litre 157bhp engines with 6-speed gearboxes. Seems that the old 4-speed box was adapted to 5-speed and 6-speed but the extra gears are not very well supported and failures are common, particularly on Sevel X250 based campers and motorhhomes.

Gearbox failure quite common. Wheel bearing failure also quite common and means buying a new hub and flange in order to fit it.

Belt cam diesels need a fresh belt every 3 years and when this is done it is also vital to replace the auxiliaries belt. If not, the aux belt can fail, wrap itself around the timing belt and take the timing belt off. Depending on where this happens (which might be mainland Europe on a camping holiday) a new engine can be as much as £8,000.

Instrument cluster of 2012 FIAT Ducato diagnosed with internal earth fault. Some of the warning lights glow faintly when the ignition is on.Dealer said common fault and the cluster needed replacing for around £950. Apparently common on Ducatos built 2006-2012. Recommend Cartronix, Cluster Repairs and ecutesting to fix rather than replace.

6-2-2020: Report of failure of chain between the camshafts of a 2012 Fiat Ducato 130 Van at 119,000 miles. The van had always been serviced correctly using synthetic oil. Note the failure was of the chain between the camshafts, not the timing belt.


What does a Fiat Ducato (2006) cost?