From the outside, the 2020 Ducato doesn't look much different from its predecessor, but a change under the skin will be a "real game changer," according to Richard Chamberlain, Fiat Professional brand chief.
A titanium-colored grille and piano black headlight lineup are the main exterior upgrades, but the addition of a nine-speed automatic gearbox - as well as a new engine range - is the most significant development.
"It will allow us to talk to customers in automatic-shift vehicles that we wouldn't have been able to talk to before," Chamberlain explains.
With the automatic gearbox, drivers can choose from three driving modes: normal, eco and power. Eco mode provides smoother throttle response and a gearshift pattern tailored to reduce fuel consumption, while power mode provides quicker shifting for optimal performance in a variety of conditions.
Ducato also now comes with a new 2.3-liter Euro 6D engine with power outputs of 122 hp, 142 hp, 162 hp and 183 hp, offering greater efficiency than the units they replace. A Natural Power CNG variant offering 136 hp will also be available.
All feature a standard EcoPack that includes a stop-start system, a smart alternator, an eco mode to help reduce fuel usage and an electronically controlled fuel pump that generates greater combustion efficiency.
This adaptation maintains the gasoline system with a minimum range of about 100 km, adding the possibility of using compressed natural gas as fuel, having a greater autonomy with the NGV. There is no reduction in power or noticeable slower speed when driving in CNG mode, on the contrary, a smoother and more fluid driving is noticed.
We drove the 136 hp L2H2 Compressed Natural Gas model equipped with the automatic gearbox, and were impressed. The gearbox shifted smoothly, aiding driving and taking much of the hassle out of maneuvering in urban areas, while also being comfortable and easy to drive on the highway.
Visibility was also excellent, while the cabin felt logical in its design and rugged. Combined with its new technology and efficiency, these road manners ensure that Ducato is well suited to whatever working life can throw at it.
The Ducato 140 Natural Power also benefits from improvements across the range: the new Euro 6-compliant engine, start-stop system, intelligent charging alternator, more efficient electronic fuel management and new nine-speed automatic transmission. Driving aids have not been forgotten: blind spot monitoring assistant, approaching vehicle and rear obstacle detection during maneuvering, emergency braking assistance, etc.
The Fiat Ducato has it all, a cargo or transport vehicle fully adapted to hard work with large capacities and proven resistance with more than 20,000 Fiat Ducato units per month sold in Europe. A safe bet with Natural Gas to be even cleaner and more efficient
Power rating: 136 hp
Fuel: Gasoline + CNG
140 Natural Power CNG
Warranty up to 5 years
Length: 4.93 meters
Mixed fuel consumption WLTP Gasoline: 16.1 l/100 km
Consumption WLTP CNG: 12.1 kg/100 km
Combined fuel consumption WLTP CNG: 12.1 kg/100 km