- Nice Drive
- Wide range of body styles
- ESC not standard
- Some rivals have more space
Fiat Scudo strives to be different
The Fiat Scudo is the result of a joint-venture between Peugeot and Citroen which has also spawned the Expert and the Dispatch vans though this offering is quite different.
The arrangement is no longer in place, Fiat was replaced by Toyota, and for the foreseeable future the Scudo will be available in five body styles with short and long wheelbase plus high and low roofs.
There’s a large load space on board, though some new arrivals have more, and the engines are particularly good.
To help sales along, this award-winning van has lots of kit fitted as standard with the top end models being particularly good value for money.
There are many reasons to consider the Fiat Scudo and if potential buyers are looking for economy, low CO2 emissions and a competitive price then it would be on the shortlist every time, add in the fact it’s a comfortable place to be on long journeys and it wins over buyers.
Reasons to buy
Alongside a comprehensive range of body styles and vans with four-wheel-drive as well as front and rear wheel drive, the Fiat Scudo is an interesting range.
It’s also very comfortable to drive over long distances though the passenger seats can feel cramped and some rivals have a larger load space.
It’s also powered by a decent range of engines and there’s a lot of standard equipment for the money.
However, some newer rivals are offering competitive packages which will distract some potential buyers from enjoying what could be a good workhorse.
The real attraction for the Fiat Scudo is the fact it’s one of the cheapest vans around but it deserves to be on a shortlist even though most potential buyers won’t even consider it first until they get behind the wheel and see that it’s actually a very decent offering.
If you like the Fiat Scudo, they have a look at the Ford Transit Custom, the VW Transporter or the Vauxhall Vivaro.
There’s a choice of two Multijet engines, made by Fiat, which depend on the body length of the Fiat Scudo required; the 1.6 litre diesel comes with the L1 while the 2.0 litre diesel is fitted to the L2 versions.
The 1.6 litre 90bhp variant should return around 41 mpg while having CO2 emissions of 182g/km. The 2.0 litre with 130bhp should return around 42mpg with CO2 emissions of 179g/km.
Service intervals are set at 18,000 miles or 12 months and there are plastic mouldings to help protect the body and reduce repair costs and a plastic floor covering protects the load space.
There are three body styles on offer for the Fiat Scudo panel van with load spaces ranging in size from 5 cubic metres, to 6 cubic metres and 7 cubic metres.
Access is made easier since the Scudo comes with two sliding doors fitted as standard and there are eight floor hooks on the floor. The rear doors are the tallest in the class.
Owners will be able to load a Europallet via the side doors and the van also has the ability to carry pipes and long items in a compartment below the roof. There are two internal lengths from 2.25mtres to 2.58metres which many owners will find useful.
The payload in the Scudo is also very competitive ranging from 996kg to 1,200kg (in the Maxi version).
The load height is also a useful 56cm from the ground we can also be lowered to 49cm in those vans with the pneumatic suspension option.
Technology & Safety
Unlike some rivals, electronic stability control is not fitted as standard on the Fiat Scudo except for the vans fitted with the 163bhp engine and passenger carrying models.
All Fiat Scudo Business trim models come with a ladder type bulkhead whereas a full height steel bulkhead is an option except for the Comfort trim where it is standard. Road noise is noticeably absent with the full bulkhead.
Opt for one of the Fiat Scudo crew vans and there’s a bulkhead fitted behind the rear seats. There’s also the option to have a glazed bulkhead in all vans.
The Scudo is also fitted with ABS with electronic brake force distribution along with hydraulic brake assist which should help stop the van in an emergency.
The van also comes with dreadlocks and an anti-theft alarm system.
The MultiJet diesel engines are solid performers and responsive to everyday needs with the 2.0litre Multijet particularly suited for long motorway journeys. The engines are known to be reliable and should deliver lots of trouble-free miles.
However, the 1.6 litre diesel with 90bhp is probably better suited to shorter journeys and lighter loads since it can strain at speed with a full load. The 2.0 litre diesel engine is a tireless workhorse and is coupled to a six-speed gearbox to help economy and performance.
Fiat also offers the 2.0litre with a power output of 165bhp which has similar economy figures to the 130bhp variant.
At speed the Scudo is a solid and stable performer with a suspension that handles potholes and rough roads with ease.
Handling is very impressive and the van is comfortable to drive. The suspension itself is well tuned and the option of self-levelling rear suspension is also impressive to help the van be more stable, particularly on corners.
The steering itself is light and true and there’s good feedback from the road with a smooth manual gearbox.
The only niggle is that when the middle passenger seat is occupied, the gearstick is placed so it will hit the passenger’s knee on a regular basis.
The Fiat Scudo is comfortable to drive and the driver’s position is good and easily adjusted with lots of storage space in the cabin including pull-out cupholders.
Standard kit includes central locking, electric windows and a passenger seat that doubles as a desk. Other models also come with automatic headlights and wipers.
Options for the Scudo include parking sensors and extra airbags.