Just like the new model, the old The Fiat Scudo shared the same design and underpinnings with the Peugeot Expert and Citroen Dispatch.
The first generation was launched in 1996 and received a small facelift in 2004. The vehicle was part of a new breed of vans, featuring pretty compact exterior dimensions combined with a generous load volume.
The Scudo was based on the Fiat Ulysee MPV and thanks to its donor; it drives more like a passenger car and less like a van. The Fiat Scudo was offered with a choice of two engines namely a 1.9 liter naturally aspired diesel and a 2.0 liter JTD turbo.
The old Fiat Scudo had a pretty rugged appearance, and was far from being as attractive as the new generation. Back in the 90s, vans didn’t receive the same amount of attention from designers as it happens in our days, so the Scudo’s appearance wasn’t something to rave about.
The boxy shape of the vehicle was combined with a sloped windscreen and big lateral windows. The bonnet received a pretty clean design and was traversed by two creases which pointed toward the grille. The grille, was big and imposing and was fitted with the company’s badge in its center. The headlights have a simple rectangular style, but they gel well with the rest of the body.
Moving on to the bumper, it features an imposing design and looks pretty robust, being a perfect match for the utilitarian character of the vehicle.
On each side of the body the Fiat Scudo gets protective rubber mouldings which further enhance its rugged appearance.
The Fiat Scudo is offered in two versions, with payload capacities of 815 kg and 900 kg. Despite its relatively compact exterior dimensions the load area is pretty generous being 2050 mm long, 1410 mm tall and 1190 mm wide.
To be more practical, the Fiat Scudo is offered with sliding side doors and twin rear doors which open to a 180 degrees angle.
Access inside is made without too much fuss, thanks to the low ground clearance and the wide opening doors. The dashboard’s style is pretty unconventional and the materials are mostly part of the hard class, sounding hollow when are tapped with a finger. The build quality wasn’t something to rave about either and the fittings needed more attention too.
On the other hand, the cabin was fairly spacious and up front there was room for up to three people. The gear knob was mounted directly into the dash which made it fairly easy to maneuver. Though, the innovative emplacement of the gearlever affected the comfort of the middle passenger as it limited its legroom.
The driver’s seat however, was very comfortable and after the 2004 facelift it received extra leg and back support. There were sufficient adjustments to help you find your favorite driving position in no time.
The middle seat folds down to reveal a handy desk complete with mobile phone slot and two coffee cup holders. There are also other useful storage places around the cabin so you’ll have plenty of places to store your things safely.
On the safety side, the vehicle was available with optional ABS, standard driver’s airbag, seatbelt pretensioners and force limiters.
Engines and performance
The old Fiat comes with a 1.9 liter engine that churns out 71 hp @ 4600 rpm and 125 Nm of torque at 2500 rpm. This is the entry level unit and offers sluggish performances especially when it needs to deal with heavy loads. Around the city however, it offers decent performances, but it’s anything but smooth.
There is also a slightly stronger 2.0 HDI unit which comes with 110 hp on tap and 250 Nm of torque. The maximum torque is achieved from as low as 1700 rpm which gives it pretty capable towing abilities, being a better performer than its smaller sibling.
Thanks to its decent power output, the 2.0 liter engine it’s also able to deal well with highway traffic and can hit a top speed of 165 kmph.
Fiat Scudo Engines Specifications
|Engine || hp @ rpm|| Nm @ rpm |
|1.9 D ||71 @ 4600 ||125 @ 2500 |
|2.0 HDi|| 110 @ 4000 ||250 @ 1750|
Ride and handling
The old Fiat Scudo was fitted with McPherson struts at front and independent trailing arms with torsion bars at the rear. Despite the utilitarian character of the vehicle, the ride was pretty forgiving and the suspensions were able to soak most of the bumps without affecting the passenger’s comfort.
The Fiat Scudo had also a pretty good stability and the body roll was well controlled. The handling was also among the best in its class and the vehicle staid pretty well planted on its wheels when cornering.
The steering was at par with its rivals and offered accurate turns with a decent overall response.
The stopping power was assured by front discs and rear drum brakes but you’d had to pay extra money for ABS.
Thanks to its versatile character and its superior handling abilities, the first Fiat Scudo was received with open arms by the light commercial van market. The vehicle offered a good compromise between load capacity and compact dimensions and its versatility was highly appreciated by its buyers.
The interior was pretty comfortable and despite its unconventional design was also fairly practical. The engines were pretty efficient too, but the entry level unit was a bit sluggish and was far from being a capable performer.
The ride and handling however, placed the Scudo among the top dogs from the market. The vehicle had also a pretty affordable price and wasn’t too expensive to maintain either.