The Fiat Scudo was launched for the first time in 1996 and is a highly versatile commercial vehicle being available in both van and chassis cab versions. The Fiat Scudo received a major facelift in 2004 when it shared the same platform with the Peugeot Expert and Citroen Dispatch. Despite its “van nature” the Fiat Scudo offers a car-like feeling inside with a surprisingly level of comfort for a commercial vehicle.
The Fiat Scudo has a starting price of $21.000 and is offered with a choice of four engines which develop between 90 hp-165 hp. The vehicle is also offered with a wide range of configurations which include panelled or glazed body, short or long wheelbase, 2 interior lengths, high roof or standard roof, load space of 5, 6 or 7 m3, cab with 2 or 3 seats, mechanical or air suspension and double cargo doors or tailgate.
The Scudo has one of the best exterior designs in its class with a sleek and aerodynamic style. The vehicle is smaller than its bigger sibling, the Ducato and occupies a class of itself. The front features a raked bonnet dominated by a black rectangular grille which bares the company’s logo in its center. The swept back headlights are sharps and underline the dynamic character of the Scudo, while the streamlined profile of the bonnet gels seamlessly with the rest of the design.
We also like the wraparound bumper which is made of a strong material choose especially for its resistance to impact. For an improved road visibility, the bumper is also fitted with two round fog lights.
The sides continue the same dynamic design found at the front and feature deep mouldings which enhance the length and cope well with the utilitarian nature of the vehicle.
At the back there are a couple of well squared lines which are combined with the vertical placed light clusters. There is also a convenient rear door available for easy access to the load area.
The interior sacrifices design for functionality and despite the pretty good overall ergonomy you’ll find the dashboard a bit intrusive. The materials and plastics are cheap and hard as a rock, but this is the usual treatment offered in this segment so we won’t start to complain too much about it. The build quality isn’t first class either, but the fittings look satisfactory for a commercial vehicle.
Fiat used its experience with the passengers cars and designed a pretty ergonomic cab, hence we don’t have any complains about the controls layout as everything falls easy into hand. The instrument cluster is fairly easy to read as it is fitted with two big gauges and other clear indicators which display information about the vehicle’s stats.
It is also available an optional satellite navigator system that can be mounted of top of the dash replacing the standard information display which in addition to date, time, exterior temperature and car radio functions, also shows the information stored in the on-board computer.
Scudo’s interior is fairly spacious and up front there is room for up to three passengers. The middle passenger however, could feel a bit cramped. For enhanced comfort, the middle seat folds down to form a convenient desk complete with mobile phone slot and two cup holders.
The driver’s seat is comfortable as it comes with seatback and height adjustments which will help you get cozy behind the steering wheel pretty fast. The steering wheel design is a bit rudimentary and betrays the utilitarian nature of the vehicle. On the other hand, it has an ergonomic design and offers a good grip, while it can also be adjusted for reach and rake, improving the driving position.
Despite its utilitarian character the Fiat Scudo is available with a host of useful features which include electrically folding wing mirrors, parking sensors, cruise control, speed limiter, Bluetooth hands-free system, twilight and rain sensors that turn on the headlamps automatically when it gets dark and activate the wipers when the rain begins to fall.
The cabin is also fitted with a bunch of intelligently placed storage places which include a refrigerated glove box, different cup holders that pop out from the dash, door pockets and three convenient over head consoles.
Engines and transmissions
The Fiat Scudo is powered by Multijet engines which are offered with a choice of 90hp, 120 hp, 140 hp and 165 hp. The engines can be mated on either 5 or 6 speed manual transmissions depending on the model.
The weakest engine has a capacity of 1560 cm3 and develops 90 hp@ 4000 rpm with a maximum torque of 180 Nm @ 1500 rpm. The engine meets the Euro 5 emission standards and features an electronically controlled Common Rail Multijet direct injection with turbocharger. The unit can be mated on a 5-speed manual gearbox and offers a top speed of 145 kmph with an average fuel consumption of 6.9 litres/ 100 km.
The strong Multijet 2.0l 165 hp unit achieves its maximum power at 3750 rpm and offers a peak torque of 340 Nm at 2000 rpm. The engine is also compliant with the Euro 5 emission norms and scores a top speed of up to 170 kmph with a mixed fuel consumption of 9 l/ 100 km.
Fiat Scudo engines specifications
|Multijet||90@ 4000||180 @ 1500|
Ride and suspensions
The Fiat Scudo is available with either mechanical or air suspension and both of them offer a pretty enjoyable ride. When equipped with the air suspension the vehicle is equipped with a control in the loading compartment that makes it possible to raise or lower the loading floor.
On the road, the standard power steering offers a good maneuverability, as it’s nicely-weighted and responsive. Despite its relatively big height, the Scudo has a pretty small body roll and good overall road manners.
The vehicle is equipped with a host of standard safety systems which include ESP, ABS and EBD. Another standard feature on the Scudo is the HBA system that boosts the braking force in an emergency.
The Fiat Scudo also comes with driver airbag, while the first row of seats can be fitted with a passenger airbag and optional side airbags and window bags.
In the end, the Fiat Scudo is a fairly capable commercial vehicle and thanks to its versatile nature it can be used for a wide range of applications. The cabin is also pretty comfortable and even if the build quality isn’t something to rave about, the overall ergonomy is good and you also have plenty of storage places. The cabin is also equipped with a bunch of useful systems which will make your work easier. Except for the weakest engine which lacks the grunt of the bigger ones, the rest of the units are able to tackle almost everything you’ll throw at them.