Ducato 130 Multijet - Good Choice?

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by RACER101, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. RACER101

    RACER101

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    Just starting to gather advice & information to help us decide on our first MH (aiming to be on the road in early Spring 2012).

    Our basic requirements are a 2 berth coachbuilt and it looks as though our budget will be enough to get us a low mileage model less than 3 years old.

    My first question is what engine & chassis combination to go for and the related issues of performance & fuel consumption are at the forefront of my mind.

    Having driven a lot of miles in an lovely old Merc Hymer (belonging to a friend) I know only too well how tiresome / stressful it can be to drive an asthmatic, underpowered vehicle that struggles to keep pace with traffic.

    The 130 Multijet TDI seems to be commonly available and the figures for power, torque & fuel consumption look pretty impressive...............but is it actually as good as it seems in real world everyday usage? Does it have any known weaknesses that I should be aware of? I understand these engines are sometimes 'chipped' for more power & torque. Are the claims genuine or just 'snake oil', how do insurance companies react and are there any real world benefits to be had from doing it?

    What other engine/chassis combinations are worth considering and, perhaps more importantly, which ones should be avoided at all costs? Bear in mind that I will probably sometimes be towing a lightweight trailer & car (less than 750Kg).

    Any advice and personal experiences will be very gratefully received :Smile:

    Thanks in advance,
    John
     
  2. bigfoot

    bigfoot Funster

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    I had one:Angry: first check you garage is on a bus route and has comfortable customer lounge!!
     
  3. meanders

    meanders Funster - Life Member Life Member

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    Ducato 130 multijet

    We have a motorhome based on the Ducato, there were problems with reverse judder on these but since ours was fixed we have had no further problems. We find for our Bessacarr the engine is certainly plenty powerful enough and we get roughly 25 miles to the gallon. Others have had problems but we have always had good service from Fiat, and the engine has not let us down.
     
  4. Rayb182

    Rayb182 Funster Life Member

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    We have the Fiat 160, the extra power so much better, dont have to keep your foot on the pedal, and no cam belt
     
  5. DESCO

    DESCO

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    Earlier models as stated above seemed a bit of a lottery as to reversing judder, don't know if completely cured, but seems to have been better of late. If buying second-hand be sure modifications have been done, and test drive reversing up a steep slope, and if possible reversing up a grass slope.

    Personally if only a 2 birth would seriously consider a low profile (no luton) as they will give better MPG not drastic but every little helps, would go for a German motorhome, seem to be better build quality.

    Other base units worth a look Ford or Merc .
     
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  6. RACER101

    RACER101

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    Wow, sounds like you had a really rough time with yours :Sad:. Would you care to elaborate please? Might give me some pointers about what to look out for when the time comes for me to do some viewings.

    Thanks,
    John
     
  7. RACER101

    RACER101

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    Does the bigger engine capacity damage the fuel consumption much (compared to the smaller/less powerful variants) or do you find that it works out much the same because you don't have to thrash it to death in order to keep up momentum?

    Thanks,
    John
     
  8. motorhomer

    motorhomer Funster

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    I have had 2 160's (actually peugeot but the same van) and now have a 130 ducato.

    The 130 is not as powerful as the 160 but is perfectly adequate and in my experience slightly more economical.

    Neither 160 was trouble free, I had engine trouble with both, but so far have had no trouble at all with the 130.

    The main reason I opted for the 130 - apart from price - was to save 50kg weight.

    There were reports of reversing judder but I never experienced this, and my 130 is fine.

    The ducato base is a delight to drive. Mine has the alco rear chassis which gives independant rear suspension, and it works very well.

    But I always say choose the van you want to live in, any of the modern base vehicles should be OK.
     
  9. pablomc

    pablomc Funster Life Member

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    I have the 130 (bought 2010) and no problems encountered. I have also opted for a remap (no issue with insurance) which has made it even more drivable. There are a few threads on remapping if you do a search.
     
  10. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster Life Member

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    I've got the 160 and it is an absolute delight to drive. I would have been happy with the 130 as well. There are good and bad things about all base vehicles and you hear more bad stories about Fiats simply because there are many more of them around. I think that the reported problems with the clutch judder have nearly all been resolved with modifications and although there was no "fix" on the 160 (Fiat said it wasn't a problem) I understand that the clutch material was differently specced from 2009 onwards.

    Any of the base vehicles are good - my own preference was for the Fiat/Al-Ko combination, but had the right Mercedes come along then that would have been the choice - at quite a substantial price premium, though
     
  11. maxsdad

    maxsdad Funster

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    i agree with motorhomer go for what suits you i worked on owned bought and sold lived and breathed transits since they first came out in the mid sixties so when we bought our first motor home it had to be a transit nothing wrong with it 2.4td went like a train but a bit thirsty with a big overcab body
    after a couple of years decided on a change found autotrail cherokee fitted all our requirements but only available on fiat chassis, however after much deliberation decided on the 2.3 to save the weight
    5 months later [a month early by the way] motor home arrives but on heavier chassis 4250kg insteed of 4050kg so you just cant win however i im very impressed with it drives really well not so much power as the transit as yet but only done 1000mls or so but the gearing makes up for it although i still think that reverse is still to high ratio drive as four speed around town 2000rpm in sixth gives a very comfortable 60 miles an hour on the motorway and around 25mpg
    as said before not a lot to choose all vehicles have knockers and praisers
     
  12. paulus the woodgnome

    paulus the woodgnome

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    went to venice in mine last year over the swiss mountains upto andermatt and down the other side and over the italian dolomites with no problems

    just come back from salou and cambrills in spain over the midi pyrenees and back through andorra we dont use the tunnels we always go over the top for the views
    lunch at the top near the french border was a treat
    no probs with the climb or the milage and this is a 7.35m van


    :thumb:
     
  13. beachcaster

    beachcaster

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    I too have the 160 in an automatic.
    No judders at all....its a pleasure to drive.......and the auto box is smooth and a real treat to drive. About 25 to the gallon.

    barry
     
  14. RACER101

    RACER101

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    Thanks to everyone that has taken the time & trouble to reply :thumb:

    The consensus seems to be that the Ducato 130 Multijet is generally regarded as a pretty good choice but, like most mechanical things, it isn't perfect.

    The other very helpful message coming across is that most (all?) of the modern breed of engine/chassis combinations work well and that I should be open minded about other manufacturers.

    Next on my list is the much more complex question of layout...........the permutations seem endless to me!

    Thanks again for all the helpful contributions.

    John
     
  15. tony_g

    tony_g Funster

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    You should really consider a MH based on the Transit 2.2 TDCi Duratorq engine.
    Preferably the 140PS version (available from either 2006 or 2008 I think). Very driveable, pulls and cruises well up and down dale. Perhaps more van like than the Fiat but very capable and no nonsense.
     
  16. keithfal

    keithfal

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    Choosing a base vehicle

    Sorry I'm a bit late jumping in with my comments but we have just returned from a 4 week tour of Iceland where there was a considerable amount of driving on unsealed/gravel roads of very variable surface quality. Of the 24 units on the tour the vast majority were based on Fiat Ducatos, including ours. The only van to give any trouble over the 3000 mile trip was a Hymer on a FORD base. But since this was a broken battery we can ignore that. So I reckon this proves that Ducatos are comparable with any other base vehicle.
    Put this with the fact that my son-in-law who drives a Renault Master in his work as an international courier, was very impressed by the performance of the Fiat when they took the van to France for a 2000 mile trip esarlier this year and reckoned it outperformed the renualt easily.
    Ours is a bessacarr E520 chosen for its practical 2 berth rear lounge but also for the performance and economy of its 130Multijet engine. We get up to 29 mpg without trying and I will be trying to get 30 in France this autumn given the price of fuel.
    Incidentally diesel in Iceland is cheaper than in the UK in a high tax country where everything is imported - whats that about?
    Good luck with the choice (oh I've just remembered, the reversing judder did occur on my previous Fiat but this new one it doesnt, and Unless you expect to have to reverse for miles uphill, I'm not sure that it matters that much anyway).
    Keith
     
  17. tommytli

    tommytli Funster

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    ive just changed my motorhome and the new one is a 2011 fiat ducato 130 multi jet the old one 2008 transit 140bhp, ive only drove the fiat home so cant give a proper review but compared to the transit its as flat as a fart! im going to italy this week in it so i will report back on how it shapes up loaded and over a few thousand miles, but 1st impressions a remap is on the cards.
     
  18. DESCO

    DESCO

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    As an addition to my earlier post I have just done the analysis of the figures from our first trip to Scotland in our new Ford Transit based Hobby, it is a front wheel drive 2.2 140 with a 6 speed gear box.
    For a new motor it averaged 31.5miles over 2.500 miles over all types of road, which I think can only improve as it gets more miles under its belt. I must say I did think I would chip but performance is better than expected over previous van so will leave alone.
    Previous Transit was 2.2 130 with 5 speed gear box and although I was happy with this I think the later van is a definite improvement.
     
  19. robnchris

    robnchris Funster

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    ducato

    We have a Fiat 3 litre 160 multijet in our Autotrail Arapaho, the engine going forward is a delight, it has been re-mapped and get an average of 27 mpg at 60 mph on the motorway, though that figure will drop down to 21mpg into a head wind.

    The engine definitely doesn`t like going uphill in reverse, the ratio is just too high, as previously stated there is a fix for the smaller 2.3 engine but Fiat have abandoned the 3 litre engine owners.
    The problem first arose with the introduction of the 6 speed gearbox, engines with the old 5 speed don`t have this problem.
    Fiat have taken a long time to get to grips with this, it was thought that if you bought one after October 2010 you would be safe, however I spoke to someone last week and he had bought one in June 2011 and his has the problem, (you never know how long it has been sat in a compound before you buy a guide might be checking the date on the tyres).

    Andy Stothert has done a lot of research and can be found on the internet re Fiat`s infamous reverse judder and clutch burning.
     
  20. mudmover

    mudmover

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    Ford 2.2 140HP

    We tried many ducato's but opted for the Ford 2.2 140HP.....It is fantastic..it is really nippy ( if thats such) and MPG really is impressive..we wnet to Swanage on the weekend wild camping and it average 29.4MPG over 320 miles..keeping speed betwwen 65-70 where legal of course.

    IMO - the downside with transit is it looks like a DHL/Fedex wagon!

    Try one before you opt for ducato!!!! There really is no comparasin the ford blows it away and ofcourse UK is more geared to Ford for Service.
     
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