FIAT for Gerda

This full-blooded «Italian», capable of accommodating more than one and a half tons of cargo, is clearly not designed for hunting fun. Yet to go to Abkhazia on quail with a two-year bitch Gerda is still quite rare in the country rocks epanol Breton, we decided on it. FIAT Ducato and did not disappoint …

FIAT for Gerda

In Pitsunda built new comfortable hotels instead of the old Soviet-era hotels.

Abkhazia for our voyage was not chosen by chance. Hoping to get to the end of September — early October quail flight, we expected not to overload the setter excessive abundance of game, and still catch the density of the bird, which in the near and far suburbs (and in adjacent areas) do not have to dream.

In addition, the way we went to the experts, game wardens, representatives of the Russian hunting supervision, to help Abkhazian colleagues on the draft law on hunting, which in the last 20 years of the independent republic is not so far. In short, for the long journey of five gentlemen with equipment and a dog with a cell needed not only roomy enough, but comfortable car.

All the more so back we were planning to take out of this sunny country the greatest possible number of gifts (in liters and kilograms). And so the kind offer ZAO «Chrysler RUS», A distributor of FIAT brand cars in Russia experience «on dalnyak» one of the passenger van FIAT Ducato conversions have been quick to take advantage.

FIAT for Gerda

Today, FIAT Ducato is probably the most affordable in the segment of foreign car.

FIAT for Gerda

FIAT Ducato, depending on the modification, has an impressive amount of cargo space — from 8 to 17 cubes.

From offered today on the Russian market Ducato we got the longest with an average roof (the user can choose from four options overall length of the three values ​​of the wheelbase and three — height). And the six-meter combi van more than 2.5 meters «growth» initially called if not fear, then a slight concern: after all, even the road is not often brought journalists to test such vehicles overall.

But, as it turned out literally five minutes, no problems with the handling and maneuvering, and in dense urban traffic, will not have even the average driver’s license category B. The only thing they have to learn the lay steering, so it’s driving and parking in reverse . Central mirrors here as in any bus not by definition, and the side view of the length and width of the machine (a little over two meters), sufficiently informative.

However, again, it is the opinion of let advanced but very user «civil» vehicles from the pros as these lines obviously cause a smile. However, if you plan to take this car does not work and the family, turning it after a number of improvements in «Camper for poor»We would recommend that you install a minimum of parking sensors, and a maximum of — Iron equip other rear-view camera.

The rest of the front-drive van is quite predictable in the city and on the highway: absolutely passenger handling, though with some nuances. In the metropolis, again, at transpositions and rotations should not forget about the length of the vehicle and on the highways — its height. Though even in dense metropolitan traffic your correspondents able to do something similar to perestavku, let alone in the country this discipline, which «breaking teeth» many «net» passenger cars, and all held to cheer. Just do not forget about the sail. Miracles do not happen — and in open areas of high winds demolished significantly Ducato, walking at speeds of 120–140 km / h, with the selected trajectory.

Discomfort and deliver heavy-timing. FIAT, breaking away from the air bag, created by walking along the adjacent lane truck turbulent flows much blows right and then, without any driver intervention puts in place. Unaccustomed here it is important not to get lost and not to help the Air Force «the wheel»Or even close to sin. But it is better not to squeeze all the juice out of the car and keep cruising 90–100 km / h (although claimed by the manufacturer maximum speed of 155 km / h the car is gaining easy, and even felt a certain reserve, and we personally could not show her any claims agility in all speed ranges), which, however, reckless driver but on the right the road is not so easy …

FIAT for Gerda

By modifying the interior to fit your needs, remember that 6 people or a long journey, or at business meetings will not feel comfortable here.

FIAT for Gerda

270 ° swing open the door of a luggage compartment — a very useful feature for loading operations. True, the FIAT Ducato is an option.

M4 «Don» driver’s heart pleases almost its entire length, except for a rather large hauls in the Voronezh region, and minor — Rostov. Slightly slows drayverskogo fervor Krasnodar region, but only because it is being a big road construction. Those areas that are open to traffic, provoke active driving (except, of course, the narrow, bumpy serpentine segment Dzhubga — Sochi, which some days are worse than in traffic jams of the capital; We, for example, the pitiful 170 km spent more than five hours).

So FIAT Ducato gives her the opportunity to break away from the steering complete. The driver, given the same philosophy of working machines, waste — forgive me, dear reader, for «oil oil» — the full program. After ten to twelve hours behind the wheel does get tired eyes; no fifth point, neither spin nor the cervical rest do not ask, so well-positioned controls, profiled seat provided an excellent overview, uhvatist wheel. However, to get comfortable with him, you have to spend about five minutes.

The fact is that «helm» then regulated only on the removal. To make it fit for yourself in height, it is necessary to manipulate the … seat. Two lever on the left side of the last one raises the back of the Seats, other — front to the desired values, thereby replacing the longitudinal adjustment of the steering wheel. The solution may be, and not the best, but it allows you to sit back completely.

And, perhaps, only very bad, too high a pedestal for the left leg driver causes serious complaints. Leg or pull or relax, or move from side to side it is impossible, that during long rides too annoying. Although short urban «dashes» this unpleasant nuance hardly anyone will notice.

FIAT for Gerda

Car pleases abundance glove compartments, niches and holders.

FIAT for Gerda

Leaving this van to the edge of the Black Sea, we had almost «buried» him in the coastal shingle.

But we settled. Turn the key — and hammered rather age dizelek 120 MultiJet. However, in this case does not mean age poor. Quite the contrary! He was so successful that it has been the second decade of travels all over Europe. Though what surprised if FIAT was almost the first company to market passenger diesel with direct injection. And certainly the first to introduce a system of fuel battery type, called Common-Rail.

Therefore, it is no wonder that stood under the hood Ducato (and IVECO Daily) high-tech 16-valve 2.3 liter unit capacity of 120 hp, equipped with a fuel injection system of high pressure with electronically controlled, on the shoulder almost any problem. And if in a simple way and without hype-manufacturer performance, this powerplant is aggregated with 6-speed manual, a powerful, high-torque and elastic to the disgrace. For example, get a move on here is better in second gear, otherwise slipping guaranteed. In the urban bustle second or third successfully act as «machine».

And on the road is easy to bypass the fifth to sixth gear at high speed overtaking almost without using even the fourth. In this clutch it works perfectly in all range of pedal travel, and «joystick» gear only occasionally confused with the second quarter (although there may «It was not in the reel»). And here it is worth noting that the company’s minders were well aware of the target audience for which it creates. Wage carrier (Especially in Russia) will hardly take care of the machine, carefully follow the recommendations of the manual, but the engine seems to endure, it will carry any violence against them, guided by the principle «do not be afraid — get there!».

And to complete the experience of comfort «the captain’s cabin» it is worth noting its good noise isolation: no annoying or engine operation (in general), no air flow (occasionally) or rolling noise (almost). Equally spacious and cozy feel and navigator. But the third man in the cab (if, as in this modification, there is space for it) will obviously interfere.

Alas, it is not the passengers feel the cargo compartment. The long wheelbase, specially for Russia reinforced rear suspension give them all the irregularities of the road surface with a constant vibration, even when driving at a very good asphalt. In addition, any cargo version Ducato certainly require the use of various panels for covering the body (the car comes to us in «goal» iron).

And it all depends on the ability, skills and qualifications of those who reworks the van in Russia for specific client needs. We were not lucky. Our van is clearly converted the people who gave their best during the production of domestic cars. All installed facing them creaked, vibrated, and grated zasverchkovala on the second thousand kilometers. However, the manufacturer directly is not relevant.

FIAT for Gerda

The ergonomics of the driver’s seat does not cause the slightest criticism.

FIAT for Gerda

A dozen papers, six quail taken just two hours of hunting — an excellent result for the Moscow hunter!

Although he excelled. New Ducato, sold in Russia, good adapted to our difficult road and climate conditions. For example, in the base system are optional engine heater Webasto, increased capacity battery and generator of increased power. And, as already mentioned, specially reinforced rear suspension and axle components for the body «use on bad road surfaces».

However, all these efforts virtually nullifies the exhaust pipe, which reduces the danger seems to be a decent ground clearance of 300 mm to 150 miserable! He hangs almost sloppy snot under the front left wheel, causing the slow down where not saved not that different LADA, but Europeanized urban subcompact. Asphalt comb, not the broken-down coat, not to mention the self-made road «police», Low roadsides and just potholes, in some cases, make the car quite uncomfortable to drive adequate, and sometimes useless.

Meanwhile frame design allows the car to bend and pull the exhaust tract is almost like anywhere with minimum engineering and manufacturing costs. It is strange that the Italians, planning to become leaders in this market segment in Russia, did not pitch that gave to them a real competitive advantage.

However, in «off road» stories with Ducato, there are other errors «Italians in Russia». For us, for example, are not available all-wheel drive version. Although during the short novel FIAT now Sollers planned release version of Profi 4×4-link rear axle, locking rear differential, and all the same, but with a down-side. But this variation on the theme could really blow the market.

Well, with Elabuga did not work, but why not deliver «Terrain» model of purely foreign assembly? Although, given the vague marketing strategy of the brand in our country, this question is purely rhetorical …

FIAT for Gerda

Be in Abkhazia and not visit Athos monastery for the believer is unforgivable. It was founded in 1875 by monks of the monastery of St. Russian. Panteleimon from Old Mount Athos (Greece).

So what is the result? The first four and a half thousand kilometers, which has overcome the van for the needs of the editorial board showed that, albeit with some reservations, but it is quite suitable for long-distance more or less comfortable runs on relatively good roads. Its at a certain tuning can be successfully used as an office on wheels. Still, better use of the machine — freight. As originally conceived.

As for the goals of this trip, they were fully achieved. Thanks to Gerd, who, incidentally, was traveling in a purely cargo (the third) compartment, and in the personal spacious cage with the lights on, we do not go a day without a quail, and work on the Abkhaz law on hunting budged. But more about that — in the next issue.

Moscow — Sukhum — Moscow


Alexander Rostarchuk10 December 2013 at 00:00

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