A comfortable way to carry eight adults, but interior quality could be better.

What's new?

Pretty much everything, actually. Fiat's Scudo Panorama is here to replace the much-loved Ulysse on the airport taxi run, and it does so with a new platform and body. Even the engines have had a refresh.

What's it like?

Fiat would have you believe that the new Scudo Panorama is car-like in both dynamics and looks.

Unfortunately, the addition of windows has done nothing to disguise the commercial origins. It still looks like a van.

However, the Panorama is not unpleasant to drive. The steering is responsive, if numb, and the driving position is comfortable and suitably car-like.

On offer is a 1.6-litre 90bhp unit (short-wheelbase only), or a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel unit in 120bhp or 136bhp tune. We tested the most powerful of the two options in the short-wheelbase body. At three metres long, its wheelbase is 120mm shorter than that of its extended counterpart.

As you'd expect, the Scudo feels most at home on motorways. Though manoeuvrable, the uneven power delivery and sheer size of the thing doesn't suit town driving.

The interior is what sells an MPV, though, and the Scudo's is good. Spacious, light and comfortable it offers eight adults plenty of legroom, plus 327 litres of space for luggage. Pay an extra £410 for the long wheelbase and you get 770 litres.

Unfortunately, the cheap velour and plastics are a let down. Fiat clam that a luxury model is planned for release soon, so if you need more class, you'll have to wait.

Should I buy one?

The Scudo Panorama succeeds at providing more space than any car-based MPV and beats the van-based rivals on price and ability. So if you can't live without space for eight, the Scudo is a good choice.

However, that eighth passenger and their luggage had better be a real necessity, because at this price it's all that stands between the Scudo and an infinitely preferable seven-seat Ford Galaxy.

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