Fiat’s ‘all-new’ Ducato X/250 was launched for the 2007 model year and from then, Auto-Trail decided to build its popular Tracker on it.
Quite right, too, because it made commercial sense to carry forward such a strong seller.
Tracker has always ploughed its own furrow, filling the gap between the lavishly equipped flagship Frontiers and Auto-Trail’s less expensive ranges.
This generation kicked off with two models: EK (5.79m/19’0″) and EKS (6.26m/20′ 6.5″). Both shared similar layouts, with a rear kitchen, offside rear corner shower room and forward lounge-diner with swivelling cab seats ahead of two inward-facing settees.
The settees convert into a transverse double bed in the EK, whereas in the EKS, their extra length adds the option of two easy-access longitudinal singles.
A choice of overcab profiles provides either an additional; double bed or more storage. Extra travel seats could also be specified on both variants.
Standard motive power was courtesy of Fiat’s Multijet turbodiesel engines. The EK arrived with the 100bhp unit and five-speed manual gearbox as standard, with a 130bhp unit mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as a cost option. The EKS had the 130bhp combo as standard, although the (Iveco) 160bhp motor and manual/auto-gearboxes were additional cost options.
The 2008 season saw the SE pack, already offering excellent value for money, further enhanced so that it provided over £2600-worth of useful accessories for an additional £849.
In 2009, the cabinetwork was upgraded, with new ‘designer’ soft furnishing fabrics offered the following year. The EK was phased out in 2010 and many thought this might signal Tracker’s demise – but Auto-Trail had devised a cunning plan, and used that year to develop some longer models to broaden Tracker’s appeal. These were rolled out over the next three years. The RS (6.93m/22’9″) added a full-width shower/changing area across the far rear.
The FB (7.13m/23’5″) became the first fixed-bed Tracker model, boasting a nearside rear corner European-style longitudinal double bed, with the washroom, which included a separate walk-in shower, just adjacent.
Finally in this tranche, the RB offered a low-level island double bed at the far rear, with the head-end along the nearside wall. This became the longest Tracker, at 7.6m/24’11”.
The LB – similar to the RB in both size and layout, but with the island bed’s head-end along the rear wall – was launched for the 2018 season.
A number of prospective purchasers, loved both the RS and the LB models, but wanted a combination of the two; that is, featuring a European-style ‘rear’ corner bed, but located ahead of a full width shower/changing room. In 2019, Auto-Trail duly obliged, with the crossover 7.36m/24’2″ EB.
It is worth emphasising that Tracker has seen significant development since the original compact coachbuilt concept. Self evidently, the longer models add more choice but this does come at a price – literally, in terms of RRP; and figuratively, concerning driving licence requirements. Only the shortest three can be plated at 3500kg and driven by all. Group C1 is required on licences to sit behind the wheel of the biggies.
Ducato had a significant make-over for the 2015 model year, with facelift examples monikered X/290. Visually they are similar, and the tell-tale easy identifier is that the X/290’s face has narrower ‘eyes’ (headlamps).
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
If opting for a 3500kg example, make sure that you double-check the weight plate(s) under the bonnet, because Auto-Trail offered a free upgrade to 3650kg, which of course, has driving licence implications.
A full service history and long MOT are desirable. Purchasers of X/250 examples would do well to budget for a complete replacement clutch, because if the slave cylinder fails, the gearbox has to be removed (it is located inside) and it is a false economy not to replace everything, including the hydraulic lines. The 100-bhp and 130-bhp units have a cambelt and all engine drive belts should also be replaced at the correct time intervals.
Look for evidence of a recent full habitation service, including the written results of a body integrity test (for water ingress). Damp is the enemy of all coachbuilts and rectification of leaks can often be both expensive and time-consuming. Replace the smoke alarm and consider fitting a carbon-monoxide monitor/alarm. Otherwise, just check that everything operates as it should, especially blinds, fly screens and seat-to-bed conversions.
If you want to remain true to the raison d’être behind the Tracker, it would be an EK or EKS, no question. However, time has moved on and Tracker has broadened its appeal to include those looking for longer fixed-bed models.
There isn’t a lemon, although the EB with Hi-line Luton and extra travel seats just edges it for us. Enormous across-the-rear shower/changing room and a useful payload – group C1 licence required. Don’t buy an early model without the SE pack.
WHAT TO PAY
Cheapest of this era in the classifieds was Somerset Motorhome Centre, with a 2007 EK, 46,000 miles, for £28,995. For just £3000 more, we came across a low-mileage 2010 EKS for sale privately on the AutoTrader website.
Stewart Mouland Motorcaravans has an ‘as-new’ (just 1245 miles!) 2019 EKS for a sharp £51,495. Equivalent cost today would be just shot of £63,000.
Champagne taste but only lemonade money? Tracker EKS on the previous generation Ducato (X/44) available privately from £18,000.
OR YOU COULD TRY…
Alternatives include the Auto-Trail Apache/Imala and Frontier ranges, Auto-Sleeper Broadway, or Bessacarr 500 Series, from Swift Group.
- Auto-Trail Tracker on Fiat Ducato X/250 and X/290 chassis-cab
- Built 2007 to present in Europarc, Grimsby, UK
- Low-profile and Luton overcab coachbuilts
- Overall length: EK 5.79m (19’0″) to RB/LB 7.6m (24’11”)
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It is worth emphasising that Tracker has seen significant development since the original compact coachbuilt concept.