When analysing the small van market, this sector of the motoring industry has it all – from small, compact and practical, to fun and funky, there is a small van out there for everyone, whatever your needs require.
For tradesmen and small businesses who don’t need to carry a lot of equipment and tools around on a daily basis, a small van is likely to make the cut. Why invest in a large van if the majority of it will remain empty? Small vans are compact enough to navigate around small crowded streets with enough room to store your tools and equipment, whilst looking smart enough to promote your business on the roads – practical, safe and reliable.
VW vans specialist, Inchcape VW, take a look at some of the best small vans that are filling the market right now:
Ford Transit Connect
Moving Ford’s van range upmarket, the latest Ford Transit Connect has improved their interior quality and technological features. With DAB radio and USB inputs available as standard, it’s a durable and comfortable drive that puts other rival vans in the shade. The new update that is forecast for the Transit range means the small van is expected to upgrade their screens to the latest Ford touchscreen system that is currently available in the Focus.
The Connect is available in standard and long wheelbases, as well as with an additional row of seats with sliding doors which means the double cab version has improved access for all passengers –making it simpler for tradesmen to get their kit in and out of the van.
Following in the footsteps of VW’s car range, the Volkswagen Caddy is one of the most comfortable small vans on the UK market, with high-quality interior and refinement after its update in 2015. The update saw the bodywork altered to look sharper and more similar to the VW favourites, the VW Golf and Polo.
As the Caddy also has the same running gear as the Golf, the van has car-like handling, making for a comfortable drive – whether you have a standard wheelbase or long wheelbase. Just like the Transit Connect, the VW Caddy is also available as a five-seat Kombi crew van.
On the market for years and years, the Berlingo is trusted by many van drivers – representing good value, a capable hauler and one of the most economical vans on the market. Not only that but they offer a fully electric model of the van, which is perfect for tradesmen looking to make shorter journeys. Available in two lengths, the Berlingo promises a great balance between ride and handling.
However, despite its reliability and popularity, the Berlingo is set to be replaced by a brand-new model later this year.
Mercedes Benz Citan
Slightly pricier than most of its rivals, the Mercedes Benz Citan was co-developed with the Renault Kangoo – however, it is offered as a people carrier, whereas the Kangoo is not. So,what is it that justifies the significant difference in price? The interior fittings and impressive cabin set it apart from the rest, while also providing a durable feel to the drive. The CitanSport edition adds a touch of style to the van too, with body coloured bumpers and alloywheels as standard.
The Citan is available in compact, long wheelbase and extra wheelbase styles, with latter coming with seats that are bi-folding to create more space for your equipment and tools.
Whilst worlds apart from the price of the Mercedes Benz Citan, the Renault Kangoo is also offered as an electric vehicle, whereas the Citan is not. The most recent model was released in 2013, having had a series of updates over the years. It is known to be great value for money by offering a compact and easy-to-drive small van, which is perfect for squeezing through those compact streets when travelling from job to job.
Running costs are relatively low, with a comfortable airy feel to the cabin allowing passengers and the driver to make the most of the space. Standard models are also well equipped.
So, which would you choose? This is just a snippet of what is currently available on the small van market – before making a decision, consider what your van is needed for and then prioritise your requirements so that you get the best van for your needs.