We've reviewed & driven a fair few large vans in 2019 & now it's time to reveal the top 3 & crown a best large van of 2019. Tom Roberts reports.
Large vans just seem to be getting bigger and better & during 2019 I reviewed & drove a fair few of them. While medium vans may dominate UK roads, large vans are a staple choice for fleets & the van-driving tradespeople that make up the backbone of the British economy.
So, here are my top 3 large vans of 2019… let me know if you agree.
Bronze: Citroen Relay
Size isn't everything… unless you're looking for a large van in which case if you've ever seen a Fiat Ducato or Peugeot Boxer large van then you might not have realised you were staring at a Citroen Relay too! It's a proper workhorse, & not only is it capable of carrying huge loads, its running costs are some of the best in the category.
They're also proud about letting people know that it went through a ton of testing – 4m kilometres of test driving & 500,000 door slams. In terms of driver comfort – for a basic-looking interior - it's comfy & the 2-litre BlueHDi engine is efficient & powerful.
In my opinion, Citroen has always been good at selecting hard-wearing, hard-working engines to go with all that practicality - it's a strong contender & one I'd advise all large van users to take a look at.
Silver: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Vying for the top large van all year is the brand new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter& it's caused a stir while doing it, with nearly 24,000 sold this year (almost as many as the Ford Transit… but not quite).
The model we reviewed was a 6-speed manual model which revs up to 112 bhp & it took to the road like a duck in water, its weighty body not holding it back. In fact, it feels more like you're driving a car than a large van, with power & pull not coming at the expense of being too loud.
But what's earned this van the respect of its users is the excellent drive quality, returns on investment & the cabin tech, which is of such a high quality it's clear Mercedes-Benz treated the recent redesign with the same levels of respect they treat their cars. It's an excellent van & my clear silver medal winner for 2019.
Gold: Ford Transit
The Transit name is iconic – not only is it the name of Ford's biggest panel van – it's often used to describe any large van… & it's sold over 25,000 in the UK this year alone! Ford has a legacy & the Transit name is now attributed to ALL their LCVs from the compact Courier, small Connect & medium Transit.
The version I reviewed was the L4H3 version - the biggest Transit in the standard range & thanks to the excellent Euro 6 2.0-litre Eco Blue engines that deliver amazing running costs, this van truly shows why Ford's vehicles are still considered the benchmark in the sector.
The Euro 6 2.0-litre EcoBlue engine is a major plus point in the Transit's corner providing a blend of power & efficiency meaning that its not only built to be worked hard but it will return great running costs. If a van this big can still look & perform THIS well after so many years & updates, then what does that say about the competition? Food for thought, eh?
Ford Transit Price Comparison
If you're tempted by the Ford Transit (and I don't blame you), you might be wondering how to get behind the wheel of one. Well, you could buy a used one outright… or you could save well over £17,000 by leasing a brand new van instead. Check out the costings below:
Buying used (equivalent spec, 150 miles on the clock):
Buy Outright: £23,940
Or, personal loan repayments (representative APR of 27.4%): 48 monthly payments of £601.19.
Leasing brand new:
- Finance Lease: £2388 initial rental + 47 monthly rentals at £199 per month.