By Tom Roberts
The Vauxhall Movano is a large van that has been a regular face in the LCV market for what feels like decades, but it’s one that hasn’t ever really had its moment in the sun. 2022 has seen the launch of a new-look Movano which we gave to Vanarama Van Expert Tom Roberts to put through its paces.
Simple fact: the Vauxhall Movano is up against some pretty big contenders - most notably the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, two vans that sell well, offer excellent quality in the cabins and pack efficient engines. By comparison, vans like the Movano can sometimes end up getting judged harshly.
However, there’s a lot of ticks in this van’s column, but just because it gets some things right - and it does - should it be your next large van? Well, that’s a question for the ages… so, let’s get down to answering it.
What Is New In The 2022 Vauxhall Movano?
Stellantis - they want it all, they want it now - but so too do UK van drivers and Stellantis know this, which is probably why there’s a palpable rush to get their new large vans for Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen and Fiat to market. The Vauxhall Movano is therefore just one of the 4 large vans that, for all intents and purposes, are the same van with a different badge. Let’s be clear, nearly 50% of the large vans in the UK market right now are effectively the same van - not a shocker, just a fact. But that means if you don’t want to drive a Ford Transit or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, it’s the brand you feel most loyal to that is likely to get your buck.
Although NCAP has just confirmed the Fiat Ducato as the safest Stellantis van, the Movano features a number of driver assistance tech, such as electronic stability programme (ESP), speed sign recognition, lane departure warning, traction control, rear cross traffic alerts, automatic braking assistance, blind spot alerts, cruise control, speed limiter and trailer safety assist. That’s a lot of safety tech in a van that doesn’t feel overly techy.
The new Movano features a powerful diesel engine, a Euro 6d compliant, 2.2-litre unit that is used by the other Stellantis vans, and available in 120PS, 140PS and 165PS output offering a maximum torque of up to 370Nm. These are all matched up to the same 6-speed manual gearbox. It also comes in a variety of shapes and sizes - 4 different lengths and 3 heights across Panel Van, Crew Van, Chassis Cab, Crew Cab, & Platform Cab formats in 2 trim levels, Edition and top-spec Dynamic.
There’s even an electric version available - the Movano-e, which we’ll get in soon for a review - providing a power output equivalent to the least powerful diesel engine at 120PS (90kW) with 260Nm of torque and a top speed of up to 75mph. This allows you to use the range of up to 139 miles (WLTP, so probably closer to 110 real-world). Charging times on a 50kWh public charger circle around 0% to 80% in just 1 hour.
But fuel-type aside, the Movano is up against some stiff competition in the large van sector. It’s got to deal with the top-selling Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, not easy. And, ironically, it’s also up against the other 3 Stellantis vehicles it shares so much with and while we don’t have them in for review right now - watch this space - a lot of what you’ll see unfold today is bound to be covered in those reviews too.
How Big Is The Vauxhall Movano’s Cargo Area?
Well, it’s not an exaggeration to call the new Movano’s load area a best-in-class example of what you want from a large van. It’s huge doors open up nice and wide to help you access the up to 17.0m³ of load volume. You’ve got enough room here for up to 4 Euro-pallets and a total maximum payload of up to 2100kg (depending on which one you choose).
There are plenty of tie-down loops to secure your loads, when you lease it from us it comes ply-lined, and the lighting in here is much improved from the previous version - just check out those LEDs.
So, the clear message is that if you’re a large van operator, you need the van to do a job in the cargo area - and the Movano gets the job done.
What Is The New Vauxhall Movano’s Cabin Like?
Cabin comfort is… comfy. Top of my list is the sheer volume of storage available - it’s in the doors, above your head, under the seats and you have a choice of two lockable storage containers to stash your valuables in. The infotainment suite has been upgraded - you can now enjoy digital radio, Bluetooth, USB connectivity (including a USB socket inside one of the lockable storage bins) and a 5-inch digital touchscreen with an integrated SatNav system. .
As with previous Movanos, the driving position is nice and high. I mentioned in the video review that despite having excellent vision out of the front windscreen, the A pillars intrude heavily into your peripherals. However, it’s nothing a bit of a lean forward can’t fix and only ever becomes an issue at tight junctions. .
A nice addition for 2022 is the reversing camera that makes manoeuvring safer and simpler for drivers - it even features guidelines to show where you’re aiming and does a good job letting you know where this enormous van is going. The display flashes up on the touchscreen and the camera automatically activates when you slip into reverse or when the rear doors are opened (handy).
Apart from that, this van’s cabin doesn’t feel like it’s changed too much and some might think it feels a little dated. This is especially clear if you compare the interiors of the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. However, I believe the Movano’s affordability is gained here, so a few compromises on tech bells and whistles is to be expected.
Is The New Vauxhall Movano Good?
Well, the Vauxhall Movano gets all the things a large van should get right… right. But in a sector where the reasonably-priced Ford Transit and you-definitely-get-what-you-pay-for Mercedes-Benz Sprinter dominate - and 3 other vans that are essentially the same van as it, I can understand why people might pass it over.
Chances are, however, that you’ll get a Vauxhall Movano for a good lease price. And if you’re after a large van, it’s perfectly up to the job. So, it has a place, because we need affordable options. And that’s what it is - check out the lease deals and you’ll see what I mean.
If you enjoyed this review article, check out how Tom got on with the* Ford Transit Custom PHEV on a 244-mile round trip to Bath.