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New vans coming soon
If you're in the market for a new van, it's worth knowing whether you should buy now or wait for a newer model. Here's everything we know about the new vans coming soon...
Whether you’re starting out with a new business or simply looking to upgrade your current van, there’s lots to look forward to in 2023 and beyond.
For the most part, most of the vans coming in the next year will be powered by electricity, either as fully electric vans or as plug-in hybrids. Going electric brings lower running costs compared with a traditional petrol or diesel-engined van (especially if you can charge it up at home or at work), as well as lower taxes.
Buyers not yet ready to go green needn’t worry, though. Unlike in the car world, there will still be plenty of new vans arriving that'll be powered by traditional petrol and diesel.
Here, then, is a full rundown of everything van buyers have to look forward to in 2023.
Dacia Duster Commercial
The commercial Duster’s advantages are obvious: low price, a big load bay (at 1.5m3, it’s larger than that of most car-derived vans), and an impressive 503kg maximum payload in two-wheel-drive form. There’s also the option of a four-wheel-drive Duster, which makes it an ideal companion if you need an SUV that’ll hike up muddy trails and across fields.
Order books have already opened for Iveco’s latest electric van, the eDaily, which replaces the old Daily Blue Power Electric, but the first customer versions won’t arrive until the spring. The eDaily features a new modular battery, consisting of three separate batteries, which will enable users to vary the specification of their van depending on its requirements.
That means, depending on the configuration, the eDaily will be able to carry as much as 4600kg or tow up to 3500kg, or travel up to 248 miles on a charge, according to official figures.
That modular battery can be made bigger or smaller by Iveco workshops in order to vary the van’s range, giving customers the choice of a longer range at the expense of payload, or a shorter one with increased carrying capacity. That means users will be able to change the van’s configuration mid-life, perhaps if its role changes or if a second-hand buyer wants to use the van differently.
Maxus MIFA 9
While not strictly a van, the new seven-seat Maxus MIFA 9 MPV is being pitched at private hire owner-operators who might look to choose it instead of an equivalent van-based MPV.
It’ll be electric-only, with a 93kWh battery that should deliver an official range of around 273 miles, and will come with a heat pump to improve its efficiency on colder mornings. Also included will be an ‘intelligent driving housekeeper’: a battery and range management system that monitors your driving style and adjusts the van’s responses to match.
Nissan Townstar EV
The replacement for the ageing Nissan NV250, the Townstar is based on the same underpinnings as the Renault Kangoo and Mercedes Citan, and sits below the Primastar and Interstar in the company’s range.
And as you might expect, given there are electric versions of its platform-mates, there’ll be an electric Townstar, too, which will replace the now rather outdated E-NV200.
Prices for the Townstar EV suggest it’ll come in much cheaper than the Kangoo on which it’s based, starting at £30,845. The official range will be slightly reduced compared with the Renault, though, at 184 miles.
Renault Kangoo E-Tech
As with the Townstar, the new Kangoo has already been revealed but is yet to find its way to dealerships. In fact, we’ve already driven the combustion-engined model, and liked it so much that we declared it our Small Van of the Year for 2023.
Will this electric E-Tech version be as good? Given that it’ll share its battery technology with the Mercedes eCitan, it should come as no surprise that the figures should be similar: the 45kWh unit will give the Kangoo E-Tech a range of 195 miles.
Of course, where the Kangoo will have the advantage over its premium-branded sibling is in terms of its price; we’ve no figures for the eCitan yet, but expect the £34,975 starting price for the Kangoo to undercut it significantly.
Renault Trafic E-Tech
Filling the gap between the Kangoo E-Tech and the Master E-Tech will be the new Trafic E-Tech. This will get a slightly larger battery than the Kangoo’s, at 52kWh, which should deliver an official range of around 150 miles – so expect anywhere between 100 and 120 miles in the real world.
It’ll come in two body lengths, with a payload of up to 1100 kg and a towing capacity of up to 750kg. Expect it to arrive shortly after the Kangoo, with prices to be announced imminently.
Renault Master Hydrogen
The launch date for the first-ever production hydrogen-fuelled van to go sale in the UK has slipped back a little (it was originally 2022), but Renault is adamant the Master H2-Tech will go on sale later this year.
We expect it to use the same 33kWh battery and electric motor as the electric Renault Master E-Tech, but the addition of a 30kW hydrogen fuel cell and four 6kg hydrogen tanks should lend it a range of 311 miles, as opposed to the battery-electric version’s 126 miles.
Renault has also said it’s working on prototype chassis-cab and minibus versions of the Master H2-Tech, so we’ll hopefully see the fruits of its labours follow shortly after the introduction of the core van.
We’ve already got behind the wheel of the new Mercedes Citan small van, but customers will get their first chance to do so – and to receive their pre-orders – in the early part of 2023.
As with the first-generation Citan, there’s much in common here with the Renault Kangoo, but while that fact hampered the old car, this new one is much better. Indeed, Mercedes has had more involvement in the new model’s development, and ensured greater differentiation between the Citan and its Renault sibling. Those differences are especially evident in the Citan’s interior and infotainment system.
The Citan will come in electrified form as the eCitan, with a 45kWh battery that should be good enough for an official range of around 190 miles.
Both the Citan and eCitan will be available in passenger form shortly after the commercial versions arrive, as the T-Class and EQT respectively.
Toyota Corolla Commercial
Although it was only launched last year – indeed, we named it as the Best Car-Based Van at our most recent Van and Commercial Vehicle Awards – the Toyota Corolla Commercial is already getting an update, which will bring it into line with the Corolla passenger car range.
That’ll mean the 1.8-litre engine – the Commercial version doesn’t get the 2.0-litre available in the rest of the line-up – gains 16bhp to take it to a maximum output of 136bhp, which shaves a not-inconsiderable 1.7sec off the 0-62mph time.
Meanwhile, a new hybrid battery that weighs 18kg less will improve the car-based van’s efficiency and lower its CO2 emissions figures.
Ford Transit Custom
While Ford has only released details of the electric version of the Transit Custom, it’s safe to say internal combustion engined versions will join it in the range either before or at the same time as it's launched in the autumn.
We don’t know much about those yet, but we do know the E-Transit Custom will feature a 74kWh battery, enabling it to cover 236 miles on a charge, and a choice of two electric motors – one rated at 134bhp, the other at 214bhp. Its payload will be rated at 1100kg. Ford will also offer diesel and plug-in hybrid versions of the new model.
Expect big things from the updated electric eSprinter; Mercedes has already teased that its big electric van has covered a remarkable 295 miles on a single charge in testing. While that can’t be considered an official range rating, it’s a quantum leap over and above the current model’s measly 95-mile range.
Mercedes Vito/eVito facelift
This will be the second facelift for the Vito, and while Mercedes hasn’t released many details of the new version yet, you can expect bigger changes than were brought about by the first. A new interior complete with updated infotainment seems likely, along with the usual spot of nip and tuck on the outside. Don’t be surprised if the electric eVito gets a boost in range, too.
Citroën Relay/Fiat Ducato/Peugeot Boxer/Toyota large van
The Stellantis group – that’s Citroën, Fiat and Peugeot to most of us – stable of large vans is due for a comprehensive facelift, which will include updated electric models. It’s thought the new vans will feature heavily revamped styling and new interiors.
They’ll be joined by a new large Toyota van, following an agreement between Stellantis and Toyota for the Japanese brand to apply its badge to the model, in much the same way as it does with the current Toyota Proace and Toyota Proace City. As yet, the new Toyota van remains unnamed.
While we won’t see these vans on the road until 2024 at the earliest, it’s likely we’ll get the first pictures of the new models toward the end of this year, before a launch early next year.
Ford Transit Courier
A new Transit Courier seems to be the most logical choice for the new van Ford has announced it will start building in Romania from later this year. Engines for Ford’s small car range are already built in the country, so building the Transit Courier there would make a lot of sense.
Indeed, we’re expecting the new Transit Courier to be based on the same underpinnings as the Puma small SUV and to use that car’s range of petrol engines. Most versions will therefore feature a 1.0-litre petrol engine with fuel-saving mild hybrid technology, while 1.5-litre and 1.6-litre diesel engines will be offered for high-mileage drivers. A fully electric version of the Transit Courier should be offered from later in 2024.
The Transit Courier will also spawn a replacement for today’s passenger variant, the Tourneo Courier.
Given Ford’s technology tie-up with Volkswagen, it’s hard to imagine that the next Transporter won’t share large parts of its make-up with the upcoming Ford Transit Custom. If that’s the case, expect it to share that van’s choice of electric, plug-in hybrid and diesel power options.
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