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Van of the Year 2021: Large Van - Best for Practicality

The Citroën Relay, Fiat Ducato and Peugeot Boxer have been co-developed for more than 30 years, and one of the main reasons they remain popular is their unrivalled payload qualities...

Van Awards 2021 - Large Van - Practicality (new logo)

WINNER: Large Van - Best for Practicality

Citroën Relay, Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer

Priced from £21,145  MPG 38.6-44.2mpg CO2 emissions 130-194g/km Load space 4.6-6.1m3 Payload 960-1469kg Power 113-175bhp Torque 221-332lb ft

It’s not uncommon for different manufacturers to share development of essentially the same vans, spreading development costs between them, often with the goal of raising the overall budget to build something special. Even so, the joint development of the Citroën Relay, Fiat Ducato and Peugeot Boxer is notable for having run for more than 30 years.

A large part of that success today is down to their unrivalled payload capabilities, which have not only made them the darlings of the motorhome industry but also resulted in the development of all manner of factory body conversions, from tippers and dropsides to Luton vans and low loaders.

Fiat Ducato interior

The maximum 1615kg payload from the best of these vans edges out the maximum permissible weight in the Renault Master by just 22kg, but they can move nearly 160kg more than the Ford Transit van – a significant amount at this level.

There’s also a huge range of bodies to choose from, with four lengths and three heights on offer. Most manufacturers now sell vans that are more than 3.5 tonnes – notable because they require a tachograph and different licence to drive – and the Relay, Ducato and Boxer are all offered as a 4.2-tonne van too. 

It’s not just about weight, though, because 17m3 can be transported in the rear. While that’s not class-leading, it is well above average. Furthermore, while the Mercedes Sprinter and Volkswagen Crafter can both carry longer lengths, these triplets have the best all-round carrying capabilities in our estimation.

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Read more about our Van of the Year 2021 winners >>