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Van of the Year 2021: Medium Van - Best for Practicality
For many van drivers largest doesn't automatically mean most practical, leading our judges to highlight the all-round abilities of the Citroën Dispatch, Peugeot Expert, Toyota Proace and Vauxhall...
WINNER: Medium Van - Best for Practicality
Citroën Dispatch, Peugeot Expert, Toyota Proace, Vauxhall Vivaro
Priced from £23,645 MPG 35.3-52.3mpg CO2 emissions 159-211g/km Load space 4.6-6.1m3 Payload 960kg- 1469kg Power 98-178bhp Torque 199-295lb ft
Were this award judged on load capacity alone, we’d have different winners. For some, the Citroën Dispatch, Peugeot Expert, Toyota Proace and Vauxhall Vivaro will be discounted because none of them is sold with a high-roof option.
However, our judges have selected this quartet – all based on the same underpinnings and built to essentially the same formula, making separating them impossible – because the practical nature of a van extends beyond the simple shell of the vehicle.
The Renault Trafic, for example, has at least 2m3 more space in its rear quarters, but it can’t match the PSA/Toyota vans’ length or payload capabilities. The Volkswagen Transporter, too, comfortably beats these vans for load volume, in both standard and long-wheelbase forms, but it has no tricks up its sleeves for additional storage like a load-through bulkhead – the design of which is more versatile than Ford’s equivalent underseat hatch, because there’s a larger opening and items can go all the way through the passenger footwell.
Practicality also extends beyond the load space. A modern van driver wants to be comfortable at the wheel, with all the important switches and dials intuitively positioned and easy to operate, and these vans excel in this area. In addition, buyers have the option of some clever technology such as a head-up display, which projects crucial information such as speed onto the windscreen, reducing fatigue and taking some of the stress out of driving.
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