Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Considering that the Vauxhall Movano is more than 10 years old, this latest version delivers quite a surprise package. At the heart of this is a 2.3-litre engine that's more torquey than the previous engine, making the Movano a very driveable van even when fully loaded. It’s also quieter and more refined, which means the cabin is a more relaxing place to be.
The range of engines is, however, a little confusing, as your choice is dependent on whether you want a front- or rear-wheel-drive model. Vans with power to the front wheels get 133bhp, 148bhp or 178bhp engines, while rear-drive gives you 128bhp, 143bhp and 163bhp options.
Whether you choose front- or rear-wheel-drive will depend on your intended purpose for the vans, with towing or higher payloads all needing to be considered, but of the pack our preference would be the front-wheel-drive 148bhp engine. You get plenty of power and 284lb ft of torque – just 11lb ft less than the 178bhp version.
The twin-turbo engine is, however, capable at all outputs and the 133bhp unit is worth considering as a budget option if you don’t plan on operating near maximum payload.
For a big van, fuel economy is very good too. All Movanos should comfortably return mid-30mpg fuel figures in the real world.
The six-speed auto is ponderous and at times quite punchy with its shifts, however, so be sure to test it before finalising your order.
Overall, to drive, the Movano – like the Renault Master – is a solid all-rounder that's capable of covering many miles at a pleasingly frugal rate. While it can’t lay claim to being up their with the best handling and most comfortable vans in the sector – that title is shared by the Volkswagen Crafter and Mercedes Sprinter – it does possess a commanding seating position that gives great visibility forwards and backwards thanks to large and well positioned mirrors.
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