Vauxhall Movano

Our Rating: 
4.2
4.2/5.0
Price Range: 
£19,850 to £30,830
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

The Vauxhall Movano has one of the widest ranges in the heavy-van market, making it adaptable to many uses

For: 
Huge choice of body sizes and weights, excellent cab
Against: 
Limited engine power for a 4.5-tonne van

The Vauxhall Movano is offered in four body lengths, with a choice of three heights, in front and rear-wheel drive and with three engine ratings. There’s even the option of an automated manual gearbox. With gross weights of 2,800kg right through to 4,500kg, the Movano line-up has a model to fit most requirements at this end of the market. Vauxhall offers a second row of four seats in the double-cab models, available on L2H2 and L3H2 bodies. There are also six and nine-seat Combi versions or the option of a full 17-seat minibus available from the factory. Vauxhall’s ecoFLEX technology is available on L2H2 and L3H2 front-wheel-drive models, with stop-start available on both 100bhp and 125bhp engines.

MPG and Running Costs

4

The Movano is offered with 100bhp, 125bhp and 150bhp versions of the firm’s 2.3-litre diesel engine, in both front and rear-drive models. All three engines drive through a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, though a Tecshift six-speed automated gearbox is also available with the 125bhp engine. Vauxhall’s ecoFLEX fuel-saving technology, including stop-start, is also available on some models with the 100bhp and 125bhp engines, though only in front-wheel drive. That said, all models offer competitive fuel figures, with front-drive Movanos promising 34-37mpg and rear-drive models delivering a combined 29-34mpg. Emissions range from 199g/km from the ecoFLEX models to 249g/km for the heaviest rear-drive vans. That’s similar to the rear-drive-only Mercedes Sprinter and VW Crafter, though the Mercedes offers higher engine outputs and the VW runs smaller 2.0-litre diesel engines. It does fall some way behind the Fiat Ducato, though, which claims to return more than 40mpg. Service intervals for the Movano are set at 25,000 miles or two years, while the Fiat Ducato offers 30,000-mile oil changes.

Load Space and Practicality

4.3

There's a Vauxhall Movano to suit almost every eventuality. With four body lengths, three roof heights, front and rear-drive chassis, the Movano delivers load volumes of 7.8-17.0 cubic metres. If even that's not enough, the Movano is available as a chassis cab for conversion to a Luton box van or light truck. As well as tackling the highly competitive 3,500kg market in both front and rear drive, the Movano goes right up to 4,500kg gross weight and, with a 3,000kg trailer limit, can offer a train weight of 7,500kg. Vauxhall offers half-height protective panels in the Movano’s load area as part of the standard package on rear-drive models. Full-height ply lining is available on all Movanos as an option. Protective floor coverings are also offered, or you can opt for an anti-slip floor with built-in fixing rails, with anchor points every 25mm. Side wall anchor rails, movable partitions and a telescopic blocking bar system are offered for improved load retention. All Movano vans have a full-height steel bulkhead. Vauxhall offers double-cab models on the L2Hs and L3H2 front-drive chassis, or the L3H2 rear-drive model. The double cab has four individual rear seats and a bulkhead, providing safe transport for up to seven people and a secure storage area in the rear. For greater versatility, there are also Combi versions with second and third rows of seating for three, providing six or nine-seat layouts, with the ability to remove seating when greater load space is required. If additional load carrying capability is needed, there are roof bars and roof tray racks on offer, with a rear-door steel ladder available, allowing up to 200kg to be carried on the roof. A heavy-duty towing hook can also be factory supplied. Vauxhall also offers a range of conversions based on the Movano chassis, including single and double-cab tippers and dropsides, and a box van. These core conversions carry the same three-year/100,000-mile warranty as the standard panel van.

Reliability and Safety

3.9

An ESP-Plus electronic stability programme is standard on all rear-wheel -drive models and comes as a £400 option on front-drive vans. ESP-Plus reduces throttle response and varies the braking force to each wheel when a loss of traction is detected, ensuring that the driver remains in control at all times. A driver’s airbag is standard, with a passenger bag, and driver and passenger side-impact airbags available as options. Other safety additions include reverse parking sensors (£265), a speed limiter (£75) and a lighting pack (£245) that includes static cornering lights, where, depending on vehicle speed and steering angle, an additional light illuminates the corner of the road during turning. The Movano is sturdily built, with a durable cab that can take the rigours of everyday life. The CDTi engine has chain-driven cams, so you should have no concerns about belt changes. Oil change intervals of 25,000 miles or two years, along with a 100,000-mile warranty, suggest strong reliability.

Driving and Performance

3.8

The Movano is a good van to drive, with a commanding driving position and a comfortable cab. All three engines have a decent combination of power and economy, though some might question a 2.3-litre engine with just 150bhp in a 4.5-tonne van. The Mercedes Sprinter, for instance, offers up to 163bhp from its four-cylinder engines, or a 3.0-litre V6 with 190bhp for its heavier models, while the Fiat Professional has 177bhp available from its 3.0-litre engine in the Ducato. Both front and rear-drive Movanos handle well, with powerful brakes and relatively supple suspension, even when unladen. Those looking for increased off-road traction or stronger towing capability can specify a heavy-duty twin-rear wheel option. There is a rear air-suspension option (£2,000) available for 3,500kg GVW front-drive models, while rear-drive vans can be ordered with an optional locking rear differential (£500) for additional traction.

Cab and Interior

4.2

The Movano has an excellent cab interior, with more storage compartments, boxes and cubbies than most drivers will ever use. For those customers using the van as a mobile office, there's even the option of a rotating laptop table on the fold-down middle seat back. It's a bit of a climb up into the Movano cab, but the upside is excellent visibility and a commanding view of the road ahead. A six-way adjustable driver’s seat with armrest, steering-column-mounted audio controls, electric windows, and aux and USB interface with Bluetooth connectivity make the Movano very easy to live with. Options include air-conditioning (£600), full climate control (£900), cruise control (£200) and a digital tachograph (£525). However it is worth looking at options packs as they deliver good value for money. For example the Comfort Pack (£1,295) includes climate control, sat-nav with a remote monitor, enhanced audio with Bluetooth and aux input and four 20W speakers. Alternatively, for the harder-working van there's a Construction Pack (£950) available for rear-drive vans that incorporates an air-suspended driver’s seat, a locking rear differential and a tow bar with electrics.

Van dimensions

Body style Height Width Length
L1H1 FWD van 2,307mm 2,070mm 5,048mm
L1H2 FWD van 2,500mm 2,070mm 5,048mm
L2H2 FWD van 2,500mm 2,070mm 5,548mm
L2H3 FWD van 2,749mm 2,070mm 5,548mm
L3H2 FWD van 2,488mm 2,070mm 6,198mm
L3H3 FWD van 2,744mm 2,070mm 6,198mm
L3H2 RWD van 2,527mm 2,070mm 6,198mm
L3H3 RWD van 2,786mm 2,070mm 6,198mm
L4H2 RWD van 2,557mm 2,070mm 6,848mm
L4H3 RWD van 2,808mm 2,070mm 6,848mm

(Widths are body width without mirrors. With mirrors: 2,470mm)

Load area dimensions

Body style Height Width Length Volume
L1H1 FWD van 1,700mm 1,765mm 2,583mm 7.8m3
L1H2 FWD van 1,894mm 1,765mm 2,583mm 8.6m3
L2H2 FWD van 1,894mm 1,765mm 3,083mm 10.8m3
L2H2 FWD Double cab 1,894mm 1,765mm 2,175mm 6.9m3
L2H3 FWD van 2,144mm 1,765mm 3,083mm 12.3m3
L3H2 FWD van 1,894mm 1,765mm 3,733mm 13.0m3
L3H2 FWD Double cab 1,894mm 1,765mm 2,825mm 9.0m3
L3H3 FWD van 2,144mm 1,765mm 3,733mm 14.8m3
L3H2 RWD van 1,798mm 1,765mm 3,733mm 12.4m3
L3H2 RWD Double cab 1,798mm 1,765mm 2,825mm 8.4m3
L3H3 RWD van 2,048mm 1,765mm 3,733mm 14.2m3
L4H2 RWD van 1,798mm 1,765mm 4,383mm 14.9m3
L4H3 RWD van 2,048mm 1,765mm 4,383mm 17.0m3

(Widths are maximum, width between wheel arches is 1,380mm for FWD models and 1,080mm-1,380mm for RWD models - single and double rear wheels)

Specifications

  • Power: 100bhp – 150bhp
  • Weight (GVW): 2,800kg – 4,500kg
  • Payload: 966kg – 2,254kg
  • Loading height (approx, unladen) : 557-724mm
Last updated: 26 Jun, 2013
AEX 1,341
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