Best medium panel vans to buy 2020
Competition in the medium sized van sector is fierce. Here we rank the runners and riders...
If you want the best van that balances size and ease of use, then a medium sized van offers more space inside than a small van, but isn't as bulky as a large one. And with better fuel economy than ever, these vans are the ones to buy if you're after a workhorse that can take all of your kit, but without compromising on performance or driveability.
These vans offer plenty of payload and cargo volume, with different wheelbase and body lengths available, high roof options, and some models even come with conversion options designed to cater for virtually every business need.
Diesel power is still the go-to power source, offering the best mix of efficiency and performance in most situations. However, Ford is rolling out hybrid versions of its Transit Custom, while the Volkswagen T6 Transporter is skipping this and going straight to all-electric power in the shape of the e-Transporter, due in the UK in 2020.
There's a lot more to the current wave of mid-size panel vans, too, because while carrying capacity is still important, the latest models offer a more car-like driving experience than ever. The Citroen Dispatch/Peugeot Expert duo feature technology such as adaptive cruise, lane assist and blind spot recognition originally seen in cars such as the Citroen C4 SpaceTourer and Peugeot 3008.
Cab quality has seen a boost, too, with soft-touch materials and plenty of infotainment options offered by the market leaders. Touchscreen sat-nav, voice control, smartphone connectivity and plenty of USB and 12-Volt charging options are available to keep you connected and on the road.
The majority of medium-sized vans come with three seats, boosting versatility further, while clever through-loading options can help when carrying extra-long items that won't fit in the load area. And if you're on a building site, some vans now come with the option of switchable traction control combined with chunkier mud & snow tyres designed to boost traction in the rough.
One thing you will find in the medium-sized van class is commonality between makes. Citroen and Peugeot have teamed up with Toyota to produce their mid-sized van, and it's now available as a Vauxhall, too. The old Vivaro was co-developed with Renault, a van which is also offered as a Nissan and Fiat, as well as a Mitsubishi in the near future. Ford and VW offer their own vans - although these two companies will share tech with their next versions of the Transit Custom and Transporter - leaving Mercedes as the only company that offers its own medium sized van.
Of course, all of these vans are also available as multi-seat people carriers, and these models do a great job of ferrying people and their luggage around.
Check out our line-up to find out more about the mid-sized van category...
Best medium panel vans 2020
- Ford Transit Custom
- Volkswagen T6 Transporter
- Renault Trafic
- Vauxhall Vivaro
- Nissan NV300
- Citroen Dispatch
- Fiat Talento
- Peugeot Expert
- Mercedes Vito
- Toyota Proace
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- 1Introduction - currently readingCompetition in the medium sized van sector is fierce. Here we rank the runners and riders...
- 21. Ford Transit CustomSitting below the iconic Ford Transit in Ford’s LCV line-up, the Transit Custom replicates many of that model’s strengths
- 32. Volkswagen TransporterThe VW Transporter is a classy customer that brings Volkswagen passenger car build quality to the LCV segment
- 43. Renault TraficThe Renault Trafic delivers the goods with a big load area and efficient engines
- 54. Vauxhall VivaroA new Vivaro is on the way using all-new tech from the PSA Group
- 65. Nissan NV300It shares lots with the Renault Trafic, although the NV300 has a five-year warranty, too
- 76. Citroen DispatchThe Dispatch offers car-like tech in a medium-sized van body
- 87. Fiat TalentoSpace, pace and efficiency are highlights of the Talento's, er, talents
- 98. Peugeot ExpertAlongside its Citroen counterpart, the Expert offers car tech in a van package
- 109. Mercedes VitoThe Vito trades on the prestige of the Mercedes badge, and is a comfortable van to drive
- 1110. Toyota ProaceToyota enters the mid-sized van class with its take on the Peugeot/Citroen van formula