The commercial vehicle market is ever growing, with many more options and sizes than ever before. If a small van won't quite cut it, then medium vans are your next best bet before looking at the much larger vans on the market.
If you're looking for greener options too then there are some electric van options available too as many brands move towards a more eco friendly position ahead of diesel vehicles stopping production at the end of the decade.
Our guide will take you through some of the best medium panel vans currently available to help you decide which is the best fit for your business needs.
The Renault Trafic is a medium van that was launched by the French brand in 1980 and is now in its third generation. It's been a template for other commercial vehicles, such as the Vauxhall Vivaro and the Fiat Talento, so is no wonder that it's a popular choice on its own.
It's load volume varies from 5.8m3 in the L1H1 models to 8.9m3 in the L2H1 models and is paired with a maximum payload of up to 1251kg depending on which model you choose. It's the same dimensions as the previous model, so if you're upgrading to a new version you'll have no issues fitting all of your current kit in it.
The current model offers a range of diesel engines with either manual or automatic gearboxes and a huge range of power outputs to suit all businesses travel needs. These use AdBlue to help to make the emissions of the Trafic cleaner but will last for a few thousand miles at a time.
The Vauxhall Vivaro has been produced by the brand since 2001 and was previously a rebadged Renault Trafic. From 2019 onwards it has been based on the Citroen Jumpy and has expanded to include an electric model too.
Vauxhall offer the Vivaro as a panel van, double cab, or custom set up so that it can suit your business needs with room for up to six crew.
As an all electric van you can expect a range of up to 205 miles and its payload is still what you would expect of a medium sized van at 1226kg. Opting for the Vivaro with a traditional combustion engine will give you four diesel engines to choose from and a power output of up to 145PS. It's maximum payload is up to 1400kg and has a loading volume of 5.3m3 to 6.6m3 if you opt for the load through facilities.
The original Volkswagen Transporter was produced in 1949 so it is safe to say that the model has come a long way since then. Now in it's sixth generation, with a seventh on its way, the Transporter is a well trusted and reliable medium sized van.
The current Volkswagen Transporter is available as a panel van or a kombi crew van with short and long wheelbase options available on both and two roof sizes too. This gives you a load volume from 5.8 to 9.3 m3 and a maximum payload of 1300kg for the Transporter.
There are three different diesel engines available with power outputs up to 204PS and either manual or automatic gearboxes depending on which engine you choose. These will give you a combined mpg anywhere between 33.6 and 40.4 and CO2 emissions from 183 to 220 g/km.
There is also the ABT e-Transporter, a collaboration between VW and ABT e-Line, which has a full electric motor and a range of 82 miles. This model, however, is currently unavailable as new and can only be purchased as a used vehicle. VW do offer other electric vans elsewhere in their range.
The Ford Transit Custom is a medium sized van produced by Ford since 2012 and is a smaller version of the Ford Transit. It's available as a panel van, kombi van, or a double cab which allows you to choose the set up that suits your business needs best.
It has a maximum pay load space of up to 1459kg and maximum load area of up to 8.3m3 with the option to add in additional storage solutions. The cab interior has a "driver-focused" cockpit which means that there's lots of space to store paperwork, cups, and phones as you use it as a mobile office.
There are also a strong number of additional extras that can be put onto your Ford Transit Custom including a racking pack, parking slot measurement, LED loading lights, a three point plug socket, anti theft alarms, and an access ladder.
Ford offer the Transit Custom with either a diesel mild hybrid engine or a plug in hybrid, which gives better fuel consumption and performance compared to full internal combustion engines.
Nissan had a break from medium vans in 2014 but returned with the Primastar in 2016 and sits between the Townstar and the Interstar. It's based on the Renault Trafic so is the same van in design as the Fiat Talento and the previous generation Vauxhall Vivaro.
The Nissan Primastar has a payload of up to 1266kg and a maximum load space of up to 8.6m3 whilst opting for a crew van set up will give you six seats and up to 4.0m3 load space.
The engine range includes a selection of diesel engines which are available in a variety of power outputs with a new dual clutch gearbox. It's higher engine displacement give a higher maximum power and torque, better driveability and performance, and reduced CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. Nissan also have the service interval set at 2 years/25,000 miles on the Primastar which helps to reduce running costs further.
At brand new these vans also come with a five year/100,000 mile warranty which is one of the best manufacturer warranties around and also includes 5 year Nissan genuine parts and accessories warranty and 5 year roadside assistance, all of which is fully transferrable.
The Mercedes Vito has been produced from 1996 and the model is now in its third generation, launched in 2014. The current model added attention assist, crosswind assist, and an optional intelligent light system.
The Mercedes Vito has a maximum payload of 1051kg and a load space volume of 5.5m3 up to 6.6m3 in the L3 panel van. There are options to add wood panelling to the roof height in the loading area to match the flooring as well as options that allow you to make the best use of the loading space such as load securing rail systems and sidewall tie-down rails.
There are a choice of diesel engines available offering a selection of power outputs with two stage turbochargers with variable turbine geometry. The Vito is also mainly a rear wheel drive commercial vehicle, setting it apart from many others on this list which offer front wheel drive only.
An electric version, the e-Vito was launched in 2020 with a 162 mile range and up to 80% charge in 35 minutes when using a rapid charging point. It comes with an 8 year battery warranty and 3 year unlimited mileage vehicle warranty.
Its difficult to decide which of these is the best medium van but with each offering plenty of room and lots of additional extras with efficient engine options its certain that these are definitely the better medium sized panel vans available at the moment.
If you would like more information or have further questions then our friendly team at Clark Commercials are always on hand to help!