By Shell on Sep. 01, 2021
Today, however, a commercial van needs to do more than just carry stuff; it must also be a safe, comfortable, connected and environmentally friendly workspace.
The latest generation of commercial vans reflects the new reality, bolstering their fundamental cargo-carrying abilities with an unprecedented mix of safety, in-car technology and creature comforts. Here are four of the best, from small to large.
Volkswagen Caddy Cargo, from $34,990 plus on-road costs
- Load capacity: 3.1-3.7m3
- Payload: 722-754kg
- Fuel economy: 4.9L/100km
A new generation of the small-van segment's top seller has just gone on sale and raises the bar for safety with standard auto-emergency braking and reverse camera, plus an extensive suite of other driver-assist options.
The new Caddy also introduces two new strong, thrifty diesel engines and a refreshed cabin with an 8.25-inch smartphone-mirroring touchscreen stereo, more storage, and a long list of up-to-the-minute options, including fully digital instruments.
As before, standard-wheelbase, long-wheelbase (Maxi) and five-seater Crewvan models are available.
Mercedes-Benz Vito, from $42,900 plus on-road costs
- Load capacity: 3.6-6.6m3
- Payload: 804-1260kg
- Fuel economy: 6.2-6.7L/100km
Benz's mid-sized hauler has picked up standard auto-emergency braking, lane-keep assist and blind-spot monitors for 2021, making one of the safest models on the market even safer.
Inside, the redesigned cabin has a bigger 7.0-inch touchscreen stereo with smartphone mirroring and a clearer reversing camera, as well as optional tricks like a digital rear-view mirror that allows a view out the back when the cargo area is full.
Mercedes has also simplified the range into a more digestible array of short/medium/long-wheelbase and crew-cab models. The latter can carry up to six if you option three-person front seating.
Toyota Hi-Ace, from $44,230 plus on-road costs
- Load capacity: 6.2-9.3m3
- Payload: 1075-1135kg.
- Fuel economy: 7.5-8.4L/100km
Toyota's new-for-2019 Hi-Ace has just been treated to an update, picking up more cabin storage and access to Toyota Connected Services, which can generate automatic emergency calls in the event of a collision or allow a stolen vehicle to be tracked.
Elsewhere, it's business as usual, meaning a broad selection of long-wheelbase, super-long-wheelbase and five-seater crew-cab variants, plus a strong, economical diesel engine and standard 8.0-inch touchscreen stereo with smartphone mirroring and sat-nav. It also has one of the most comprehensive safety packages around, with auto-emergency braking, lane-departure/blind-spot warnings, reversing camera and other technology all standard.
LDV Deliver 9 van, from $42,095 driveaway
- Load capacity: 9.66-12.33m3
- Payload: 1500-1670kg
- Fuel economy: n/a
This new large-sized Chinese contender serves up vast cargo-carrying abilities for not a lot of cash.
It's more than just a big box, too. Auto-emergency braking, lane-departure warnings and a wide-view overhead reversing camera are amongst its standard safety features, and other driver-assist gizmos can be optioned.
Inside, the three-seat cabin has a big 10.0-inch touchscreen stereo with smartphone mirroring and a folding middle seat that turns into a desk/storage, while the single diesel drivetrain has fuel-saving stop/start technology and other up-to-date tricks. It's available in medium-wheelbase/mid-roof, long-wheelbase/mid-roof and long-wheelbase/high-roof variants.