Three of the best: car-based vans

Car-derived vans

Car-derived vans combine the driveability and manoeuvrability of a car with the capability of a van. What's not to like?

As the name suggests, they're adaptations of the car they're based on, with the back doors and seats replaced with a loading bay and solid, usually windowless sides. They're perfect if you want something small, economical and easy to manoeuvre, but with more load capacity and greater robustness than a car (even if you can fit your tools in a car, do you really want them sliding around and causing damage?).

Here are three of the best …

Vauxhall Corsa van: Derived from the bestselling supermini, the Corsa van is stylish, compact and extremely economical, with the diesel version delivering up to 85.6mpg. It combines a load capacity of 571kg or 0.92 cubic metres with a slick, nippy drive and a good quality cabin with easy to use controls. As well as the 1.3-litre Euro 6 diesel, which delivers up to 94bhp, there's a 69bhp 1.2-litre petrol which returns up to 52.3mpg; both have stop-start engine technology to increase efficiency. Plentiful standard equipment includes Bluetooth, USB and MP3 connectivity, hill start assist, anti-lock brakes and a full-size spare wheel.

Ford Fiesta van: Described by Honest John as “by far the best car-derived small van on the market”, the Fiesta van is fun and good-looking, but also capable, comfortable and economical. Its payload capacity is similar to the Corsa van's, at 511kg or just under one cubic metre, and loading is easy thanks to a high, wide opening. The load area is protected by a rubber floor mat and separated from the cab by a steel bulkhead. The neat cabin feels very much like the car's, with clear dials, comfortable seats and good visibility. Unsurprisingly, the Fiesta van is a pleasure to drive: agile and quiet, with good body control.

Mitsubishi Outlander Commercial: It might be less well known than the other two, but the Outlander Commercial won best car-derived van at Van Fleet World's 2018 Van Awards – beating the highly commended Corsa van. The judges praised its “deceptively cavernous” load area, whose capacity – 2 cubic metres, 705kg, 1.8m long – outstrips both the Ford and the Vauxhall. Derived from the people carrier of the same name, the Outlander Commercial is also known for its off-road capability; as the RAC put it, “it will trundle over some serious obstacles.” The petrol-electric hybrid Outlander Commercial is eligible for the government’s plug-in grant.

At used van dealers Vanwise Group, we have a plenty of used vans for sale of a variety of makes, models and types. Our website has up-to-date details of all the vehicles we have in stock at both our Kent and Essex dealerships; to book a test drive, call us on 01622 233151 or 01279 216163. Ask us about our van contract hiredeals and vans on finance too.