The UK large van sector just got even more competitive, with the introduction of the new Volkswagen Crafter and MAN TGE in 2017 and an all-new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter due later in 2018.
There’s even competition from below, with the launch of the LDV V80. Here at CC&V, we wondered where the launch of these new vans would leave the other big players in the sector, namely the Ford Transit, Citroen Relay, Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer and Vauxhall Movano. A week in theMovano proved that despite it not being the newest kid-on-the-block, it’s still reassuringly good and extremely competitively priced.
In November, CC&V had the opportunity to drive the Movano. If you need a van with lots of variants then you’ll be pleased to know that the Movano range is extensive, with four body lengths and three roof heights, with load volumes of 7.8m3 to 17m3 and gross weights of 2,800kg to 4,500kg. Vauxhall offers a second row of four seats in the double-cab models which are available on L2H2 and L3H2 bodies. There are also six and nine-seat Combi versions and even a 17-seat minibus on special order. To keep you going in all weathers, there are front and rear-wheel-drive versions to choose from along with four 2.3-litre CDTi common-rail diesel engine options.
As in the Vivaro, the latest bi-turbo 2.3 CDTi unit is the pick of the engines. Most models are offered with a six-speed manual gearbox but Vauxhall’s TecShift automated manual box is an option too, being offered on the mid-range 2.3 CDTi 125 engine.
The Movano is offered with 108bhp, 125bhp, 134bhp and 161bhp versions of the firm’s 2.3-litre diesel engine, in both front and rear-drive models. All are turbocharged common-rail diesels but the CDTi 136 (134bhp) and CDTi 163 (161bhp) are Bi-Turbo units with a pair of turbos providing boost. Vauxhall’s ecoFLEX fuel-saving technology, including stop-start, is also available on some models with all of the newer Bi-Turbo units getting it. The model range offers combined economy figures in the 29-41mpg range while emissions range from 184g/km on the ecoFLEX models to 249g/km for the heaviest rear-drive vans.
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 and protective floor coverings are also offered.
There’s also a full-height steel bulkhead, even on the double cab behind the individual rear seats. Safety features include a driver’s air bag, but passenger and side impact bags are options, as are parking sensors, speed limiter and ESP, (standard on rear wheel drive versions) and cruise control.
The driver can get comfortable with the six-way adjustable driver’s seat which includes an armrest. All models offer steering-column-mounted audio controls, electric windows, aux in with USB interface. For those who use their van as a mobile office there is Bluetooth connectivity which I tried, connected easily and thanks to the steel bulkhead, I could actually hold a conversation while driving.
I got to try the entry level 108bhp 2.3CDTi version and it’s great around town, with light steering and a high driving position so you can see all around you. The three-seat cab was comfortable if a little basic although the switches, seat covers and plastics are well put together and look built to last. On the motorway the 108bhp engine is surprisingly nimble although it was unladen. I took the van around the M60 and found the cab a good place to be. It coped well in traffic and there was enough power to overtake slower moving traffic when required.
The Movano Panel Panel 2.3 CDTI offers reasonable fuel economy of 36.2 mpg on the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions measured at 207 g/km and costing just £23,568 + VAT is well priced as well.
Overall, the Movano is an excellent all-rounder and its only drawback is that, in this very competitive sector, it is starting to look a bit old compared to the newer vans. Having said that, it’s reassuringly cheaper to buy than VW’s new Crafter, for instance, and the new Sprinter. So basically, what I’m saying is that if you want a large panel van, with dozens of variants, you could do with taking a look at the Movano. Newer does not necessarily mean better.
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
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