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Top 5 best Combi vans

Auto Trader has surveyed the full range of combi vans, to determine which are the best on the market.

When searching for the perfect combi van, potential buyers tend to examine more aspects than a typical car or van buyer, as their prospective vehicle has the duty of carrying both passengers and cargo. This makes the task all the more difficult.

Auto Trader has surveyed the full range of combi vans, taking into account the lifestyle aspects of the vehicle, such as comfort, safety and equipment, as well as the practical elements, including payload, load space and running costs, to determine which is the best combi van on the market.

The vast majority of combi van sales are medium vans, as this is the largest size that can fit easily onto driveways, and fit under height-restricted car parks.
Renault Trafic (and similar)
The six-seater Renault Trafic Crew Van is available in a choice of two wheelbases, two gross vehicle weights (2.7t and 2.9t), three trim levels (Business, Business+ and Sport), and four power ratings (94bhp, 118bhp, 123bhp and 143bhp).

While the Trafic isn’t the most agile or comfortable van to drive, the Sport trim is an attractive option for combi van buyers, due to its wide range of equipment for just a fraction more than the base models.

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Mercedes-Benz Vito
On the Vito Crew Van, the front bench is replaced with a single passenger seat, so unlike most combi vans, there’s only five seats. While most are offered in two wheelbases, there are three on the Vito Crew Van, providing load volumes of 3.1, 3.6 and 4.1 cubic metres.

Even on the base model, there is a lot of standard comfort and safety equipment, such as Adaptive ESP Crosswind Assist, Attention Assist, cruise control, and a multifunction steering-wheel. There is a choice of two engines (1.6 and 2.1-litre); the latter of which returns up to a respectable 47.1mpg on the combined cycle, and a class-leading 187bhp.

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Peugeot Expert (and similar)
The Peugeot Expert is without doubt the most car-like vehicle to drive in this class, with its low centre of gravity and low kerbweight (1.6 tonnes on the Compact wheelbase). There are two wheelbases offered, 3.2 and 4.0-cubic metres of load volume, and there is additional storage space underneath the passenger seats.

Fuel economy is the best-in-class at up to 55.4mpg, although residual values are quite poor. There is just one trim level on the Crew Van, which offers air conditioning, cruise control, driver, passenger and lateral airbags, and a seven-inch touch-screen display with DAB radio and Bluetooth.

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Ford Transit Custom
The Transit Custom has traditionally been seen as the tradesperson’s vehicle of choice, but it also makes a lot of sense as a combi. The Custom ‘Double Cab in Van’ is available in two wheelbases, providing load volumes of 3.5, and a class-leading 4.4 cubic metres.

The Custom handles well and the cab is stylish and car-like in its design. There are four trim levels: Base, Trend, Limited and Sport, although the former is heavily aimed toward the commercial fleets. Trend, which is just an £800 premium on the Base, is packed with a lot more comfort and safety equipment, like Ford Sync with voice control and AppLink, front and rear parking sensors, automatic headlights, cruise control, and an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat.

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Volkswagen Transporter
For more than 60 years, the Volkswagen Transporter has been the best-selling vehicle of this size globally, and appeals equally to commercial and lifestyle customers. Now into its sixth generation, the Volkswagen Transporter ‘Kombi’ is available with two wheelbases and three roof heights.

The Transporter is comfortable, great to drive, and fairly economical, but it isn’t particularly outstanding in any area other than its public perception and reliability. The Transporter commands a lot of respect and never looks out of place, whether it’s on a building site or a campsite, and there’s always a big market for second-hand models when the time comes to sell.

Buy a Volkswagen Transporter