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Top 5 best Medium vans of 2017

Our experts select their five favourite medium-sized vans of 2017.

The drastic reduction in medium van running costs over the past couple of years has prompted many small van operators to upsize for greater flexibility. If you’re new to the market, we’ve compared various aspects of each of the competitors to present you with the Top 5 medium vans.

Of the different features that define each vehicle, medium van buyers tend to look at running costs, payload, load volumes, driving impressions, power and comfort. It may be worth mentioning, however, that the medium van segment is fiercely contested and every single product is respected in its own right.
Peugeot Expert
Peugeot Expert
Launched in 2016, the Peugeot Expert is the newest competitor in this segment. Despite only just making the cut, the Peugeot Expert is a very competitive product with the greatest fuel economy (up to 55.3mpg), the most comprehensive engine line-up and an impressive array of comfort and driver assist systems, like the cargo doors that can be opened by waving a foot underneath the rear bumper.

However, the Expert has a number of downsides. The cab is extremely cramped and the high dashboard means that the driver’s view is obstructed, while the aftersales service from Peugeot isn’t as comprehensive as other manufacturers.

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Mercedes-Benz Vito
Mercedes-Benz Vito
Mercedes-Benz has marketed the Vito towards the premium end of the market, but historical issues of rust and reliability have damaged its image which means it only sells in small numbers. Merc has overcome these problems and the latest Vito is well-respected in terms of its driving characteristics, powerful engines (up to 190PS) and its long list of standard features, including a 5.8-inch colour display, twin airbags, cruise control and air-conditioning.

The Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicle network offers weekend and late night openings for servicing and repairs, but its hourly rate and part prices are one of the highest. The Vito is also quite noisy to drive and there is a pull-release handbrake, which isn’t to everyone’s taste.

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Renault Trafic
Renault Trafic
With its elevated driving position and high centre-of-gravity, the Renault Trafic has ‘big van’ driving characteristics. There is a lot to like about the Renault Trafic; there is great all-round visibility, there’s an innovative double-stage load-through facility which means it has the longest load length in the class for items like piping and fuel economy of up to 47.9mpg is second best-in-class behind the Peugeot Expert.

However, the engine line-up (a 1.6-litre engine with power ratings of between 95 and 140PS) is tame, the payload is poor (up to 1,200kg) and corners must be taken with caution.

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Ford Transit Custom
Ford Transit Custom
Ford has dominated this market since 1965 but the UK’s current best-selling van can only manage second place. The Ford Transit Custom is fun to drive, comfortable and, with its long service intervals, great reliability, high residual values and the Transit Centre’s cheap parts and labour rates, the Ford Transit Custom is very affordable to run – although the new 2.0-litre engine isn’t the most fuel-efficient.

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Volkswagen Transporter T6
Volkswagen Transporter T6
This iconic vehicle has been on sale since 1950 and has gone on to be the best-selling van of all-time globally. The Transporter is one of the most reliable vans available and is backed by VW’s renowned Van Centre network which includes flexible servicing hours.

There are five body styles, which is more than any other van in this class, and an impressive amount of kit included as standard. With the best residual values of any van, the Volkswagen Transporter T6 is our winner of the best medium van – its priced accordingly, though…

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