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5 Best Automatic Vans

Looking for a van that will make driving easier and take the strain out of your time behind the wheel? Choosing one with an automatic gearbox could be a great decision, and the good news is there’s more choice than ever before. So, what are the top 5 automatic vans? We’ve rounded up the best choices on the market today, with models to suit most requirements.

Auto Trader

Words by: Auto Trader

Published on 20 November 2020 | 0 min read

An automatic van will usually cost slightly more to buy and run than the equivalent diesel manual, but you also need to consider that you’ll get more money back come resale time, so they don’t always work out as expensive as you might first imagine. Electric automatic vans are also rising in popularity and are ideal for those mainly travelling around town.
1. Citroen Berlingo
Need a compact van that also has one of the best automatic gearboxes out there? The popular Berlingo could be the right choice for you.
Closely related to the Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo, the Citroen is good to drive, efficient and comes in two different lengths, with the larger XL model offering cargo space of up to 3.8 cubic metres. On the road, the Berlingo is quiet and comfortable, with higher spec models boasting lots of equipment. If you want an automatic gearbox, you’ll need to choose the BlueHDI 130 variant, which comes with the French firm’s smooth and slick-shifting EAT8 auto. Overall, it’s a great all-rounder and one to consider if you’re looking for a compact automatic van with a diesel engine. Find a Citroen Berlingo here.
2. Renault Kangoo ZE
Looking for a small electric van? The Renault Kangoo ZE is a top choice, offering a respectable 160-mile range on a single charge, along with a smooth and slick automatic gearbox.
Although it is a small van, the Kangoo ZE has a respectable useable loading length of between 1008mm and 1476mm, making it suitable for a variety of uses. Being an electric model, it’s the ideal partner for those who mainly do short, local journeys. Find a Renault Kangoo ZE here.
3. Mercedes Vito
The mere fact that Mercedes uses the same automatic gearboxes in its vans as it does in its cars raises your expectations from the outset, and the Vito certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Unlike most competitors, the auto box comes as standard if you choose the rear-wheel-drive model, whereas the front-wheel-drive version is only offered as a manual. On the road, the Vito’s 9G-Tronic nine-speed auto offers smooth gear changes and a relaxing drive. As well as a choice of diesel engines, you can also opt for an all-electric version badged eVito, which uses a single-speed transmission that’s ultra-smooth and responsive. In terms of carrying capacity, the Vito is available in three different lengths, with the longest L3 variant offering a load length of 3,061mm and a maximum load volume of 6.6 cubic metres. As you would expect from a Mercedes, you’ll find a high-quality cabin and lots of technology to make those long drives even easier. It’s a top choice. Find a Mercedes Vito here.
4. Volkswagen Transporter
The Transporter is another van that’s good to drive and comes with a high-quality interior.
If you want an automatic version, the German brand offers its popular 7-speed DSG gearbox paired with a 2.0 diesel engine delivering 150PS and fuel consumption of around 34mpg. There’s also an ABT e-Transporter electric model with a range of up to 82 miles on a single charge. The latter is smoother and more responsive than the diesel model, which has a slightly hesitant gearchange at low speeds. Aside from that, the Transporter is a great choice that combines versatility, comfort and affordable running costs. There’s a choice of two wheelbase lengths and three roof heights offering a maximum payload of up to 1,309kg. Find a Volkswagen Transporter here.
5. Ford Transit
Available in a wide range of variations offering different bodylengths and roof heights, the Transit’s flexibility and versatility has made it one of Britain’s most popular vans for decades.
Buyers looking for an automatic Transit van can choose from several different models, including a diesel-powered 2.0L EcoBlue model with 130PS, 170PS or 185PS, along with a plug-in hybrid PHEV model that includes a 124bhp 1.0 EcoBoost engine combined with a 92.9kW electric motor and 13.6kWh lithium ion battery. The latter is capable of travelling up to 35 miles on pure electric, meaning it could be a good choice if you mainly do shorter journeys. In terms of the gearbox, the Powershift auto in the diesel models is known to be slightly hesitant, with the PHEV version being smoother and quicker shifting. In all other areas, the automatic Transit is exactly the same as other models in the range, being comfortable, good to drive and spacious. Find a Ford Transit here.

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