August 10, 2015 at 12:26 PM
When it comes to the world of vans (and, let's face it, most other areas too!), it seems that size really is a critical factor!
Gone are the days of the ubiquitous white transit performing all manner of tasks, whether it was particularly suited to them or not. These days, van manufacturers have cottoned on to the fact that there is a market for specialist vans, and we now see a multitude of shapes and sizes on our roads. Let's have a look at some of the different van variants available today:
The Compact Van
A new breed of van, the compact van is ideally suited to city centre usage and is smaller than many family cars. Despite their small size, they can be deceptively spacious inside and have a payload in excess of 500kg. Compact vans seat two adults and official mpg tends to be in the region of 50-60mpg, so perfect for small business owners and those who don't have large loads to shift regularly. The Fiat Fiorino or Peugeot Blipper are good examples of compact vans.
The Small Van
Extremely common, the small van can seemingly do it all. Versatile, easy to drive and capable of shifting a surprising amount, the small van is the jack of all trades. All of the major manufacturers include them in their range, and the Renault Kangoo or Volkswagon Caddy are strong players in this market. They are popular with many businesses, from painters and decorators right through to Royal Mail fleets.
The Medium Van (SWB)
Let's face it, when you think of a van, the first thing that will come to mind is the medium van - probably the Ford Transit. True, there are lots of excellent competitors to Ford's iconic workhorse (the Volkswagon Transporter or Renault Trafic spring to mind) but for many of us, just as Hoover did with vacuums, the Transit itself has become synonymous with the medium van. Capable of swallowing enormous loads yet retaining many of the comforts we associate with cars, most medium vans are powered by efficient turbo-diesel engines and offer a respectable MPG. Perfect for those that need to haul bigger items, they are extremely practical vehicles and it is for these reasons that they have been so successful.
The Luton Van (SWB)
If you need something big shifting, then the Luton is the van for you. With its separate cab enabling a huge load space, Lutons can hold anything from bulky furniture to packing crates. In fact, the name of this style of van supposedly originates from its primary purpose of carrying boxes of straw hats, which were a major part of Luton's industry in the early 1900's. Another example then of the Luton's fantastic versatility.
No doubt the range of vans will continue to evolve to meet the needs of users so that whatever the job, there will be a van that's perfectly designed to do it!
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