Most Reliable Cargo Van: Worst Vs Longest Lasting Cargo Van Models

Author: Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

The powerhouse of the day-to-day operations of many small and medium-scale businesses is the cargo van.

It comes in varying sizes from small to midsize to large. The cargo van is often useful for various transportation tasks for short and long distances.

The task can include moving work tools, workers, and even delicate equipment to job sites or taking household items like furniture and refrigerators to a customer’s home.

However, you must buy a cargo van that best suits the peculiar needs of your business if you plan to get the best out of it.

Chevrolet Express Cargo Van

Fetching from that, you should consider all—the kind of work involved in your business, the employees who work there, and the customer base it serves—before purchasing a cargo van.

Doing all the research and making the decision to settle on a van may not be easy, especially when it’s your first time.

Now, you don’t necessarily have to do it on your own anymore. This article will serve as a brilliant guide for you when you’re looking to pick the best 2021 cargo van for your business.

In this article, we will provide an in-depth guide of the 7 Large cargo vans, from the very best to the least favorite.

Features, such as gas mileage, cargo space, payload, and hauling capacities, and basic warranty will also be covered. Please note, this article only covers large cargo vans – read more here!


7 Large Cargo Vans To Watch Out For

We have helped you put together a list of 7 sought-after cargo vans. We will start with the best of them and end with the worst.

By doing the work for you, we hope your search becomes easier here on out. Let’s go.

1. Ford Transit Cargo Van

White color Ford van

If a major part of your business relies on prompt service and product delivery, this cargo van is probably your best bet. It fulfills this need to a tee.

It comes in varying body length and roof height, all of which offer a vast cargo area at the back.

You can reconfigure the exposed-frame interior into anything, from a mobile office or an RV to a parcel delivery cargo.

By far, the Ford Transit cargo van is among the best-selling vans in the United States. It goes without saying, it’s arguably the best cargo van in the country.

Its storage area has plenty of room for equipment, tools, storage utility, racks, bins, and anything else you might need.

It comes with an advanced driver-safety system that ensures driving without incidents. It’s generally known as the most reliable cargo van in the United States. The 2-seater cargo van is offered in 4 trim levels.

The T-250 148 inches Roof 9070 GVWR RWD that’s equipped with a 3.5L V6 engine and a Rear-Wheel Drive is the most popular trim.

Other Ford Transit vehicle configuration options include 3 roof heights (low, medium, high), 3 body lengths, 2 wheelbases, 3 engines, and all-wheel drive options.

It has a maximum cargo capacity of 358.7 cubic feet, can haul a maximum payload of 4,640 lbs, and has a maximum towing capacity of 5,323 lbs.

It carries a 31-gallon fuel tank and has a gas mileage of 24 MPG within the city and 29 MPG on the highway.

Feature include:

  • In-car Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • 10-speed automatic transmission
  • Proximity keyless entry
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Infotainment system
  • Backup camera
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Brake assist
  • 3-point safety belts for all seating positions
  • Driver and front-passenger front airbags, front-seat side airbags, and safety canopy® side-curtain airbags
  • Sos post-crash alert system™
  • Tire pressure monitoring system
  • Power sliding door
  • 3 years/36,000 miles basic warranty.


  • It comes with a flexible platform that allows for various commercial applications.
  • It has a vast cargo area with an easy-to-use flat loading floor.
  • It features advanced driver safety technologies.
  • It’s the sturdiest of all the vans on the list.


  • Other vans have better cabin refinement
  • Upfit options are more limited than some other vans.
  • It offers no complimentary scheduled maintenance.


Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) – $36,965!

2. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van

Mercedes van and truck

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is an easy favorite when it comes to heavy-duty work.

With its large cargo area and configuration, the van is often considered the standard for full-size vans. It offers standard or high roof alternatives, multiple rear-step options, as well as an option for 4×4.

No van shows clear, meticulous attention to detail as like the leading German brand’s Sprinter. It’s obvious in the cabin and in the way it moves smoothly.

The 2-seater vehicle has an average maximum holding capacity of 319. cubic feet.

This feature makes it a go-to choice for businesses that need a little more holding space than the Ford Transit can provide.

The van has 5 trims but the most popular one is the 2500 Standard Roof I4 Diesel 144 inches RWD, which comes fitted with Diesel 2.0L I4 Turbo engine and Rear Wheel Drive.

It can haul a maximum payload of 4,354 lbs and has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. It carries a 22-gallon fuel tank and has an average fuel mileage of 14.5 MPG.

The van comes in 7-speed and 9-speed automatic transmission, depending on the trim. We publish more about Sprinter Van deals and rental here!


  • Active Brake Assist
  • Blind Spot Assist Mirror
  • 360° Camera
  • LED Performance Headlights
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist
  • Traffic Sign Assist
  • Brake assist
  • Proximity keyless entry
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Infotainment system
  • Backup camera
  • 3 years/36,000 miles basic warranty


  • It holds a large cargo space with a considerable payload capacity.
  • It’s comfortable and easy to move.
  • It comes with impressive advanced driver safety features.
  • It allows for configuration for a variety of businesses.
  • It’s the only full-size van that offers a four-wheel drive.


  • It’s easily the priciest van in its class.
  • In the same vein, it features expensive optional amenities.


Starting MSRP – $38,000!

3. Freightliner Sprinter

white van in parking lot

The Freightliner Sprinter is another full-size cargo van on this list. The 233.5 inches long van comes with an impressive storage capacity of 319.0 cubic feet.

The Freightliner Sprinter offers three wheelbases; 144 inches, 170 inches, and extended 170 inches.

It comes with two roof heights (standard and high) and three drivetrains (4-cylinder gas, 6-cylinder diesel, and 6-cylinder 4×4).

The gas and diesel engines of the Freightliner Sprinter are optimized for reduced internal friction, allowing for a more efficient belt drive system.

Apart from keeping the running cost down, this feature helps to maximize the van’s productivity.

With its maximum towing capacity at 5000 lbs, the cargo van can comfortably haul anything from 3,854 lbs to 4,354 lbs.

The 3-seater van has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 9,050 lbs. The fuel tank capacity is 22.0 gallons and the van has a fuel efficiency of 14.5 MPG.


  • Active Brake Assist
  • Active Distance Assist Distronic®
  • 360° Camera
  • Attention Assist
  • Traffic Sign Assist
  • Blindspot assist mirror
  • Traffic sign assist
  • LED performance light
  • Emergency call
  • Wet wiper system
  • Active lane keep assist


  • It has an advanced safety system.


Starting MSRP – $36,355!

4. Chevrolet Express Cargo Van

Chevrolet Express Cargo Van

The Chevrolet Express cargo van is a typical city van. It has been in circulation in the automobile industry for a long time, so much so that there’s hardly a technician who is not used to the vehicle’s mechanics.

It doesn’t really matter what work your business requires, the Express is always ready to get to work.

The van provides various equipment packages (electrician, plumber, painter, etc.) with enough room to hold all your tools.

Equipped with a 31-gallon fuel tank, the Chevrolet Express has the highest fuel tank capacity on this list, a tie with GMC Savana.

Even though it comes with only one low-roof size (which makes it easy for loading and unloading), it offers 3 engine types (2.8L 4-cylinder duramax® turbo-diesel, 4.3L V6, and 6.6L V8) and two wheelbases.

The cargo van has a sturdy, full-frame build, and proven reliability that will help keep your business running smoothly.

For the most part, the Express cargo van has remained fundamentally unchanged for the last 25 years.

But somehow, it effectively rivals other vans. Its holding capacity is up to 239.4 cubic feet and can tow a load of up to 10,000 lbs.

The payload capacity is about 4,250 lbs. The popular tear wheel drive, 2-seater cargo van is available in 1 trim level.

Its fuel mileage is considerably decent, standing somewhere around 14 MPG in the city and 17 MPG on the highway. .


  • Rear Vision Camera
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Rear Park Assist
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • In-car Wi-Fi
  • Backup camera
  • Alarm
  • 3 years/36,000 miles basic warranty.


  • It has good towing and payload capacities.
  • It’s suitable for most tasking jobs.
  • Its comfortable seats are desirable for long trips.
  • The cargo area is configurable.


  • It’s not as fuel-efficient as most other full-size vans.
  • Its maneuverability is truck-like.
  • It has no tall roof option.
  • No much improvement from previous editions.


Starting MSRP – $34,295!

5. GMC Savana Cargo Van

GMC Savana van logo

In the full-size class, the GMC Savana Cargo Van is obviously not the first choice.

But one thing is certain, it will effectively pull off any demanding payload and towing jobs when it comes down to it.

With extended wheelbases available, the van comes with a standard 8-speed automatic transmission. Also available are varying powertrains.

The van has a truck-like ladder frame that provides it with a heavy-duty platform moving tons of load. Its towing capacity can reach up to 10,000 lbs if it’s well equipped and haul up to about 3,250 lbs.

The Savana has a fuel tank capacity of 31 gallons and a cargo area that measures 239.7 cubic feet (short wheelbase) and 284.4 cubic feet (long wheelbase). Its average fuel mileage is 13.9 MPG.

The 2-seater van is available in 1 trim level, carrying a 4.3L V6 engine and Rear Wheel Drive.

While it’s devoid of the modern technology that comes with its rivals, its interior is among the most durable. In recent years, the Savana has become known for its mechanic dependency.


  • In-car Wi-Fi
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Front and Side Airbags
  • Rear Park Assist
  • Rear View Camera
  • Backup camera
  • In-car Wi-Fi
  • 3 years/36,000 miles basic warranty.


  • It has a heavy-duty capacity to take on demanding jobs.
  • Savana has the impressive payload and towing capacities.
  • Its cargo area is fair enough.
  • The starting price is low, making it affordable.


  • Its platform is somewhat outdated in keeping with the times and job requirements.
  • Compared to other full-size cargo vans, it has fewer safety features.
  • It has no infotainment system, making for a rather uninteresting drive.
  • It has the clumsy maneuverability of a truck.
  • It has poor fuel mileage.


Starting MSRP – $34,295!

6. RAM ProMaster Cargo Van

Van parked on a field

True to its full-size design, the Ram ProMaster Cargo Van most often transports heavy-duty cargo.

This is the perfect choice if you’re looking for custom configuration at an affordable price. There are many available upfit packages to ensure van customization is hassle-free.

It’s suitable for a broad range of business, from caterer and electrician to delivery driver.

The 2-seater cargo van is available in 3 trim levels. The most common one is the 2500 High Roof 159 inches, which comes fitted with a 3.6L V6 engine and Front Wheel Drive.

Of all the full-size vans on this list, the Pro Master has the lowest load floor height (standard or high roof) and the broadest width.

It comes in three body types (136 inches, 159 inches, and 159 inches extended).

The van has a payload and towing capacities of 4,230 lbs and 5,100 lbs respectively. The fuel mileage is about 21 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway.


  • Brake Assist
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Front Seatbelt Pretensioners
  • Integrated turn signal mirror
  • Bluetooth
  • Brake assist
  • Proximity keyless entry
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Infotainment system
  • Backup camera
  • 3yr/36k mi basic warranty.


  • It comes with easy-to-use controls.
  • There is the option of heated seats.
  • It carries smooth V6 powertrains.
  • ProMaster has a large cargo area of 462.9 cubic feet.
  • Compared with other full-size vans, it has high-quality upfit options.
  • It has driver safety features.


  • It has a level of rigidity that impacts maneuverability.
  • It doesn’t come with a four-wheel-drive option.


Starting MSRP – $34,725!

7. Nissan NV2500 Cargo Van

Nissan van for cargo

Businesses generally flock towards full-size cargo vans due to their well-done interiors and vast cargo area.

The Nissan NV2500 ranks excellently in both respects. With a cargo area of up to 234.1 cubic feet, the NV2500 hauls a maximum payload of about 3,850 lbs to 4,000lbs.

You can easily reconfigure the interior with cabinets and racks to suit your business’s commercial needs.

Nissan NV2500  Cargo Van also has a 7-speed automatic transmission, ladder-loke frame, V6 or V8 engines, and larger cargo space. It’s rightly among the largest commercial full-size cargo vans.

The 2-seater cargo van is available in 6 trim levels. The NV2500 HD SV Standard Roof V6, which carries a 4.0L V6 engine and Rear Wheel Drive is the most common one. The average fuel mileage is 11.5 MPG.


  • Vehicle Dynamic Control
  • Traction Control System
  • Brake assist
  • Backup camera
  • Rear parking sensor
  • Proximity keyless entry
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Electronic Brake Assist
  • Anti-Lock Braking System
  • Infotainment system
  • 5 year/100,000 miles basic warranty


  • It has a cargo capacity.
  • The cargo van carries heavy-duty platforms.
  • The vehicle has one of the most excellent accelerations.
  • It’s comfy to drive in.


  • It doesn’t have the all-wheel-drive option.
  • The cargo van has limited technology options.


Starting MSRP – $32,135

Rankings based on cargo van features

The following are specific features that particular cargo van brands rank highest in:

  • Cargo space

RAM ProMaster cargo van has the biggest with 462.9 cubic feet of the cargo area.

  • Payload capacity

Ford Transit cargo van has the highest with 4,640 lbs. Maximum payload.


  • Towing capacity

Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana both tie at 10,000 lbs.

  • Roof height

Ford Transit cargo van has the highest roof height of between 82.2 inches to 110.4 inches.

  • Best Warranty

Nissan NV2500 cargo van has the best basic warranty. It’s for 5 years and/or 100,000 miles.

Delivery man at work

  • Fuel tank capacity

Chevrolet Express ties with Ford Transit and GMC Savana cargo as the full-size cargo vans with the largest fuel tanks. They can hold 31 gallons.

  • Gas mileage

With a rating that reads 24 miles per gallon in the city and 29 miles per gallon on the highway, the Ford Transit ranks as the cargo van with the best fuel efficiency.

Answers To Your Queries!

Which van has the largest cargo space?

The largest cargo van on the market among 2021 models is the Ford Transit high roof extended wheelbase model. This 2021 van has a cargo capacity of 488.1 cubic feet. It is about is about 20 cubic feet bigger than the 2021 Mercedes Benz Sprinter 4500 model.

How much is a large cargo van?

The starting price for large cargo vans such as the Mercedes Benz Sprinter, the Freightliner Sprinter, the GMC Savana, and the Ford Transit is $34,000.

Therefore, if you are planning to acquire one you must be ready to spend at least 34 large.

If 34 large is too expensive for you, you should go for a used cargo van. You can get a very decent one for roughly $13,000.

What van can tow 10000 pounds?

Chevrolet Express cargo vans are known to have very impressive towing capacities.

The 2018 Chevrolet Express 3500 van has the capacity to tow 10,000 pounds. The 2022 Chevrolet Express has a towing capacity of 9,600 pounds, same as the 2022 GMC Savana.

Are Ford Transit cargo vans reliable?

Ford Transit cargo vans are very reliable cargo vans. They do not break down easily and do not develop problems even when used frequently.

The easiest way to know Ford Transit cargo vans are reliable is to check the average cost of used Ford Transit vans. They are never cheap. 

This shows that people love them and the demand for them is high because they are good quality and reliable vehicles.

Does the Ford Transit have transmission problems?

Rarely does Ford Transit have transmission problems. In fact, there is no model year that is known to have a problematic transmission

However, should you decide to purchase a used Ford Transit, it may have transmission problems if it is too old.

How long do Ford Transit vans last?

Ford Transit vans have an average mileage expectancy of 150,000 miles. This is about 8 years. However, if you take very good care of your Ford Transit, it can hit 300,000 miles.

In other words, you can double the life of your Ford Transit if you regularly maintain and carefully drive your Ford cargo van.

Is Freightliner Sprinter the same as Mercedes Sprinter?

Yes, the Freightliner Sprinter is the same thing as the Mercedes Sprinter.

The only differences between the Freightliner Sprinter and the Mercedes Sprinter is in the front grille. Of course the exterior badging is also different. 

Apart from these tiny differences, the Freightliner Sprinter is literally the same thing as the Mercedes Benz Sprinter.

Is the Freightliner Sprinter a Mercedes-Benz?

Yes, it is. In the past, the Mercedes Benz Sprinter was sold as the Freightliner Sprinter in the United States. In other words, Freightliner was permitted to sell Sprinter models in the United States under its brand name. But this is no longer the case. Sprinter vehicles are now mainly sold by Mercedes in the US.

Are Chevy Express vans reliable?

Chevy Express vans are pretty reliable. They have an average life expectancy of 250,000 miles or more than 10 years. However, for your Chevy Express van to last very long, you need to take good care of it especially in terms of maintenance.

Does Chevrolet make cargo vans?

Yes, it does. Chevrolet has been making cargo vans for the longest time. The cargo van the company currently makes in the US is called the Chevy Express cargo van.

The 2022 Chevy Express Cargo van has a max horsepower of 401, a max payload of 4,280 pounds, and a plenty of room for carrying goods or equipment.

How much is a Chevrolet Express van?

It depends on the build. A new 2022 Express Cargo van (RWD 2500 Regular Wheelbase) costs roughly $35,000.

The extended wheelbase version of this van costs approximately $36,000. The most expensive Express Van configuration costs roughly $38,000. Of course used versions of these vans are cheaper.

Which is better Ford Transit or Chevy Express?

Many car experts think the Chevy Express is a much better cargo van than the Ford Transit.

This is because it is cheaper than Transit and at the same time it has a longer wheelbase, a bigger fuel tank, better towing capacity, and roughly the same payload capacity.

Which is better RAM ProMaster or Ford Transit?

The Ford Transit is a much better cargo van than the RAM ProMaster. This is because it has more cargo space, extra roof height, and better handling on the road.

While the Ford Transit is a better cargo van than the RAM ProMaster, the ProMaster is not really a bad cargo van if you think about it. It is good but not just as good as the Ford Transit. 

Does Chevy make small cargo vans?

Yes. Probably the best known Chevy small cargo van is the Chevrolet City Express. The van is pretty compact and perfect for contractors such as plumbers, electricians, and so on. It is also perfect for deliveries for small businesses.

Does Chevy have a high roof cargo van?

Chevrolet does not have a high roof cargo van. In fact, this is one of the reasons it does not sell as many units as the Ford Transit and the Sprinter (both come with high roof options and many other options).

Is GMC Savana reliable?

The GMC Savana  van has an average reliability rating. So it is not exactly the most reliable cargo van. However, it lasts long. In fact, it can last up to 250,000 miles. This is very impressive. However, you will have to take very good care of it for it to last long.

Is GMC Savana the same as Chevy Express?

Yes, it is. The GMC Savana full-size van is the same thing as the Chevy Express full-size van. It is just the badge that is very different between the two vehicles. The two vehicles pretty much have the same configurations and the same key features.

What is the towing capacity of GMC Savana?

The GMC Savana has an impressive towing capacity of 9,600 pounds. Not many cargo vans can pull as much weight. To be able to tow as much weight as 9,600 pounds, you need the right trailering tools.

Is GMC Savana diesel?

There are two types of GMC Savana vans in terms of fuel. There are diesel-fuelled GMC Savana vans and gasoline-fuelled GMC Savana vans.

You can purchase the 2022 GMC Savana van with a 4.3L V6 gas engine, a 6.6L V8 gas engine, or a 2.8L Turbo Inline-4 Diesel engine.

What is better GMC Savana or Chevy Express?

The GMC Savana and the Chevy Express are roughly the same thing. In fact, the differences between them are so small that you would not know which one you are in if you woke up in either one of them.

How many miles will a GMC Savana last?

The GMC Savana has a mileage expectancy of 250,000 miles. In other words, if you buy one right now, you can use it for over fifteen years. It is a very reliable and durable vehicle. Of course, it needs constant maintenance. 

How many miles can you put on a Ram ProMaster?

The Ram ProMaster is one of the most reliable and durable cargo vans on the market. You can put about 220,000 miles on it if you take very good care of it. In other words, you can use a Ram ProMaster for about 17 years if you take proper care of it.

How reliable is the RAM ProMaster 2500?

The RAM ProMaster 2500 is not the most reliable RAM ProMaster configuration. Other configurations such as the ProMaster 1500 and 3500 are much more reliable.

So if you want a reliable ProMaster van, you should avoid the 2500 configuration. It will cost you a lot to repair almost every year.

What is the difference between RAM ProMaster 2500 and 3500?

There is no significant difference between the ProMaster 2500 and the ProMaster 3500.  The biggest difference is that the 3500 is a step above the 2500 in terms of payload rating. The 3500 can carry much more weight than the 2500.

Can you stand up in a RAM ProMaster?

Yes, you can. Most RAM ProMaster cargo van configurations are tall enough for average height Americans to stand in. Tall Americans can stand in the high roof RAM ProMaster. So if you are tall, you should definitely go for the high roof ProMaster.

Are Nissan NV Cargo vans reliable?

Nissan NV cargo vans are unfortunately not very reliable. In fact, among commercial vehicles, they are typically ranked last.

While they are not very difficult to maintain, when they do develop problems, the problems are usually more costly to fix.

Is Nissan discontinuing the NV cargo van?

Yes, it is. Nissan is discontinuing the NV Cargo Van line to focus on providing customers with more choices in terms of commercial vehicles.

While many units of the NV cargo van have been sold, the cargo van has failed to compete favorably with commercial vans such as the Ford Transit and the Mercedes Sprinter.

Does Nissan make an AWD cargo van?

Yes, it does. Nissan makes AWD (All-Wheel-Drive) vans. The most popular Nissan AWD van built by Nissan for the American market is the Nissan NV200 cargo van. This van is more reliable than the non-AWD N200 cargo van.

What is the difference between Nissan NV S and SV?

The Nissan NV S and the SV are different trims. Therefore, there are several differences between them. For example, the Nissan 1500 NV S trim has 17-inch regular steel wheels, while the Nissan 1500 NV SV trim has 17-inch styled steel wheels. The wheels on the latter trim are much nicer than those on the former trim.

Key Takeaway

Large cargo vans are a necessity for most businesses. What you end up buying should be determined by the specific needs of your business.


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