Towns and cities are busy centers. With the world’s increasing population and the pattern of migration, they are going to get rowdier.
It goes without saying, this brings and, in the future, still brings a great market to small and medium scale businesses.
So, now more than ever, any serious business knows to have the right sized commercial vans that can seamlessly navigate the busy roads and get the job done.
Light-duty vans, which are often called city vans, fit the specification for these businesses.
What are light-duty vans?
Light duty vans sit somewhere between car-derived vans and panel vans.
Due to their versatility for transporting around small-medium loads, they are typically used by handy people, plumbers, gardeners, and small delivery outlets.
Light-duty vans are compact in length, which allows them to conveniently fit into spaces too tight for large cargo vans.
What’s more, they also feature considerable rear storage as well as decent payload capacities.
They generally have comfortable interiors and automatic gearbox options.
So, you don’t need to worry if you’re ever stuck in traffic.
Most importantly, a good light-weight van (which this article will guide you to look out for) will come with a powerful engine with the right-down torque.
This will make moving the van from a standstill not difficult.
Also, the running and maintenance cost needs to be feasible considering its overall usability and value.
The goal of this article is to help you with your search for a great light-duty van for your business.
Fetching from that, we will be reviewing a list of 7 vans, highlighting their specification (e.g. loadspaces and payload), and what they are most suitable for.
As we do this, you will do your bit to settle on the one that suits your business the most. Nobody knows your business more than you.
Note: Loadspace means the rear storage capacity of the van and payload means the maximum cargo the van can haul.
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How To Choose The Best Light-Duty Van
No two light-duty vans or their respective use cases are the same.
What a privately run delivery business may require in a work van may be totally different from what a contractor needs.
Considering these nuances, it’s expedient that you commence your search for the perfect light-duty van for your business within context.
The following factors may help you inform the context and make searching easier.
- Payload capacity
- Fuel type
- Fuel efficiency
- Safety features
- Engine type
Simple questions to help narrow your search
As you look out for specific features to help narrow down your options, there are some questions you can also ask. They include:
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- Where will the light-duty van be working?
The terrain, road surface, and climate in Alaska, for instance, are very different from California.
Knowing the area where you will need to work will help decide the kind of light-duty van you need.
- What will the van be transporting?
This is a no-brainer. While a florist may require a spacious, luxurious light-duty van to transport her flowers, a technician may need something sturdy. Payload capacity comes into play here.
- How high do you need the van’s roof to be?
While some businesses will need a van tall enough to allow occupants to stand, others may not. It’s important to know where your business falls.
- Are there must-have safety features you need?
These, most modern light-duty vans come equipped with several features. Knowing what you want beforehand can aid quick and accurate decisions.
7 Best Light Duty Vans More Reliable Than Others!
This section will talk extensively about the best light-duty vans you can get for your business.
1. Volkswagen Caddy Cargo
If you are comfortable and quiet while going about conducting your business, the Volkswagen Caddy Cargo is your go-to van.
With a decent loadspace of 130.7 cubic feet, the van can haul up to 1,500 lbs.
It’s good for moving small to medium equipment, furniture, and other such things. It also works if you’re a service provider who just needs to get across the town to fix or deliver something.
It went from being an outdated, old piece of automobile to becoming one of the in-tune-with-the-times vehicles of the modern-day.
Caddy Cargo has an impressive average fuel mileage of up to 57.6 mpg.
Wireless phone connectivity and digital radio amongst others, feature on the touchscreen on the dashboard.
The newest model of the vehicle features a good bunch of driver and safety assistant features that make driving not only an interesting experience, but also a rewarding one.
It will take about $336 to maintain the van every month. It’s available in both petrol and diesel 1.4L engines.
If your taste tends more towards a car-like experience, go for the former, but the latter is more reasonable for commercial purposes.
Whatever you settle on, pick one with an automatic gearbox for a smooth riding experience.
On the official website of Volkswagen, the copy sitting next to the latest model of the Caddy Cargo reads “For whatever comes next.”
This is not an exaggeration. You get what you’re promised with a Volkswagen Caddy Cargo.
As a business, you will have access to high-end engineering, state-of-the-art interior design, and good-quality build.
2. Peugeot Partner
When the new and improved Peugeot Partner snatched the International Continental Irish Van of The Year award in 2020, it was neither fluke nor luck.
It was because it’s a great van that has seen considerable development in the last couple of years.
It ticked all the boxes for productivity, safety, comfort, and fuel efficiency. So, getting a Partner van for your business is not a bad idea.
With only $280, monthly maintenance is covered and you can get a used one in perfect working condition starting from $11,600.
With a payload capacity of 2204.6 lbs, the light-duty van has a loadspace of 134.2 cubic feet.
This makes it suitable to the demands of several small businesses like a delivery outlet, plumbers, electricians, etc., as well as personal needs.
It comes available in both a 1.5L diesel engine and a 1.2L petrol engine.
The good news is whichever one you choose, it will serve you excellently under any driving condition.
From transporting equipment across city centers to making deliveries in surrounding towns. Its fuel mileage stands at an average of 55.6 mpg.
For van users and enthusiasts, the similarities between the Peugeot Partner and vans like Citroen Berlingo, Toyota Proace City, and Vauxhall Combo will not be lost on them.
But it will take an expert to know that despite these likenesses, the Partner van is distinct.
For one, Peugeot has managed to pull off fitting its highly sought-after i-Cockpit design into the light-duty van.
This goes to add more class and style to the van’s interior.
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3. Ford Transit Connect
The Ford Transit Connect is the perfect light-duty van for many small businesses.
Those who have driven in it know it feels more like a car than a van. It comes in two wheelbase length options and either of them can fit comfortably in most residential garages.
The light-duty van is an all-around sound vehicle. The van features impressive payload and loadspace capacities.
The available Transit Connect models use the 1.5L EcoBlue diesel engine with three outputs of 74 bhp, 99 bhp, and 118 bhp respectively.
But are often rounded up to 75, 100, and 120 on the badges. Transit Connect comes in two lengths. They are badged as L1 and L2. There’s, however, only one available height option.
The light-duty van features fuel-conserving equipment like acceleration control, advanced battery management, gear shift indicator, automatic start-stop, and switchable speed limiter.
The Transit Connect van also has an automatic start/stop technology, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and efficient fuel economy.
Professionals like caterers, florists, contractors, and delivery businesses can get the most out of this model for their day-to-day business operations.
The following are the van’s safety features:
- Lane Keep Assist
- Autonomous Emergency Braking
- Pre-Collision Assist
- Rear Parking Sensors
- Rear View Camera
- Traction Control.
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4. Vauxhall Combo
The 2021 Vauxhall Combo van is easily one of the best ones available on the market.
In addition to the fuel-efficient engine and high-end performance, it also features a sophisticated safety system.
Its versatility makes the van an easy favorite for small and medium-scale businesses.
A used one can sell for as low as $11,117 and the monthly maintenance stands at an average of $273.9.
The van’s payload capacity has seen considerable improvements from the old model and the van’s rear can now haul a load of up to 2,204.6 lbs.
With a loadspace up to 155.3 cubic feet, the van is available in two lengths and one roof height. Also available is a crew van option that also comes with rear seats.
Out of the 3 trim levels on offer, Edition is the most versatile.
The other two, Sportive and LE Nav come with luxuries like an eight-inch touchscreen system and body-colored bumpers. The fuel mileage of the light-duty van averages 57.3 mpg.
5. Citroen Berlingo
The Citroen Berlingo is similar in many respects to the Combo in above.
For one, it has the same high-end payload ratings of 2,224.5 lbs, height variations, as well as length.
This is the go-to light-duty van if a business wants to cut down on downtimes. While it will typically cost about $273.9 to maintain this van monthly, a used one can go as low as $11,117.
The Citroen Berlingo is available in 4 trim levels, of which the X model is the most basic. X was designed primarily to minimize cost.
The more costly Worker models, however, come with the Grip Control system which utilizes the switchable traction control for different road surfaces, hill descent control, and mud and snow tires.
Enterprise and Driver models, on the other hand, are fitted with niceties like cameras and large touchscreen media systems.
They also have two lengths option for businesses to pick from. Berlingo’s load space is up to 155.4 cubic feet and average fuel mileage of 51.4 mpg.
6. Ford Transit Courier
The Ford Transit Courier is the best light-duty van for new and budding delivery businesses.
It’s the second smallest van in the commercial line-up of Ford, just after the Fiesta van.
With 81.2 cubic feet and up to 1311.8 lbs of loadspace and payload respectively, the Transit Courier is as light-duty as it gets.
However, that just makes it perfectly suitable for small and medium scale businesses. It’s practical and compact with a fuel-efficient engine.
Its peculiar affordability coupled with high-end specs makes it a highly sought-after light-duty van.
The model range includes Base (an affordable option), Sport (which is the favorite for urban-based businesses), and Kombi. All of them feature a standard side door.
Its 1L Ecoboost 100 hp petrol engine can efficiently serve both car-like purposes as well as tasking needs, such as deliveries over a long distance.
You can, however, get more from the 1.5L TDCi diesel engine option.
The power generated by the engine is relayed to the road surface via a front-wheel-drive (FWD) with the assistance of a 5-speed Manual gearbox.
The Transit Courier has a curb weight of 2604 lbs and a 56.5 mpg average fuel mileage.
7. Nissan NV200
The Nissan NV200 is a distinctively peculiar van. In many ways, it’s similar to the NV250 model. For its price, its capacity is pretty impressive.
It has a rear loadspace of up to 148.3 cubic feet and a payload capacity of around 1,605 lbs. Its size allows it to maneuver city streets without glitches.
Compared to most of the aforementioned light-duty vans on this list, NV200 doesn’t match carrying capacities and the length range.
However, it stands out excellently when it comes to interior designs and a thorough range of simple, sophisticated, and fuel-efficient diesel engines. Its fuel averages 57.6mpg
The Nissan NV200 comes in Panel Van, Crew Van (fully fitted with occasional seats in the rear), and Combi (which seats about 7 people).
Like this, there’s an NV200 van for every business need, from catering to delivery services.
The Tekna models, for instance, come with 14-inch alloy wheels, a color reversing camera, and cruise control.
But modern navigation features are absent. Including one will accrue extra cost.
There’s also an electrical option called the e-NV200. More and more of them are flooding the market since Nissan decided to halt production of diesel- and petrol-powered versions of this van.
Some of the NV200’s features include:
- Rear Sonar Sensors
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System
- Front Seat Belts with Pretensioners and Load Limiters
- Low floor for easy cargo loading
Small and medium-scale businesses will need to move around town from time to time to complete their daily operations. A light-duty van is the best way to do this.
The time a business puts into making the right choice of light-duty van is a smart investment in the long run.
This article is a comprehensive text on how to make sure you get the best available light-duty van for your business.
By Team: Auto Renting Tutors!