While five years ago the range of cargo vans was limited, today automobile biggies like Ford, Nissan and Benz have raised the stakes. Here, we’re comparing the best cargo van models for commercial use.
For many companies, cargo vans with commercial vehicle insurance are an integral part of their daily schedule. Whether it’s a catering company, an e-commerce website that delivers goods purchased online or a florist, these closed vans offer ease of transport combined with a spacious cargo hold. To the untrained eye, the difference between these models can be fuzzy. However, understanding these differences will help you choose a van with features that are most important to you.
The six best cargo vans in the current market
For years, the Sprinter (offered by both Benz and Freightliner) has been a favourite amongst consumers who value cargo space over mileage. And now, despite models like the Ford Transit and Nissan NV putting up stiff competition in terms of cargo space, it’s still running strong.
The Sprinter offers consumers a 3.6m wheelbase as well as a 4.3m wheelbase. It also has two roof sizes, standard and tall. Premium Sprinter models give you an interior height of 194cm that translates to 5.4m2 cargo space. Its towing capacity stands at 2.2 tonne and payload, at 1.36 tonne.
Price tag – This is possibly the only area where it falls short when compared to the other models because the Sprinter has a base price of US$36,000.
The Ford Transit offers two versions – one with a regular wheelbase and another with a long wheelbase. The Transit is the latest entrant to the cargo van (full-size) segment in the United States and its long wheelbase model offers both standard and extended length variants. Another enviable feature – the Transit model has a high-roof option that offers 207cm of interior cargo height!
In terms of engines, you can pick a turbocharged EcoBoost V6, a 3.7 litre V6 (horsepower of 266) or a 3.2 litre turbodiesel 5-cylinder. The EcoBoost offers better mileage while the turbodiesel is great if you need to frequently haul large loads.
Price tag - The price for the Ford Transit models starts at US$30,000 and can go up to $40,000 for fully equipped, premium models.
Ford Transit Connect
Designed to be compact so it can glide through the city, the Ford Transit Connect puts fuel economy before cargo space. Its standard 169 horsepower 4-cylinder engine offers excellent mileage of 8km per litre within the city and 12 kpl on highways.
You can also opt for the 178 horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder that offers a mileage of 9.3 km per litre in the city and 13 km per litre on the highway.
The size of this van is an important factor to consider because even its long wheelbase form is no longer than a midsize Ford Fusion sedan. Its maximum payload capacity is only 725kg and the max towing capacity is 900 kg. This is true for both the standard wheelbase and the long wheelbase models.
Price tag – The pricing of the Ford Transit Connect starts at a reasonable US$23,000
The Nissan NV200 is produced in the United States and offers big cargo capacities.
However, it is the least fuel-efficient and least technologically advanced model in this group with a 4 litre V6 or a 5.6 litre V8. This full sized cargo van model is based on Nissan’s Titan pick-up truck.
The NV3500 cargo van has a remarkable payload capacity of almost 1.8 tonne with a jaw-dropping 4.3 toone towing capacity (as a result of the 317 horsepower 5.6-litre V8). Its standard roof model has an interior cargo height of only 141cm but the high roof model offers 195cm.
Price tag – Thanks to its production being based in the United States, it starts at a modest price tag of US$26,000
It’s best of you don’t lump the Nissan NV200 with the Nissan NV because the two are vastly different. While the Nissan NV is a rear wheel drive, the NV200 features front wheel drive architecture. It boasts of one of the best mileage options when it comes to cargo vans with 10km per litre in the city and 10.6 kpl on the highway. Its 131 horsepower 4-cylinder engine is connected to a fuel saving CVT automatic.
However, this model is smaller (think Ford Transit Connect) than most of the other cargo vans we talk about in this article. It has a cargo volume of 3.4m2 and the max cargo height is 135cm. All this makes the Nissan NV200 a great option for those who need a compact option for commuting within cities.
Price tag – The Nissan NV200 has an appealing price that starts at around US$22,000.
The front-wheel-drive (FWD) Ram ProMaster gives you excellent response while navigating narrow streets. The FWD is standard in ProMasters, setting it apart in from the rest in this segment. The standard in a ProMaster is a Chrysler 280 horsepower 3.6 litre V6. This has a 6 speed automatic transmission. The optional EcoDiesel 4-cylinder engine (3 litre) is excellent for towing. The cargo space of this van is optimised with walls standing at nearly 90 degrees vertically, allowing for more storage space. It also has an interior height of 193cm and a payload capacity of 442 tonnes. The ProMaster has three configurations – the 1500, 2500 and 3500.
Price tag – The ProMaster’s 1500 falls at about UD$29,500 and the 3500 is around $36,000.
Choose the best option for your needs
Cargo vans are often preferred to pick-up trucks thanks to their safe enclosed storage area (the expanse of advertising space on the side of the van is an added benefit). As you have seen, different models have been made to suit different needs. By taking into account these specific features, you can choose the model that aligns best to your business needs. Make sure you also look at commercial vehicle insurance. Check out AMI where you can get an online quote: www.ami.co.nz/business/all-insurance