Top 10 best-selling vans of 2015
Commercial vehicle manufacturers enjoyed record sales in 2015, according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). According to the latest report the new van market overtook pre-recession levels in 2015, with a total of 423,894 vehicle registrations.
All van sectors enjoyed strong growth, with sales of vans (up to 3.5 tonnes) lifted by 16 per cent. The pick-up market also expanded by 20 per cent, spurred on by the launches of the new Mitsubishi L200 and Nissan Navara. But which were the best-sellers from 2015?
Ford Transit Custom - 42,839 registered
Launch in 2013, the one-tonne Ford Transit Custom has become a hot favourite with builders, fleets and delivery drivers. Hardly surprising when you consider how brilliant Ford's mid-sized van is, with a forgiving ride and economical 2.2 TDCi.
The Transit Custom will officially return more than 45mpg and has set new standards for CV refinement and comfort. Payloads vary from 643kg to 1507kg, which means the largest versions will easily holding three Euro pallets.
Vauxhall Vivaro - 27,537 registered
Easy to drive and hugely capable, the British-built Vivaro is a huge step up over its predecessor, with big improvements in refinement and fuel economy. Vauxhall's 1.6-litre diesel engine may be smaller than the 2.0-litre unit found in the old van but it has as much power and torque.
The 1.6 unit can also be specified with twin-turbos with 120PS or 140PS, with the former returning 47.9mpg. The Vivaro can also carry up to three Euro pallets, while the optional FlexCargo bulkhead lets it accommodate lengths of up to 4150mm, which makes it perfect for securely carrying pipes and ladders.
Ford Transit - 26,186 registered
It might not be built in Britain anymore - Ford moved production to Turkey in 2013 - but the Transit still remains a popular van with builders and delivery drivers alike. Indeed, more than 26,000 were registered in 2015, making it the UK's third most-popular CV.
Like the Transits of old, the latest model is dependable and versatile, with 450 different variants. three different lengths and two different roof heights. As you might expect, payloads are broad and the largest versions will have little trouble accommodating 1400kg.
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - 23,859 registered
The Sprinter is one of the best all-round vans in our opinion, with a classy interior and lots of carrying potential. Payloads vary from 734kg to 2515kg and official fuel economy rates at 44mpg.
The Sprinter range was heavily revised in 2013 with a new interior and more in-cab connectivity for mobile devices. Servicing intervals were also extended to 37,000 miles. Add in the fact that the Sprinter has one of the best van interiors and it isn't difficult to understand it huge popularity.
Volkswagen Transporter - 19,250 registered
The Transporter appears to have survived the emission scandal to retain its place in the top 10 selling vans, with Volkswagen registering almost 20,000 in 2015. This has been helped, in no small part, by the fact that the Transporter - both T5 and T6 - are unaffected by the scandal.
The 2015 registration figures include the T6 that was launched last summer. The van is effectively an revised version of the T5, but gets new engines and updated running gear. The most efficient powertrain is the Euro 6 compliant 102PS 2.0-litre TDI, which will return a claimed 48mpg. As always, the Transporter will take three Euro pallets and carry a maximum payload of 1331kg.
Citroen Berlingo - 16,210 registered
Despite being seven years old, the Berlingo remains one of the UK's most-popular vans with 16,210 registrations. This makes it the sixth best-seller outscoring the likes of the Ford Transit Connect and Volkswagen Caddy on registrations.
Available in two sizes, standard L1 and stretched L2, the Berlingo will carry a maximum payload of 850kg. Engine choice is limited to 1.6-litre petrol and diesel motors, with the latter best suited for those covering long distances - retuning an official 55mpg - while the 95PS petrol will be ideal for city-based delivery drivers who do lots of stop/start driving over short areas.
Ford Transit Connect - 14,904 registered
Ford is the only CV manufacturer to have three entries in the top 10 selling vans of 2015. Its final entry - in seventh place - is the Transit Connect. The mk2 Connect is hugely popular with builders and its car-like handing makes it one of the best handling vans in its class.
The Transit Connect is offered with the choice of petrol or diesel powertrains, with the latter returning up to 70mpg when ordered with the Econetic diesel. Maximum payload varies from 625kg to 1000kg, which means even the smallest Transit Connect can carry 25 standard bags of cement before it's overloaded.
Peugeot Partner - 14,390 registered
Like its sister van - the Citroen Berlingo - the Peugeot Partner was launched back in 2007, yet it's still going strong with almost 15,000 registrations for 2015.
Easy to drive, economical and boasting a 850kg payload, the Partner is versatile and extremely popular with builders. Most are attracted to its comfortable ride over long distances and no hardwearing interior. Officially the Partner will return 60mpg+, although we'd avoid the stuttering EGC automatic gearbox.
Renault Trafic - 13,700 registered
It might have been billed as 'all-new' by Renault at its launch in 2014, but the Trafic is actually a heavily revised version of the old van. Like its predecessor, it gets lots of storage and a versatile range of engines, along with huge improvements in refinement and comfort.
Like the Vauxhall Vivaro, the Trafic is available in two lengths and two heights and can carry up to 8.6 cubic metres, while an optional through-hatch lets the van carry planks and pipes internally.
Peugeot Boxer - 11,206 registered
The final entry in the top 10 best-selling vans of 2015 is the Peugeot Boxer. Like the Ford Transit, the Boxer is a huge van with masses of carrying potential and a maximum payload of 1900kg.
The current Boxer dates back to 2006, with a new model expected in 2016, but the current van still has lots of appeal, with strong 2.2-litre HDi turbodiesel engines that are packed with torque.