CommercialFleet

First drive: Vauxhall Movano L4H2

Vauxhall

Review

The first thing I thought about this massive Movano when it arrived for a week’s appraisal was that no way would this goliath fit on my driveway at home.

And indeed I was right, which meant that it had to stay in our car park for a week, getting in everyone else’s way.

At 6,848mm in length and offering a load volume of nearly 15 cubic metres, this heavyweight contender is about as big as they get at 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight.

For fleets which need to lug even more cargo, there is a 4.5-tonner too complete with digital tachograph, which increases payload from 1,176kg to a mighty 2,176kg.

The Movano, and its twin brother the Renault Master, were launched last year and represent a considerable step forward from the older generation.

The new models have a fresh look about them more in keeping with the 21st century and there are nice big swathes of plastic round the body to help protect it.

The interior has been upgraded and the Movano is now powered by a single 2.3-litre diesel unit which offers anything from 100bhp to 146bhp – our test model had the most powerful engine.

It’s certainly a heavyweight performer and, while it felt at ease on the motorway, utmost care needs to be taken when manoeuvring in small spaces with such a long wheelbase.

The driver’s seat is wonderfully comfortable, with plenty of support from shoulders to knees, but the ride was somewhat spoiled but a heavy clutch action.

ESC stability control is standard on this model but, sadly, it’s a paid-for option on front-wheel drive models.

There’s certainly no shortage of space in the back, and even six-footers can stand up straight.

Mind you, payload is only just over one tonne so with so much volume available, care must be taken not to overload this van.

Verdict

The new Movano is a definite step up from the old one and even such a massive vehicle as this is reckoned to return over 30mpg, which can’t be bad with diesel at £6 a gallon. Shame about that ESC though.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.



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