CommercialFleet

On test: Supertrucks Space Van

Review

Nowadays, van manufacturers all rush to plug every conceivable gap in the market in a bid to secure extra sales.

With most large vans you don’t just get a panel van – there are panels, dropsides, tippers, just about everything you can think of on offer from the local dealer.

But no-one offers a van quite like this at 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight. Based on a Citroën Relay chassis and converted in St Helens on Merseyside, the SuperTrucks Super Van is quite simply the biggest vehicle you can buy in this market.

Such is the commanding road presence and high build quality of this van that the judges at last year’s Fleet Van Awards gave Supertrucks the trophy for Van Equipment of the Year – and after a week driving it, I reckon that they were spot on with their decision.

The Space Van is offered under the Citroën Ready to Run programme, which means that although the conversion is outsourced, any warranty problems will be sorted out by the Citroën dealer.

It’s an important point in our book as we have heard of certain conversions that have caused major headaches for fleets when the manufacturer and converter quibble over who is responsible when something goes wrong.

Under the bonnet goes a 2.2-litre 120bhp powerplant – which can be upgraded to 160bhp if required – and payload is 1,260kg, while load volume reaches 20.4 cubic metres, which can be extended to 23 cubic metres with the extra length conversion.

Load height is 2.5 metres while load length stretches to 4.7 metres.

Price is £25,335 ex-VAT.

Behind the wheel

To appreciate the sheer size of this vehicle, you only have to look at the accompanying picture of a crate being loaded into its rear end – this is more what you’d expect from a 7.5-tonne truck than a van.

The Space Van caused quite a stir when it arrived, partly due to its eye-catching decals on the side and partly because it took up two spaces in the already crowded office car park.

While the van drives almost as well as any Relay – which has always been one of my personal favourites – great care must be taken when manoeuvring as not only is this van 6,650mm long (that’s more than 21 feet to you and me) but it has a sizeable overhang at the back which can clip nearby objects when you don’t want it to.

We were all mightily impressed with the build quality and it’s hats off to the lads on Merseyside for making such a good job of it.

All the plastics and metal bits are of the highest quality and even with all this gubbins stuck on the back of the Relay, payload is still a reasonable 1,260kg.

Mind you, the temptation is always going to be there to overload the Space Van and I’d recommend to any fleet buyers two extras which didn’t feature on our test van – firstly, a VanWeigh system from Dunlop which will alert the driver when the vehicle is up to its legal limit.

Secondly, the fitment of reversing sensors at around £200 is a must in my book as on more than one occasions I had to jump out and take a shufty round the back before reversing this gargantuan vehicle.

 

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.