Van fleet buyers are in for a pleasant surprise when the new Vauxhall Movano and Renault Master go on sale in May.
The van, essentially the same vehicle with different badges, is launched into a market which fell by 35% last year.
Consequently, both manufacturers are offering free goodies and special models even before launch.
Vauxhall will offer £1,400 of free extras including air-conditioning and Bluetooth capability for vans ordered before the end of July, while all Masters, except the entry-level Freeway model, will come equipped with a TomTom sat-nav unit complete with colour screen – a £900 extra on the Movano.
The Master/Movano will be offered in the usual array of formats, including three wheelbases, four load lengths and three roof heights, chassis-cabs and other conversions, but new for this van is the option of either front or rear-wheel drive, in gross vehicle weights that now go from 2.8 tonnes up to 4.5 tonnes.
A single new 2.3-litre engine will power the van and offers power of 100bhp, 125bhp and 150bhp, with torque of 210lb-ft, 228lb-ft and 258lb-ft. It offers economy gains of around 4.1mpg over the outgoing 2.5-litre unit, while servicing costs have dropped by 28% over the old model.
Standard features include ABS brakes, while ESP traction control is standard on rear-wheel drive models – but not on front-wheel drive ones.
There’s also a clever pop-up A4 document holder and a swivelling computer desk in the back of the middle seat, a mobile phone and MP3 player holder with recharging point
on the top of the dash and cubby holes aplenty.
On the road, the 125bhp and 150bhp versions offered plenty of power but a 100bhp version we tried in 3.5-tonne gvw format and with a one-tonne load of sand aboard struggled.
While it will suit smaller versions, we wouldn’t recommend this unit for the bigger vans.
Prices range from £20,250 to £29,925 (ex-VAT).
This van suits the modern driver more than any other, and its cab and goodies impressed even more than the looks and engines.
Our only big criticism is the lack of ESP as a standard fitment.
To test drive the Vauxhall Movano reserve your place at the Greener Company Car In Action - Visit www.companycarinaction.co.uk today!
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