The microvan sector is a relatively small part of the total LCV scene in the UK.
For example, out of 327,000 odd vans sold, just 6,500 were tiddlers.
On this basis you’d imagine – although you would be wrong – that most of the manufacturers don’t try very hard when it comes to the small end of the market.
Take a small car, hoik the seats out of the back, blank in the rear windows and bingo! – a new van is born.
That might do for some, but at Vauxhall, they are rightly proud of their latest little baby the Corsavan.
It might be small but a great deal of effort has gone into making it just right.
This van’s lineage goes back a fair old way.
The Corsavan was first introduced in 1993 and before that there was the Novavan which started life in 1983.
Vauxhall sells around 1,500 Corsavans a year and is launching this new one six months after the fresh Corsa car.
That model has been breaking all the records for Vauxhall and the firm is hoping that this will have a halo effect in the van market and boost sales.
It would be easy to assume that most Corsavan sales are retail but in fact Vauxhall sells 80% of its vehicles to fleets – BT among them.
Apparently British Gas is also taking an interest in the new model.
From the B pillar forwards, the van matches its car brother, but at the rear a fair amount of work has been carried out turning the car into a commercial vehicle.
Access to the business end is easier, with a taller loading aperture and a low sill height, thanks to a large tailgate that lifts well out of the way to give greater headroom, yet extends down into the bumper moulding to make the van easier to fill up with heavy or cumbersome objects.
A half-height steel bulkhead and plastic panelling around the edge of the load bay add further protection, while load-lashing eyes are provided to help prevent shifting cargo.
Options include a full-size rubber floor mat (£75), an upper load restraint mesh (£65) and a four-piece load compartment cover (£75), which was purposely designed to fit into the load bay and offer the same protection from prying eyes as would a parcel shelf in a hatchback, yet at the same time be easy to fit, fold and stow away (all prices ex-VAT).
Security features include remote central door locking with deadlocks on both models, anti-theft protection for audio equipment, an electronic engine deadlock immobiliser and a dash-mounted button which allows the doors to be locked or unlocked from the comfort of the driver’s seat.
New Corsavan will also fit into a standard-sized garage.
Payload is 550kg and load volume is 0.92 cubic metres.
The van comes with either a 75bhp 1.3-litre CDTi diesel or an 80bhp 1.2-litre Twinport petrol engine, allowing for LPG conversions (although Vauxhall won’t be doing these as a factory-fit item).
The 1.3 CDTi is expected to account for the lion’s share of sales and delivers 125lb-ft of torque between 1,750rpm and 2,500rpm, while the 1.2, has an output of 81lb-ft of torque.