Mid­dleweight Cham­pi­ons:

The mid-sized van mar­ket is a tough bat­tle­field. Here we com­pare two of the mar­ket lead­ers with two Euro com­peti­tors to see which one comes up trumps. Matt Wood writes

Deals on Wheels - - Contents -

We com­pare four com­peti­tors in the mid-sized van mar­ket

If model names were a part of ve­hi­cle judg­ing cri­te­ria, I’d make this a very short ar­ti­cle in­deed. When san­ity fi­nally pre­vails and I am even­tu­ally elected pres­i­dent of this great coun­try, one of my first acts will be to make the use of ran­dom cap­i­tal let­ters in prod­uct names il­le­gal.

Out of the four ve­hi­cles you see on these pages, only two don’t have silly cap­i­tal let­ters in their names, those be­ing the Ford Tran­sit and Renault Trafic.

But some­one at Renault for­got an f, which my com­puter in­sists should be there.

So clearly, the Ford Tran­sit must be the best medium-sized van in its class, be­cause my com­puter hates all the oth­ers, far be it for me to ar­gue with our com­puter over­lords.

BOOM TIMES

But in all se­ri­ous­ness, there’s cer­tainly noth­ing bor­ing about van sales fig­ures of late. They’re boom­ing; the light de­liv­ery van seg­ment of the Aus­tralian mar­ket has grown over 20 per cent since 2014. While truck sales have lan­guished and to a point prob­a­bly nor­malised, fi­nal-mile de­liv­ery ve­hi­cle sales con­tinue to grow. So you may think that vans are just a big yawn-fest. But if so, it’s a con­ta­gious one.

In the mid-sized van seg­ment, some rel­a­tively re­cent ar­rivals have been se­ri­ously chal­leng­ing the Toy­ota HiAce’s tra­di­tional sales supremacy.

The hugely pop­u­lar Hyundai iLoad, for ex­am­ple, has had a re­cent up­date, Ford launched an all­new Tran­sit about 18 months ago, and an all-new Renault Trafic ar­rived last year.

Do the Euro­pean-en­gi­neered Tran­sit and Trafic have what it takes to pose a threat to the Asian sales dom­i­na­tion of the iLoad and HiAce?

We drove all four ve­hi­cles re­cently to see whether the mar­ket lead­ers are lunch­ing on rep­u­ta­tion alone, or whether they re­ally do have the goods to see them main­tain the top of the sales score­board.

The light de­liv­ery van seg­ment of the Aus­tralian mar­ket has grown over 20 per cent since 2014.

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