MCN sponsors Parkers Awards Van of the Year 2020 - and the winner is...
Sister title and consumer car, van and pickup review experts Parkers has announced its list of winners in this year's Parkers Awards. MCN sponsored the trio of van categories - small, medium and large - as they're most likely to appeal to an enthusiastic biker.
Then the team of expert reviewers at Parkers.co.uk picked one overall winner.Typical uses include having a small van to transport your kid to the weekly motorcross meetings, a medium van for two-bike trackdays and trips to far-flung destinations, and a large van to do all of that plus catering for biking business users such as tyre fitters, mobile mechanics and of course, er, caterers.
So, without further ado:
Best Small Van 2020 - Citroen Berlingo / Peugeot Partner / Vauxhall Combo Cargo
This award went to a van whose platform is shared across three brands, but the result is so impressive across the trio of companies that the test team couldn't split them.
Parkers Vans and Pickups Editor, CJ Hubbard, said: " Not only do they offer exceptional payload capacity, capable of hauling over 1.0 tonne in some cases, they also feature modern technology solutions to long-standing problems – including the option of a camera system that allows you to always see what’s happening on the road behind despite having unglazed rear doors. A spacious cab, good ride quality and a wide range of options means they should be easy vans to live with, too. Whatever you need a small van for, there’s almost certainly a version of these to suit you."
Best Medium Van 2020 - Ford Transit Custom
This name badge needs no introduction. The Transit has been a familiar sight on UK roads for decades and remains one of the very best options out there. In mid-sized Custom configuration it's the ideal dimensions for a biker whose after maximum load area without a footprint to match - it'll fit in a normal parking space. And as ever, it's still one of the best vans to drive, too.
Hubbard says: "Having undergone a thorough facelift in 2018, in 2019 the Transit Custom has received further engine updates – including a more powerful 185hp version – and become the first van available as a plug-in hybrid. Add high payload ratings and a great driving experience, and it’s no wonder this is such a popular product. An outstanding winner here."
Best Large Van 2020 - the VW Crafter / MAN TGE
The second of our platform-sharers, the Crafter/TGE is a large van that's gone from strength to strength in its current incarnation, and nowhere is that better highlighted than in the Parkers Awards, where it's celebrating its third consecutive win in 2020. It's practical, well-equipped and great to drive.
Of the Crafter, Hubbard says: "Equipped with autonomous emergency braking as standard this pair provide a safe, high quality driving environment, come in a wide range of variants and are so easy to manoeuvre you might forget you’re driving a van at all. The very best the large van class has to offer."
And the winner is... the VW Crafter / MAN TGE!
For a third year running, the VW/MAN large van scoops the award for best van overall. This impressive vehicle just keeps on improving, with front-, rear- and all-wheel drive options along with a vast array of bodies, transmissions and kit to choose from.
Hubbard commented: "These vans have always impressed us with their ease of operation; they are incredibly good to drive for such large vehicles, offer great real-world efficiency and have large load volumes, with a cab environment that’s second to none."