Vehicle Reviews

Vauxhall Movano - Review Of The Week

Size isn't everything but it does help when you're competing in the large panel van sector. This improved Vauxhall Movano can certainly live with the big boys, packing a 17m3 maximum load volume and a length of close to seven meters in its most capacious form. It comes in a multitude of other shapes and sizes too with a driver-focused cabin and advanced engines also standing it in good stead.

Doing the donkey work in the Movano is a specially developed and now much improved 2.3-litre CDTi diesel engine. This enhanced common-rail injection Euro 6D Temp unit punches above its weight and the 135PS version of it is 4% more powerful than the previous version of this unit. The 150PS version of this engine is also more powerful than before. Power is distributed either by the standard six-speed manual gearbox or by Vauxhall's Techshift semi-automatic transmission. From there, it's directed either to the front or the rear wheels depending on the model chosen. In the past, the Movano has been a front-wheel-drive panel van but the option of rear-wheel-drive opens the possibility of carrying larger payloads. The rear-wheel-drive versions can be ordered with double rear wheels for extra traction and capacity. The front-wheel-drive variants have lower loading heights and superior fuel economy.

When a vehicle needs space for 17 cubic meters of cargo, there isn't much room left for artistic expression on the part of its designers. So it is that the Movano looks much the same as the other large panel vans you can picture. This revised version gets a lightly re-styled front end with daytime running lamps now incorporated into headlights which continuously flow into the new chrome cross bar added to the grille. As before, these almost vertical headlight stacks are mounted high on the van's tall nose out of harm's way and the wheels are pushed out to the corners, maximising the wheelbase and the space available inside.

Vauxhall Movano - Review Of The Week

Inside, the cockpit has also been updated, and laid out like a modern mobile office. The interior of the van takes on a thoughtful design that is ergonomic with controls intuitively located. The various seating options give a broad range of adjustment, while the position of the steering column can also be tweaked to taste. Visibility is enhanced by the large door mirrors, the huge expanse of windscreen and the vehicle's steeply sloping nose.

Access to the Movano's load area is sliding side doors and side hinged rear doors depending on the model chosen. Load volumes range from 8 cubic meters to 17 with load lengths of up to 4.4m. The gross vehicle weights for the Movano are 2.2, 3.3, 3.5 and 4.5 tonnes.

The engines have been designed to maximise efficiency as well as pulling power and combined cycle economy. The powerplants also keep costs down with long service intervals and, ultimately, a 250,000-mile lifespan.

It's tough to choose between the leading large panel vans as their big load carrying remit means they tend to follow a similar formula. Vauxhall's Movano aims to make the decision making process a little easier for businesses not by doing anything revolutionary but with solid improvements across the board. With advanced engines, a sprawling model range and a focus on keeping drivers onside, it can't really go far wrong.

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