Archive for February, 2011

Viva Mercedes-Benz Vito Vans

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Modern looking from the day it was launched – the original Mercedes-Benz Vito van still looks fresh even today – the smallest commercial vehicle that Mercedes-Benz produces remains at the top of a van buyer’s shopping list today.

Standing alongside the desirable Volkswagen Transporter, these two vans stand head and shoulders above the pack a the top of every medium sized panel van user’s wish list. In fact, if the upfront price was taken out of the equation, it is unlikely that many other vans would even get a look-in.

Rock solid residual values of the Mercedes Vito mean that the lifetime cost is not as high as you might think.

Step inside the Vito van and anyone familiar with Mercedes-Benz’s passenger car interiors would immediately feel at home. The Germans have not dumbed down the interior of their commercial vehicles, many of the controls and computer displays are shared with the manufacturer’s premium car range.

This immediately gives the driver a sense of well-being, as if he can’t afford a Mercedes E-class, at least he can enjoy a similar feeling in the Mercedes-Benz Vito, (or if he needs more room the equally well-equipped Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van.)

On the safety side, Mercedes have spent fortunes making their vans as safe as they can – after all, fully laden they weigh more than a passenger car and spend more tim on the road, so why shouldn’t they have the latest electronics to control the braking and traction?

In terms of performance, Mercedes have given the Vito a full range of engine options – up to a three litre engine which has been specifically designed for use in its commercial vehicles. In a van of this size, it propels it along very nicely with plenty of power in reserve.

If you need a real van to go to work in then you have to take the Mercedes Vito van out for a spin!

Citroen Relay Space Van – More Details

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Citroen Relay and Citroen Dispatch Expand the ‘Ready to Run’ Programme
The already extensive range of commercial vehicle conversions from Citroen that are marketed under the ‘ready to run’ banner has been extended further for the start of 2011.

In addition to the Supertrucks glass carrying Citroen Relay, the company is now converting a high cube, low loading dry freight version called the Citroen Relay Space Van.

Not only is the loadspace huge, the load height is the lowest for any van available in the UK today. This makes it perfect for a small number of limited applications, including household removals and lightweight goods that need to be hand loaded into the vehicle. With load heights of as low as 37cm and step heights just 19cm there is no need for a dropwell or long ramps which take up room and add to the unladen weight.

The ultra low heights are thanks to the optional air suspension system – with the standard steel suspension, the step height increases to just 37cm and load height to 55cm.

The second benefit of increased load space means that, depending on body lengths (a choice of 4.1m or 4.5m) the operator will get 20.4m3 or 22.29m3 to fill up – this compares with a maximum 17m3 from the long and high Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford Transit and Vauxhall Movano panel vans.

Payloads aren’t bad with 1.3 tonnes to play with, depending on the body chosen and other add ons.

The Space Van is priced from £24,825 + VAT + delivery.

VOLKSWAGEN AMAROK PICK-UP MAKES UK DEBUT

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

The Volkswagen Amarok has made its UK debut at the ExCel exhibition centre in January.
Alongside the Amarok, and also making a UK debut ahead of launch later this year, was the Berghaus limited edition of the California. Created with the outdoor clothing specialists, the California Berghaus will be available with a 2.0-litre BiTDI 180 PS engine and standard equipment includes a bike rack, awning, Berghaus-branded carpet mats and waterproof seat covers, and exclusive 18-inch bi-colour ‘Dakar’ alloy wheels.
The Amarok has started a nationwide tour in a series of displays at VW Van dealerships across the UK, before the first right-hand drive vehicles arrive later in the year.
UK prices and specifications for the Amarok and limited edition California Berghaus will be announced soon.

New Citroen Relay and Citroen Dispatch Variants of the ‘Ready to Run’ programme

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

The list of ready-converted vans from Citroen continues to grow with two new additions to the range – a 6 seater conversion for the Citroen Dispatch by Snoeks and a Supertrucks Space Van low loading box van conversion of the Citroen Relay.
Citroen Relay vans at Vanlocator
The crew van conversion comes in L1 and L2 versions, giving a load length at floor level of 1.81m for the L1 and 2.11m for the L2, as the load can be slid under the rear seats. Prices start at £13,895+VAT + delivery.
The spuercube van gives a payload of 1.3 tonnes and a load volume of 20.4 m3 for the 4.1m long body or 22.29m3 for the 4.5 metre. With a load height of just 550mm and a step height of 370mm the van can be lowered further if the customer opts for the air suspension, bringing the measurements down to 370mm and 190mm respectively. Costs start at £24,825+VAT + delivery

Fiat Doblo £50 Fuel Giveaway

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Fiat have just launched a new promotion which gives people who test drive a Fiat Doblo a £50 fuel voucher and a bacon sandwich. The promotion continues – if you actually purchase a Fiat Doblo then you can have another roll and, more importantly, £100 of fuel vouchers.

The plan is to emphasise how fuel efficient the Fiat Doblo is (58.9mpg combined) through giving away fuel.

“Doblò Cargo is a great success story, but we’re always hungry for more customers to get behind the wheel and try it for themselves,” says Gerry Clarke, director, Fiat Professional UK. “It’s now a serious consideration for businessmen and women whose role it is to bring home the bacon.

The Fiat Doblo is available with a choice of engines, including a Euro 5 option and a petrol version. Power outputs range from the 90bhp 1300cc Multijet to the 135bhp 2000cc diesel. You can specify the Fiat Doblo in a range of variants, including Cargo, Cargo Maxi, Cargo SX, Cargo Maxi SX, Combi, Combi Maxi and Platform Cab – to offer something for a wide spectrum of van users.

Vauxhall Vivaro – is the end nigh at Luton?

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

The Vauxhall Vivaro has been built at the plant in Luton since its launch back in 2001.  Launched as a joint initiative with Renault and, subsequently, Nissan, the Luton plant turns out all short wheel base low roof versions for the European market, regardless of badge.  This means that the Renault Trafic, Nissan Primastar and, of course the Opel Vivaro have also been built in Bedfordshire in their hundreds of thousands (750,000 at the last count in November 2010) over the last nine or so years.

So what for the future of the Vivaro and relatives?

The companies have agreed to design and build a new version of the Vauxhall Vivaro – in fact It is well under way.  It is an important van because, with the Mercedes-Benz Vito it shaped a new category of commercial vehicle throughout Europe.  It brought the standards of the other manufacturers up to a new level as they had to compete.  Modern styling, reliable and economical engines all helped play a part in this, firmly establishing the British-built Vivaro as a favourite Europe-wide.

Vauxhall’s parent company, GM, has not been without its difficulties, however. On the brink of extinction, the company has been pulled from the edge by lots of American public money and savage cost cutting around the world.  This impacted on the sales of the Vivaro and all the other vans in the Vauxhall range throughout the recession. 

This means that Vauxhall are in a good place to show impressive growth in a market sector that has some profitability in it, (when compared to making cars, that is).

There is due to be a decision whether the new Vivaro is built at Luton, or whether the factory concentrates on cars or even shuts down.  It would be a shame, as vans have been made at Luton in some shape or form for decades.  Indeed the name of a van body comes from the Town – Luton vans were developed there to support the hat trade, as bodies needed to be as large as possible to fit all the lightweight hats in.

Unless that’s an urban myth, that is.