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Before 2007, building a small car-derived van was quite a simple affair for the manufacturers. All you had to do was take a small hatchback, panel over the rear windows and chuck the back seat out and it was job done. Clearly, there was room for a little more in the way of sophistication, and in 2008 this little revolution came along in the shape of the joint project between Citroen,Fiat and Peugeot to launch the Nemo, Fiorino and Bipper small 'hi-cube' vans, which are essentially the same vans rebadged to reflect the identity of each manufacturer. The main difference between these and other car-derived vans was that they offered a more rugged interior, better suited to the rough and tumble of the van world. And the load volume was huge in comparison with those previous vans, making the new generation far more productive and versatile.
You might think that it would be game over for those little hatchback vans, but somehow they have managed to endure. At first glance, this might look like a bit of a conundrum: why would someone want a less capacious van? The answer might be that, for some operators and owners at least, load space isn't the be all and end all. If you know that your load will fit easily into the hatchback van's load area, then why would you need to go for something larger?
The next factor is perhaps due to cosmetics. A smaller load bay might not attract the eyes of the fleet manager, but happy employees might enjoy it. The Vauxhall Corsavan looks just like a sporty little hot hatch from most angles, and if you are an employee, such as an IT repair person or someone with modest load needs, then you probably don't want to be lumbered with a van. Models such as the Vauxhall Corsavan allow employers to hand out vans that look more like company cars, and that can be a great attraction for staff. It also handles just like a car because essentially it is one, so the ride and driving experience can be a little more pleasant.
Lift the bonnet and you will find a perfectly capable 1.3 litre common rail diesel engine conforming to Euro V rules. It delivers an ample 75bhp and 140 lb-ft of torque. It does fall down a little compared with those hi-cube vans because it doesn't get the stop-start fuel-saving system as standard, which could be considered an oversight on a van that is mostly designed to ply its trade on congested city streets. Nonetheless, it manages 67.3 mpg and 112 g/km of CO2. This is fair but not quite up to the standards of the Fiestavan in its ECOnetic guise.
What is more surprising is that the payload is not so different from the hi-cube trio. You get 550kg as opposed to 660kg in the bigger vans. Where it does suffer in comparison is in the loading bay volume. The Vauxhall Corsavan has just a shade under one metre cubed, while the others can manage 2.5 cubic metres.
The spec level of the Vauxhall Corsavan is good, with ABS, electronic brake force distribution, emergency brake assist, deadlocks, an engine immobiliser and electric door mirrors. If you or your staff are looking for a sharp little van, and space is not an issue, a used Vauxhall Corsavan could be just the job.
Stylish and compact, the Vauxhall Corsavan is as attractive as it is practical. With a standard model and a higher-end Sportive model to pick in its current form, the Corsavan proves that a commercial vehicle can look fast while remaining functional. And for businesses seeking a van of this size, it really pulls ahead of the pack in terms of equipment, so styling is not all it has to offer.
The first generation of the Corsavan appeared in 1994, with models arriving after this to reflect each successive version of the family hatchback on which it is based. This means that there are many second-hand examples available, as well as the latest fourth-generation model to purchase new or nearly new.
The standard for the latest Corsavan is set high, with basic equipment including a range of appealing electronics. Tyre pressures are monitored automatically, while an ESP system allows the van to take care of traction when things get a bit slippery. Hill-start assist and daytime running lights are also included at no extra cost, while six airbags, ABS and an immobiliser keep safety and security levels high.
In-cab features, including a stereo with CD player, aux-in socket and MP3 capabilities, are a nice touch. A USB port means that media players can be connected directly, while Bluetooth capabilities make it easy to wirelessly sync devices. Remote central locking, power steering, electric mirrors and windows all add to the Corsavan’s credentials as a well-specified commercial vehicle that is perfect for urban use.
The Corsavan Sportive has a number of extras to offer drivers but costs considerably more. It has a heated windscreen with automatic wipers that operate whenever moisture is detected. Automation is also added to the headlights to make sure that it is visible on the roads in dim conditions or at night. Air conditioning and cruise control are added, while the sporty exterior styling is mirrored by sports seats that grip the driver and passenger a little tighter than the standard ones.
The load space for both Corsavan models is 0.92 cubic metres, all of which is bundled up in an attractive exterior. Under the bonnet you can specify either a 1.2 litre petrol engine or a choice of two 1.3 litre diesel engines, the latter of which comes as standard on the Sportive model. Auto stop-start is a standard feature of all diesel engines in the Corsavan, allowing it to offer better fuel efficiency than previous generations.
The load area comes with a half-height bulkhead as standard, as well as illumination to allow for loading and unloading at any time of the day. Extras can be added if required, such as cargo net fixings and the net itself, a floor mat to protect the load area and more storage. In all, the Corsavan range is very appealing because of its good looks and the many useful features within. When it comes to small vans for use in towns and cities, this is one of the best contenders on the market.... Read more >>
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