Offering innovation and practicality galore, this quartet of small vans count as one winner, as they’re the same van beneath the branding, sold through their own respective dealer networks. All boast exceptional payload ratings, capable of hauling more than 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 are easy vans to live with, too – whatever you need a small van for, there’s almost certainly a version of these to suit you.
The Transit Connect is everything good about Ford vans distilled into a compact package. All engines are efficient and smooth, and equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard – a rare luxury in this class – with an eight-speed auto available as an option. Ride comfort is good, but it’s the driving experience that really impresses, with sharp handling and excellent body control in the corners, just like Ford’s best road cars. Some clever thinking in the load area makes this more practical than it first appears, too, and Ford now offers a strong selection of connectivity features and modern infotainment options.
The Ford Fiesta Van is a car-derived van based on the UK’s bestselling car – the Ford Fiesta. As you’d expect, it shares all of the qualities that made the hatchback a former Parkers award-winner – so it’s great to drive, peppy and economical. But it can also be serviced at one of hundreds of Ford service centres across the country. Now only available with petrol engines, but as they’re all economical, and some feature new mild hybrid technology, this is probably not the issue it once was. It’s a great option if you need a small, unobtrusive vehicle with a practical, hard-wearing load space.