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Best box vans and Lutons for payload

  • 93 percent of LCVs stopped found to be overloaded
  • Payloads of box and Luton vans can vary by 200kg
  • Not all manufacturers offer conversion programmes

Written by Liam Campbell Published: 11 April 2016 Updated: 11 April 2016

When it comes to high-volume capacities for 3.5 tonners, box vans and Lutons are the best option. With the added weight of safety and comfort systems and larger chasses, however, payload has become a real issue. This article examines all the off-the-shelf box vans and Lutons for the best payload.

Despite whole vehicle type approval (ECWVTA) being introduced in 2013, most manufacturers still outsource the conversions to local bodybuilders while a few manufacturers (Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot and Fiat Professional) still don’t offer one-invoice Lutons or box vans. Only Renault (which also manufactures the Nissan NV400 and Vauxhall Movano) fits bodies on the production line.

7) Volkswagen Crafter Luton (Ingimex): 1,000kg

VW Crafter Luton

With a payload of just 1,000kg, the Volkswagen Crafter Luton offers the least payload of all the Lutons and box vans, although it is one of the largest in the class at 4,119mm long by 1,951mm wide by 1,755mm high. The ‘Engineered to Go’ programme from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has been running for almost a decade now, but sales have struggled due to the heavy chassis of the VW Crafter.

Read the Volkswagen Crafter review.

6) Ford Transit Box Van (VFS): 1,016kg

Ford Transit Luton

Ford’s ‘One Stop Shop’ conversion programme has suffered a lot since the latest generation of Transit was introduced in 2014. The Transit chassis went from being one of the lightest in the class, to the heaviest, and despite the box body from VFS being one of the smallest (3,740mm long by 1,987mm wide by 2,122mm high), the payload comes out at a bemusing 1,016kg.

Read the Ford Transit review.

5) Citroen Relay Luton (Buckstone Bodies): 1,080kg

Citroen Relay Luton

Sales of Citroen’s ‘Ready to Run’ conversions have increased ten-fold since 2013, thanks to big investment from head office helping to stock the dealer network and reducing lead times for customers. The Luton body from Oldham-based Buckstone (4,070mm long, 1,980mm wide, by 2,200mm high) is quite heavy, but the light chassis of the Relay means, combined, it offers a respectable payload of 1,080kg.

Read the Citroen Relay review.

4) Iveco Daily Luton (JC Payne): 1,120kg

Iveco Daily Luton

The engineers managed to shed almost 100kg off the weight of the Iveco Daily during its most recent update (introduced in 2014), which means it is now a much stronger proposition in the conversion market. Coupled with a lightweight, aluminium body from JC Payne (4,200mm long, 2,108mm high and 2,083mm wide), the Iveco Daily Driveaway Luton can offer 1,120kg of payload.

Read the Iveco Daily review.

3-1) Nissan NV400, Renault Master and Vauxhall Vivaro Luton (Scattolini; factory fit): 1,212kg

Renault Master Luton

Italian bodybuilder Scattolini has had a small engineering team fitting bodies to chassis cabs at the Renault factory in Batilly (France) since the latest generation was launched in 2010. The body boasts some sizeable dimensions (4,170mm long, by 2,220mm wide, by 2,200mm), and combines with the low chassis mass of the Nissan NV400, Renault Master and Vauxhall Vivaro to give a payload of 1,212kg.

Read the Nissan NV400 review.

Read the Renault Master review.

Read the Vauxhall Vivaro review.

Also read: Van conversion programme by manufacturer

Also read: Best vans for payload at 3.5t

Also read: Best large vans for fuel economy