- Every mid-size van ranked for mpg
- Find out which medium van is most efficient
- 18mpg difference between best and worst
Parkers Vans lists every model in the popular medium van segment in order of best mpg – find out which is the most efficient mid-size van right here
Fuel economy is a critical aspect of van ownership as it’s one of the major contributors to running costs. So to help you make the best buying decision we’ve been through all the technical brochures to create a list that ranks every medium van on sale by its official miles per gallon (mpg) rating.
Keep in mind that these are the official fuel economy figures for the most efficient mid-size van in their respective ranges. While using the official mpg is the fairest way to make this comparison, be aware that you’re unlikely to match it in the real world.
We’ve got more information about what affects mpg in general in our overall van fuel economy guide, which you can read by clicking here.
And if you want to know which small and large vans are the most economical we’ve got that covered too:
Note: we’ve concentrated on panel vans below, but where there is a particularly efficient combi or crew van we have mentioned that as well…
11) Hyundai iLoad – 37.7mpg
The Hyundai iLoad is the oldest medium van on sale in the UK at the present time, and it’s only available as a single variant – a 2.5-litre turbodiesel in SE specification – with no choice of length or roof height.
It is well priced, and does come with a five-year warranty. But the new Euro 6 engine configuration makes only a modest 0.5mpg improvement over the previous Euro 5 model and to return a 37.7mpg claim – considerably lower than many large vans in the class above.
10) Ford Transit Custom EcoBlue 105 or 130 – 46.3mpg
The Ford Transit Custom is the best-selling van in the UK, but it seems unlikely operators are choosing it for its fuel economy. It not only sits at number 10 in this list, the claimed 46.3mpg max is some way off the best in the sector.
Both the 105hp and the 130hp version of Ford’s 2.0-litre EcoBlue turbodiesel engine are said to be good for that figure when fitted in the lightest Customs; we’d pick the more powerful unit, given the choice, as it will be less stressed more of the time.
9) Vauxhall Vivaro 1.6CDTi 125 S/S Blueinjection – 47.0mpg
The Vauxhall Vivaro is the first of four non-identical quadruplets in the medium van sector, all based around the Renault Trafic platform. The differences between each model are slight, but the Vivaro still comes out at the bottom, with its most efficient L1H1 body returning a best of 47.0mpg.
To achieve this you’ll need the 125hp 1.6-litre BiTurbo CDTi engine, which comes with a stop-start system as standard. The equivalent Vivaro Combi is rated to 50.4mpg, while the longer L2 H1 model drops to 46.3mpg.
8) Mercedes-Benz Vito 114CDI, 116CDI and 119CDI – CDI 47.1mpg
The Vito is unique among mid-size vans for being available with a choice of front or rear-wheel drive; without checking, we would have expected the front-drivers to have the economy edge, but actually it’s the rear-wheel drive Vitos that are most efficient.
Presumably this is at least partially thanks to the reduced stress on their larger 2.1-litre engines. Even the seven-speed automatic gearbox versions match the 47.1mpg maximum claim.
7) Renault Trafic Energy dCi 125 – 47.2mpg
Just beating the Vito is the Renault Trafic, which claims 47.2mpg in short length, low roof height (SL) guise, in a choice of two gross vehicle weights. As with the Vauxhall Vivaro, the most efficient version uses the 125hp twin-turbo diesel engine with stop-start.
These are great all-round vans – pleasant to drive with especially good ride quality and reasonably large load volumes, let down only slightly by limited payload capacity.
= 5) Fiat Talento SWB Ecojet 125 – 47.9mpg
Another member of the Renault Trafic/Vauxhall Vivaro family is the Fiat Talento, which together with the Nissan NV300 – below – manages to eke out a claimed 47.9mpg from the same 1.6-litre 125hp twin-turbo diesel engine in short-wheelbase form.
And if you’re looking for something more than a panel van you’re in luck, as equivalent crew and combi versions of the Talento claim an even greater 50.4mpg.
= 5) Nissan NV300 dCi 125 – 47.9mpg
Matching its Talento cousin’s 47.9mpg, the Nissan NV300 is the newest member of the Renault Trafic family and it too is at its most economical with the 125hp twin-turbo 1.6-litre diesel engine. No surprises there.
What makes the NV300 worth further consideration, however, is the standard five-year, 125,000-mile warranty – something none of its relations can match.
4) VW Transporter BlueMotion – 51.4mpg
Only Volkswagen currently offers a specific eco variant in this medium sector (though Ford will add a competitor when the Transit Custom is facelifted). The Transporter BlueMotion is a short, low-roof van powered by the 102hp 2.0-litre TDI diesel, and features a number of bespoke modifications in order to achieve a claimed 51.4mpg.
There are impressively fuel-efficient models elsewhere in the Transporter range, too, with the T28 and T30 150hp TDI models capable of a claimed 47.1mpg – or even 48.7mpg with the optional DSG automatic transmission.
3) Toyota Proace Medium 1.6 115 – 54.3mpg
Showing up even the Transporter BlueMotion for fuel efficiency, hats off to the newest medium van family on the market, comprising the Toyota Proace, Citroen Dispatch and Peugeot Expert.
The Toyota bags only third place because the most efficient engine – the 115hp 1.6-litre turbodiesel – isn’t available in the shortest bodylength in the Proace range. 1.1mpg isn’t a bad trade for the extra space, though, esepcially given the Toyota's standard five-year warranty.
= 1) Citroen Dispatch XS BlueHDi 115 S&S – 55.4mpg
Joint first place goes to the Citroen Dispatch – tying with its partner van, the Peugeot Expert (we’re listing them in alphabetical order). To get the 55.4mpg claim you’ll need the XS model (that’s eXtra Short), which is just 4,609mm long, ideal for urban operators often navigating tight city streets.
Need a bit more room? Trading up to the M (for Medium) sees official economy drop to the same level as the Proace above. But the body grows 350mm in the process, extending load length by the same amount and increasing load volume from 4.6 to 5.3 cubic metres.
= 1) Peugeot Expert Compact BlueHDi 115 S&S – 55.4mpg
Peugeot calls its smallest Expert model the Compact, but otherwise it’s the same story as the Citroen Dispatch – power comes from a 115hp 1.6-litre turbodiesel with a stop-start system as standard. These are also very modern vans, with lots of fancy extras but also class-leading payloads.
Which suggests you can have your cake and eat it here. Even the bigger 2.0-litre engines offer great economy, with both the 120hp and 150hp models claiming 53.3mpg regardless of body length (these may even be better in the real world due to their excess performance and additional torque).