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Most economical medium vans

  • The best mid-size vans for mpg
  • Most efficient version of each model ranked
  • Diesel vans only in this list

Written by Tom Webster Published: 10 August 2022 Updated: 10 August 2022

Medium vans are run by businesses of all sizes and the cost of running them could be a significant contributor to your company’s spending. If you want the most economical medium van, then these are the best models to look at in the UK.

We’ve ranked them according to the most economical model in each van’s range. For the sake of comparison, these are all diesel vans – there aren’t any petrol models in the medium van sector right now and there are only two petrol-electric hybrids, which work differently enough that we have treated them separately. If you want to know which small and large vans are the most economical, we’ve got that covered too.

It’s worth bearing in mind that these are all the official figures, and there is no guarantee that you will be able to get this economy in the real world, particularly if you are carrying a heavy payload or doing a lot of your driving in town.

The nine most economical mid-size vans

9) Mercedes-Benz Vito – 38.7mpg

Most efficient vans Mercedes-Benz Vito
Most efficient vans Mercedes-Benz Vito

The Mercedes-Bez Vito is the only model on this list that doesn’t have a version that cracks the 40mpg barrier. It isn’t far behind, and all the panel van versions are close to one another in terms of their official figures, but it is a shame nonetheless.

The 110 and 114 models, which are powered by a 2.0-litre diesel with 100hp and 134hp respectively, are both able to claim the 38.7mpg figure, and this applies to both L1 and L2 models.

Read the full Mercedes-Benz Vito review on Parkers Vans

Find a used Mercedes-Benz Vito for sale near you

8) VW Transporter – 40.4mpg

Most efficient medium vans VW Transporter
Most efficient medium vans VW Transporter

Given Volkswagen’s history of offering eco-focused models with strong economy figures, the T6.1 Transporter’s current standing is a little disappointing. There are only a few select versions that make it above 40mpg, with some dipping well down into the mid-30s. You have to go for the versions with the lowest gross vehicle weight and the smallest engines – the T28 models all manage the 40.4mpg official figure, as does the T30 150hp 2.0-litre diesel.

The 4Motion 4WD model is the one to avoid if you want to maximise economy – that can reduce efficiency by more than 10% in some models.

Read the full VW Transporter review on Parkers Vans

Find a used VW Transporter for sale near you

=6) Ford Transit Custom – 40.9mpg

Most efficient vans Ford Transit Custom
Most efficient vans Ford Transit Custom

The UK’s van buyers continue to flock to Ford for plenty of justifiable reasons, but it isn’t because of the best-selling Transit Custom’s fuel economy. With an official best of just 40.9mpg there are more economical models out there. It’s the 130hp mild-hybrid version of the 2.0-litre diesel to go for if you want the most efficient in the range though.

In Ford’s favour, it is one of the few brands to offer something genuinely different – if you are based in town and can plug in regularly then the PHEV version is an alternative.

Read the full Ford Transit Custom review on Parkers Vans

Find a used Ford Transit Custom for sale near you

=6) Renault Trafic – 40.9mpg

Most efficient vans Renault Trafic
Most efficient vans Renault Trafic

The Renault Trafic’s most efficient version offers the same official fuel economy as the most efficient Ford Transit Custom, even though they are equipped with totally different engines. The caveat with this is that Renault hasn’t released all the economy figures for its updated Trafic, so it could be that there are more efficient versions in the range, we just don’t know about them yet.

Given that Renault has confirmed the economy figure for the least powerful engine – the 2.0-litre 110 diesel – it’s unlikely that there will be a version that will raise the bar much higher.

Read the full Renault Trafic review on Parkers Vans

Find a used Renault Trafic for sale near you

5) Toyota Proace – 42.2mpg

Most efficient vans Toyota Proace
Most efficient vans Toyota Proace

Of all the versions of the Stellantis medium-sized van, it is the Toyota Proace that offers the lowest maximum fuel economy. This isn’t because it is less efficient, but because Toyota has been more selective with the versions it offers and it hasn’t gone for the full engine range and therefore not the most economical one available – it only offers the 2.0-litre diesels and not the 1.5-litre versions.

The thinking is that buyers will be swayed by factors other than official fuel economy – payload, torque and the brand’s 10-year warranty – and that a couple of mpg here and there shouldn’t make a difference.

Read the full Toyota Proace review on Parkers Vans

Find a used Toyota Proace for sale near you

4) Vauxhall Vivaro – 42.8mpg

Most efficient vans Vauxhall Vivaro
Most efficient vans Vauxhall Vivaro

The Vauxhall Vivaro uses the same basic engine as the three vans in this list that manage a higher official fuel economy, but this shows the slight differences that specification can make. The 100hp 1.5-litre diesel only manages an official figure of 42.8mpg in the Vivaro, while the rivals manage a couple more miles per gallon.

Push come to shove, we would go for the 2.0-litre diesel and thankfully this only suffers a drop of 0.7mpg in its official figure.

Read the full Vauxhall Vivaro review on Parkers Vans

Find a used Vauxhall Vivaro for sale near you

3) Fiat Scudo – 44.8mpg

Most efficient vans Fiat Scudo

The Fiat Scudo is the newest van in this class, although it isn’t actually a new van at all. Since Stellantis added Fiat to its huge portfolio of brands the Scudo is now the same basic vehicle as the four models either side of it in this list.

Fiat has decided to go for the full range of engines in the Scudo, so it gets the lower powered 1.5-litre diesel that manages an official figure of 44.8mpg, which is impressive.

2) Peugeot Expert – 45.7mpg

Most efficient medium vans Peugeot Expert
Most efficient medium vans Peugeot Expert

To get the 45.7mpg official economy figure that the Peugeot Expert promises then you will need to go for the 102hp 1.5-litre diesel in standard length with the six-speed manual. You can pick between S Premium and Professional Premium though as the extra kit in the latter doesn’t make a difference to the official figures at least.

If you want more space then the long model does suffer a slight dip in economy, but only by 0.7mpg – it still claims 45.0mpg overall, which is more than any other van bar the Dispatch can manage.

Read the full Peugeot Expert review on Parkers Vans

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1) Citroen Dispatch – 45.8mpg

Citroen Dispatch most economical vans 2022

Hats off to the Citroen Dispatch – by 0.1mpg it is the most efficient medium van that you can buy in the UK. As things stand, you can only get the 120hp version of the 1.5-litre diesel engine in one length and trim – the medium length Driver Pro model. Citroen also offers the 102hp versions that come in the Peugeot, so this is by no means an outlier.

In any case, 45mpg is no mean feat when it comes to a medium van, and the updated tests mean that this should be something that is close to achievable in the Dispatch and its close siblings. The class as a whole is looking a lot stronger in terms of efficiency than it did only a few years ago, with the gap between best and worst much closer than it has been in the past, which makes Citroen’s position at the top all the better.

Read the full Citroen Dispatch review on Parkers Vans

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