Best medium vans 2020

  • What is the best medium van? Find out from Parkers Vans and Pickups
  • Every mid-sized panel van on sale in the UK ranked
  • From basic working models to lifestyle and family vehicles

What is the best medium van? We’ve driven every mid-size panel van currently on sale in 2020, and after a great deal of careful consideration put them into order of preference based on everything from their load-carrying capability, ease of use, running costs, reliability and driving experience. 

Whatever you want to buy a medium van for, Parkers Vans and Pickups is here to help, with a breakdown of the major pros and cons of every model alongside a link to the full review so you can find out even more. All to make sure you’re getting the best van for you.

As well as being working machines, this size of van is the type most often bought as lifestyle vehicles; spec two rows of seats and you’ve got super-practical family transport, while more adventurous types such as surfers, mountain bikers and fishing enthusiasts also tend to favour medium vans.

Here’s the Parkers Vans and Pickups list of the best medium vans, counting down in reverse order:

= 8) Renault Trafic / Nissan NV300 / Fiat Talento

Best medium vans 2020 - Renault Trafic, Nissan NV300, Fiat Talento

The Trafic is the lead van here, with Renault also building the Nissan NV300 and Fiat Talento in France. They come in two body lengths and two roof heights, swallow long loads, and have recently been updated for the latest Euro 6.2 emissions regulations, moving from 1.6-litre engines to new 2.0-litre motors with up to 170hp. 

Plus points include being comfortable and good to drive, and the engines are efficient. But with relatively modest payloads, these are not the vans to choose if your goods are heavy. Still, the Nissan comes with a five-year warranty, while the Fiat and the Reanult have great dealer network support.

>> Read our full Renault Trafic review

>> Read our full Nissan NV300 review

>> Read our full Fiat Talento review

>> Find a Renault Trafic for sale near you

>> Find a Nissan NV300 for sale near you

>> Find a Fiat Talento for sale near you

>> Get a van insurance quote via mustard.co.uk

7) Mercedes-Benz Vito

Best medium vans 2020 - Mercedes-Benz Vito

If you’re looking for maximum quality, the Mercedes Vito is the top dog – though you need to choose wisely, and be prepared to pay for it. For example, while it’s unique in the class for being available with front- and rear-wheel drive powertrains we’d definitely opt for a rear-wheel drive model, given the choice.

Three body lengths and a massive options list mean you won’t struggle to tailor the Vito exactly to you, and a 2020 facelift brings newer, cleaner engines. While it doesn’t have the highest payload ratings, it’s well supported by the Mercedes dealer network and 30 years of roadside assistance cover.

>> Read our full Mercedes Vito review

>> Find a Mercedes Vito for sale near you

>> Get a Mercedes Vito insurance quote via mustard.co.uk

= 3) Citroen Dispatch / Peugeot Expert / Toyota Proace / Vauxhall Vivaro

Best medium vans 2020 - Citroen Dispatch, Peugeot Expert, Toyota Proace, Vauxhall Vivaro

Built on the newest medium van platform in the market, this quartet of closely related cousins offer impressive fuel economy and class-leading payload, making them great value. The Toyota version even gets a five-year warranty, though the others perhaps have stronger van dealer networks.

Being so new, they also have lots of high-tech features (though these are largely limited to the options list), while engine output goes as high as 180hp. There is only a single roof height, but three lengths, and these are car-like to drive. Shame the cab is a cramped and the driving position noticeably is off-set.

>> Read our full Citroen Dispatch review

>> Read our full Peugeot Expert review

>> Read our full Toyota Proace review

>> Read our full Vauxhall Vivaro review

>> Find a Citroen Dispatch for sale near you

>> Find a Peugeot Expert for sale near you

>> Find a Toyota Proace for sale near you

>> Find a Vauxhall Vivaro for sale near you

>> Get a van insurance quote via mustard.co.uk

2) Volkswagen Transporter

Best medium vans 2020 - Volkswagen Transporter T6.1

The most reliable mid-size van for several years running according to the FN50 van reliability survey, the VW Transporter manages the neat trick of being both cool and practical. It comes in a very wide range of models while trim levels vary from basic with bash-friendly unpainted to bumpers to luxury lifestyle with sporty looks and four-wheel drive.

As with the Vito, maximum payload isn’t its greatest strength, but there is a choice of roof heights and body lengths. The recent T6.1 facelift has sharpened the looks and boosted technology levels, too - though you'll still need to budget for earplugs, as they're not the most refined inside.

>> Read our full VW Transporter review

>> Find a VW Transporter for sale near you

>> Get a VW Transporter insurance quote via mustard.co.uk

1) Ford Transit Custom

Best medium vans 2020 - Ford Transit Custom

Updated in 2018 with a major facelift that made it even better looking on the outside and more functional on the inside, and then updated again in 2019 with the introduction of revised engines and even a Plug-In Hybrid model, the UK's bestselling van is a real belter, and our Medium Van of the Year 2020.

As an all-rounder, the Transit Custom really is tough to beat. Owners love them, they're good to drive and they have high payloads, while a wide range of trim levels and lots of dealers helps make them great value. All the latest tech is available on these, too, including a smartphone app to help you keep track of it at all times.

>> Read our full Ford Transit Custom review

>> Find a Ford Transit Custom for sale near you

>> Get a Ford Transit Custom insurance quote via mustard.co.uk

Also read:

>> Best electric vans

>> Best small vans

>> Best large vans

>> Best medium vans for payload

>> Most reliable vans