Best small vans for payload

  • Every small van on sale in the UK ranked for maximum payload
  • Includes info on the latest Euro 6.2 emissions engines for 2019
  • Payload differs by nearly 300kg – find out which small van is best for you

Whatever you want a small van for – whether it’s the first step towards building up your own business or the expansion of an existing fleet – you need to make sure it’s suitable for your needs, including being able to cope with the weight of everything it has to carry.

To help you figure this out, we’ve been through the technical specifications of every small van on sale, and ranked them all in order of maximum payload.

This list includes engines that comply with the very latest Euro 6.2 emissions regulations, where available –and this is significant because the extra technology required to meet these regs has reduced the maximum payload of some models.

As ever, the payload figures quoted need to account for everything inside the van, including the people in order to stay on the right side of the law.

Also note that most smalls offer their highest payload in short-wheelbase form (SWB), and that if you need space more than weight, a long-wheelbase (LWB) model probably makes more sense.

So which small van has the highest payload? Read on too find out.

List of the best small vans for payload

9) Nissan NV200: 728kg

Nissan NV200 - find out where it ranks among the best small vans for payload (2019)

Nissan’s unconventionally shaped NV200 is soon to be replaced by a new model called the Nissan NV250 – which will be good news for payload, if not modernity, as the NV250 is a variant of the aging Renault Kangoo.

For now, though, the NV200 remains the small van with the lowest payload rating, and the 728kg max only applies to the less powerful 90hp version of its 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine, too. The 110hp model carries just 714kg.

>> Read the full Nissan NV200 review

>> Find a Nissan NV200 for sale near you

8) Mercedes-Benz Citan: 736kg

Mercedes Citan - find out where it ranks among the best small vans for payload (2019)

Ah, the Citan – a Mercedes-branded version of the Kangoo, built to Mercedes’ specification by Renault in its factory in France. The fleets that buy them tend to like them, but most others just see an expensive version of a rather elderly product.

Its maximum payload has fallen somewhat, too. Previously there was a version rated to 845kg, but in 2019 the best it can do is 736kg, available on 109 CDI and 111 CDI versions of the longest L3 model in the most basic Pure specification.

>> Read the full Mercedes Citan review

>> Find a Mercedes Citan for sale near you

7) Renault Kangoo: 800kg

Renault Kangoo - find out where it ranks among the best small vans for payload (2019)

The current Renault Kangoo dates all the way back to 2008, and it isn’t due for replacement until 2020 at the earliest. Hopefully the new model will have a slightly more competitive payload rating, as this one has now fallen well behind the best in the small van sector.

The 800kg figure officially supplied by Renault is an ‘average’, though – which means some versions may be capable of carrying more. Certainly a previous version of the long-wheelbase Kangoo Maxi was rated to 843kg.

>> Read the full Renault Kangoo review

>> Find a Renault Kangoo for sale near you

6) Volkswagen Caddy: 813kg

VW Caddy - find out where it ranks among the best small vans for payload (2019)

VW’s stylish Caddy is available in special high-payload model, known as the C20+. This boosts the standard short-wheelbase model from a max of 745kg to 813kg, although it also only comes as 102hp model in basic Startline spec, which means black plastic bumpers and limited standard kit.

The long-wheelbase Caddy Maxi has a more generous payload rating across the range, but tops out at 812kg. Note that VW and Mercedes account for a 75kg driver in their official figures, so we’ve adjusted them to match all the others here.

>> Read the full VW Caddy review

>> Find a VW Caddy for sale near you

5) Ford Transit Connect: 865kg

Ford Transit Connect - find out where it ranks among the best small vans for payload (2019)

The Transit Connect is one of the vans that’s been whacked in the payload by the transition to Euro 6.2 emissions requirements. Before the most recent facelift – which has smartened up the interior, introduced new engines and added extra safety tech – it was rated to carry up to 967kg.

The new maximum of 865kg applies to some six-speed manual gearbox versions of the 100hp EcoBlue diesel model, in short-wheelbase L1 guise and ‘high payload’ specification. The 120hp model is rated to 863kg, with the eight-speed auto option carrying slightly less, too.

>> Read the full Ford Transit Connect review

>> Find a Ford Transit Connect for sale near you

4) Vauxhall Combo Cargo: 987kg

Vauxhall Combo - find out where it ranks among the best small vans for payload (2019)

The latest Vauxhall Combo van is a close relation of the Citroen Berlingo and Peugeot Partner, but due to a slight quirk of specification isn’t rated to carry quite as much payload – with the toughest 130hp 1.5-litre 2300 SWB version maxing out at 987kg.

This is with a Euro 6.2-compatible engine. With an earlier Euro 6.1 engine (still in the pricelist at the time of writing and available from stock) the Combo can carry up to 1,020kg, though power output on these models is restricted to 100hp.

>> Read the full Vauxhall Combo Cargo review

>> Find a Vauxhall Combo van for sale near you

3) Fiat Doblo Cargo: 1,005kg

Fiat Doblo - find out where it ranks among the best small vans for payload (2019)

The Doblo may no longer form the basis of the Vauxhall Combo, but it remains one of the most practical small vans on the market, and is one of only three able to carry over a tonne (although at the time of writing we are still waiting on full technical data for Euro 6.2).

Fiat offers versions of the Doblo that carry up to 1,005kg in all body sizes, too. So there’s almost certainly a version that will suit your needs. It’s starting to feel a little old to drive, but as a functional tool it’s well worth considering on that basis.

>> Read the full Fiat Doblo review

>> Find a Fiat Doblo for sale near you

=1) Citroen Berlingo and Peugeot Partner: 1,009kg

Citroen Berlingo (left) and Peugeot Partner (right) - the best small vans for payload (2019)

Euro 6.2 has knocked back this French pair from their previous 1,050kg maximum, but able to haul up to 1,009kg they remain the small vans with the highest payload. The main reason they beat the Vauxhall alternative is that their SWB 100hp 1.5-litre diesel is available without a stop-start system.

With identical pricing and spec, whether you choose Peugeot or Citroen is probably going to come down to proximity of the nearest showroom, which will do you a better deal on the day (make sure you shop around), and how much you do or don’t like the Partner’s ‘i-Cockpit’ interior.

>> Read the full Citroen Berlingo review

>> Read the full Peugeot Partner review

>> Find a Citroen Berlingo for sale near you

>> Find a Peugeot Partner for sale near you

Also read:

>> Best large vans for payload

>> Best medium vans for payload

>> Full guide to Euro 6 for vans and pickups

>> More best van guides on Parkers