Parkers van and pickup award winners 2021

  • Vans and pickups award winners announced
  • New award for 2021: best electrified van
  • Find out which is our overall van of the year

The results are in for the annual Parkers New Car Awards 2021, so let’s take a closer look at the van and pickup award winners. The first time as well as small, medium and large van winners, and a pickup award, we’ve also chosen our favourite electrified van – as well as an overall van of the year.

So which are our winners? Read on to find out, or click the links below to jump straight to the award that most interests you:

Parkers Small Van of the Year 2021

2021 Parkers small van of the year award winner

Winner of the 2021 Parkers Small Van of the Year award is not one van but four: the Citroen Berlingo, the Peugeot Partner, the Toyota Proace City and the Vauxhall Combo Cargo.

This might seem a bit confusing but reflects the nature of the van market at present: each of these vans is exactly the same as the others, once you remove the personalisation each brand has added. Pricing is extremely similar, too, once you consider what you get for the money, so which is best for you may well come down to where your nearest dealer is, or the deal you can strike at the time.

So why have they won? Because they represent unbeatable all-round ability in the small van sector. These vans are good to drive, have high payload ratings, good fuel economy and excellent levels of on-board technology – but you don’t have to have this if you don’t want to pay for it. No other small van currently comes close.

The runners up in this category were the Ford Transit Connect and Ford Fiesta Van.

Parkers Medium Van of the Year 2021

2021 Parkers medium van of the year award winner

Winner of the 2021 Parkers Medium Van of the Year award is the Ford Transit Custom – the UK’s bestselling van, and one of the most versatile models on the market, at any size.

The Transit Custom is loved by owners and operators because it looks great, drives well and has a very un-van-like cabin – something that it achieves without losing sight of practicality – with lots of modern touches and technology.

But more than this, the Transit Custom is available in such a wide range of trims and types that there is sure to be something to suit you. From basic vans to lifestyle versions – now not only including the long-standard Sport model but also the new Trail and Active variants (and you can buy an MS-RT from any Ford dealer now) – this Ford has got it covered. There’s even a Plug-In Hybrid version.

The runners up in this category were the Volkswagen Transporter and the all-but-identical Vauxhall Vivaro / Toyota Proace / Peugeot Expert / Citroen Dispatch.

Parkers Large Van of the Year 2021

2021 Parkers large van of the year award winner

Joint winners of the 2021 Parkers Large Van of the Year award are the MAN TGE and the Volkswagen Crafter – again, these are the same van, built in the same factory, sold by different brands.

Launched in 2017 and essentially unchanged since then, it might seem surprising that these are still our favourite large vans. But the reality is that nothing has yet come to challenge them from the perspective of the person who has to drive them all day – which is our primary consideration with these awards.

There are newer vans with cleverer connectivity features and others that offer greater choice of variants and higher payloads. But the Crafter / TGE is just so brilliantly thought out – the cabins are great for build quality and practicality, and the driving experience is simply excellent for such a large vehicle. Standard safety kit is good, too.

The runners up in this category are the Ford Transit and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

Parkers Electrified Van of the Year 2021

2021 Parkers electrified van of the year award winner

A new award for 2021, reflecting the rise of eco-friendly electrification technology in the van sector, we’ve avoided simply calling it the ‘electric van award’ because we felt it was important to consider plug-in hybrids and range-extenders as well.

Nevertheless, the overall winners are 100% pure electric vans – the technically identical Citroen e-Dispatch, Peugeot e-Expert and Vauxhall Vivaro-e. These vans are genuine game changers. Well priced (considering the cost of the technology involved), good to drive, but most importantly they have long driving ranges and great practicality.

How long? Try over 200 miles per charge from the big battery versions, while the payload of the smaller battery models tops 1,200kg. They can also tow 1,000kg. All features that are outstanding for an electric van, and signs that all will not be lost should diesel continue to fall out of favour in cities.

The runners up in this category are the Ford Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid and the Renault Master ZE.

Overall Parkers Van of the Year 2021

2021 Parkers van of the year winner - Ford Transit Custom

The overall Van of the Year winner in the 2021 Parkers New Car Awards is the Ford Transit Custom.

A runner up in previous years, this time around we simply had to recognise the strength and depth Ford has created with the current Transit Custom range. Whether you need a basic working van or something to take pride of place on your drive and among your family, there’s a Transit Custom to suit you. It is a really complete vehicle.

Well done, Ford. And keep it up.

Parkers Pickup of the Year 2021

2021 Parkers pickup of the year winner - Ford Ranger

The accolades aren’t over for Ford, either, as it also scoops the 2021 Parkers Pickup of the Year Award with the remarkable Ranger (the Ford Puma won overall car of the year as well).

The Ranger is another example of Ford’s completeness. The line-up covers everything from straightforward working vehicles right up to premium lifestyle models, topped by the high-performance off-road orientated Raptor, while the options list means you can build a Ranger that’s totally suited to what you do.

But whatever model you choose you’ll get brilliant refinement, great road manners and comfort, an inviting interior, and plenty of technology – in combination with payload strength and 3.5-tonne towing capability. This was by far the easiest of all the van awards to judge, as presently no rival pickup really comes close to the Ranger’s all-round appeal.

Runners up in this category were the SsangYong Musso and the Toyota Hilux.

Also read:

>> Parkers New Car Awards 2021

>> All the latest news on Parkers Vans and Pickups

>> All the latest advice on Parkers Vans and Pickups

>> All the latest reviews on Parkers Vans and Pickups

>> Van and Pickup winners in the 2020 Parkers New Car Awards