- Wide range of body styles
- Available with rear-wheel drive
- Good payload
- Low fuel consumption
- Long service intervals
- Cabin layout not as neat as competitors
- Poor drive and comfort
With a wide range of 29 body styles, the availability of rear-wheel-drive models and increased gross vehicle weights and payloads, the Movano is part of Vauxhall's plans to significantly improve its commercial vehicle line-up, allowing it to rival alternatives like the Ford Transit and Volkswagen Crafter.
If it looks familiar, that's because it's the sister van to the Renault Master and is powered by the same excellent 2.3-litre diesel engine available in varying power outputs from 100hp to 146hp.
On the road it's not the most refined to drive, and the gear changes are quite notchy. It also offers low running costs, good fuel economy, an easy-to-access cargo area and the best-in-class payload (see Top 10 vans for Payload at 3.5t for more information).
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This Movano may not look too different from the previous model, and although the ride has slightly improved, it's still falls short of the competition. A lot of road and engine noise penetrates the cab but engine speed is just 2,000rpm at 70mph.
It's easy to manoeuvre though, as you'd expect, helped by the large door mirrors which feature electrical adjustment as standard. On twisting roads the Movano is surprisingly agile, even when loaded and tackles corners reassuringly, while the gearbox has a click action.
For the first time, the Movano is available with rear-wheel-drive variants that give added traction and increased towing ability. The engine that powers all models is a 2.3-litre CDTi but it comes in different outputs of 100hp, 125hp and 146hp. It has plenty of torque and pulls strongly while delivering good pace.
Thanks to a cabin that is longer than the previous Movano, this model is more comfortable, especially on longer journeys but is still way behind the competition. It comes with multi-adjustable seats and a height-adjustable steering column, so finding the right driving position is simple, whatever your size and shape, although some of the plastics used are a little scratchy and the stereo is quite fiddly to use. It's not quite up to the standards of alternatives like the Volkswagen Crafter, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Ford Transit.
There are almost endless numbers of compartments and holders including a useful overhead cubby hold, bottle holders and twin level door pockets. There is also a clever pull-out map holder in the centre of the dash, a lidded dash top storage box and a glovebox that can swallow two 1.5-litre drinks bottles.
Vauxhall's 2.3-litre CDTi common-rail engine in the Movano is available in a variety of power outputs, but all return good fuel economy with the 100hp and 125hp models able to average 35mpg (in the 3.5t L2H2 version).
The standard fuel tank is 80 litres but there's an optional 105-litre tank available which gives a range of nearly 875 miles. All versions of the engine are Euro 4 emissions compliant but can be ordered with a diesel particulate filter to meet Euro 5 standards.
Compared to the outgoing model, wear and tear costs are 24% lower. Standard equipment levels are good too and the entry level Expression model comes with electric windows and door mirrors plus a full bulkhead. Early models came with a 'launch pack' which added £1,400 of extra equipment including air conditioning, a multi-function trip computer, Bluetooth and an alarm, for free.
The CDTi engine is chain-driven to keep maintenance costs down while both the brakes and clutch have been engineered for long-term durability. An oil change isn't required before 25,000 miles while the coolant is good for 100,000 miles. The total service life of the Movano is an impressive 250,000 miles.
The cabin is well built and will happily stand up to the usual abuse, however the rear door hinges don't seem particularly robust and when the doors are at their maximum opening, they seem to precariously stick out.
All models come with ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution while ESP electronic stability control is standard on rear-wheel drive versions - it's an option on front-wheel-drive variants.
Other safety features include a driver's airbag and three-point safety belts with a belt tensioner. Optional kit includes a passenger airbag, seat-integrated side airbags and headlamps with cornering lights.