SINCE the introduction of the high cube city van back in 2008 – think Citroen Nemo/Fiat Fiorino/Peugeot Bipper trio – the city car-derived van sector has been thrown into confusion.
The fact is that the old school offerings such as the Ford Fiestavan and Vauxhall Corsavan just can’t compete on load volume.
But the “old timers” are far from dead.
And there’s a very good reason why.
The fact of the matter is that most of the people who drive these vehicles – photocopier repair men, IT support people et al – don’t actually want to drive a commercial vehicle and wouldn’t take kindly to being given, say, a Bipper to drive.
As the Vauxhall Corsavan is basically a Corsa car with the back seats and rear windows removed, it is easy for the people who drive them to pretend that they’re in a car.
If you take a Corsavan home and park it on your drive, most of the neighbours will just assume it’s a car and your reputation as an upwardly mobile go-getter will remain intact.
The model on test here gets an Ecoflex badge, which is Vauxhall’s way of saying “very environmentally friendly” – and better on fuel. The name has been around in the car sector since 2009 and the firm has now rolled it out across its vans.
As such, this van has a stop-start system which cuts out when the vehicle is stationary and in urban usage, where the Corsavan is likely to be found, it is reckoned that this gadget can save around 16% in fuel, an important consideration in these cash-strapped times.
The 1.3 CDTi powerplant offers 95bhp and it’s plenty for this perky little performer, helped by the broad spread of maximum torque right down from as low as 1750rpm. Any more power would just be unnecessary and a waste of fuel, we feel.
And with 83.1mpg possible on the combined fuel economy cycle, this van knocks the high cubers into a cocked hat diesel-wise.