- Gross vehicle weight (kg): 3,500
- Power (bhp/rpm): 136/3,500
- Torque (Nm/rpm): 340/1,500
- Load length (mm): 3,038
- Load width (mm): 1,765
- Load height (mm): 1,894
- Load volume (cu m): 10.8
- Payload (kg): 1,610
- Comb fuel economy (mpg): 40.9
- CO2 emission (g/km): 180
- Basic price (ex-VAT): £27,093
Business Van Review of the Vauxhall Movano FWD 3.5t bi-turbo ecoFLEX 136
NEW Vauxhall Movano? What new Vauxhall Movano? You may well be asking yourself this question, as despite the fact that Vauxhall’s heavy contender has been upgraded, very little publicity has been given to it.
We can only think that the lads at Luton are too busy concentrating on the new Vivaro. As far as we can ascertain, there wasn’t even a general press release put out about the upgraded Movano, which is a shame as it’s a bit of a corker and deserves at least a mild fanfare.
Well, businessvans.co.uk is here to put things right, so let’s introduce to you, the buying public, the 2015 version of this evergreen performer.
The Movano has been slightly recrafted at the front end and there is a new set of engines offering better fuel-efficiency and power. It is now available in front and rear wheel drive too, in line with the rival Ford Transit.
The Movano comes in the usual array of wheelbases and roof heights and features a 2.3-litre turbodiesel powerplant offering 110bhp, 125bhp, 136bhp and 163bhp. The more powerful models have a twin-turbo, giving a boost at low revs.
Our test model, which weighs in at £27,093 ex-VAT, is the medium wheelbase medium high roof front wheel drive variant with the 136bhp engine. It gets an ecoFLEX badge, which denotes a standard stop-start system and other economic tweaks and twiddles which equate to an official fuel economy figure of 40.9mpg on the combined cycle.
In the rear there is 10.8 cubic metres of loadspace and the van has a payload of 1,610kg.
- We’ve always had a soft spot for this van. It has that real big truck feel and makes us want to stop and pick up a Yorkie bar every time we drive it. It looks great on the outside too and there is plenty of black plastic all round, which means that when drivers scrape it, which they probably will, it won’t mean taking out a mortgage to get it repaired.
- The cab is high up, giving a great view of the road ahead, and the seats are fantastically comfortable, which is pretty important for a van of this size as it is likely to undertake some long journeys during its lifetime.
- Top marks for little extras in the cab. There are four coffee cup holders, an overhead parcel shelf, a natty little document clip that pops out from the top of the dash, a 12-volt take-off on top of the dash and plenty of hidden stowage space under the passenger seats.
- In the back, despite this being only a medium roof height, there is enough space for a six-footer to stand upright. Meanwhile all the rear doors feel good and solid, which means they won’t start playing up after a few thousand slammings. Our test van had full ply-lining, which comes in at a very reasonable £175. That money will be easily recouped when the van is sold as you can peel it off and reveal a nice clean rear end, which second buyers are sure to like – and pay extra for.
- We reckon the 136bhp unit is just about right. The bi-turbo gives the van plenty of oomph and the power steering is weighted just slightly on the heavy side, which is great for giving a lot of “feel” between steering wheel and road. We’ve already tested a 110bhp unit in the Renault Master, which is essentially the same van, and felt that engine was rather lacking in power.
- Now that electronic stability control (ESC), which helps alleviate sideways skids, has become mandatory, the Movano gets it as a standard fitting. It was always a big gripe of ours that you had to pay for it on front-wheel drive models.
- We were delighted to find a big screen TomTom sat-nav unit fixed up in the windscreen where a rear view mirror would normally be. We were less than impressed with the price though – it’s a £960 extra. Are they having a laugh? Buy a Citroen Relay and you get a Teletrac unit for free – and that one acts as a stolen vehicle tracker too.
- This may be just a problem with our test vehicle and not the Movano in general, but the indicators had an annoying habit of turning themselves off when we didn’t want them to. It might not sound like a big problem but on one occasion at a junction we nearly caused an accident.
The new Movano offers enough nips and tucks to keep it sweet against the stonking new rival, the Ford Transit, at the heavy end of the van market.
There’s also the benefit of improved running costs thanks to 25,000 mile/two-year service intervals.
And if you buy it from a Vauxhall dealer you can benefit from Vauxhall’s 4-in-1 offer: 4 years % finance; 4 years warranty; 4 years breakdown assistance; 4 years servicing for free. Which adds up to big time backing for Vauxhall’s big Movano van.