The AA’s Top 5 Commercial Vehicles
Choosing a Commercial Vehicle for the first time can be a tricky business, but we’ve selected five of our favourites.
The Volkswagen Transport Van has been around for generations and can be considered one of the premiere vans on the Irish market. The 6.1, as the name suggests is a revision to the sixth-generation Transporter, which has been around since 2015 and claimed the Van of the Year title in 2016. The revisions were mainly around styling, but also the interior was greatly refreshed and the current Transporter Van feels even more car-like than ever. This van is by no means the cheapest on the market but should be considered by anyone that wants a van with a premium image and a premium feel to the cabin. There are three trim lines for Ireland, Startline, Trendline and Highline and the choice of engine is a 2.0-litre TDI with 110hp or a more powerful 150hp unit. The 110hp comes with a 5-speed manual transmission, and the 150hp gets a 6-speed unit, with the option of a 7-speed DSG automatic on the 150hp unit.
For many people, the Transit is the very definition of a van. This has been the default setting for moving goods and services around Ireland for decades (along with the Toyota Hiace). They’re also the van that The AA chose too. The Transit offers up to 15.1 cubic metres of cargo space plus a load floor length of up to 4,217 mm; the Transit LWB option is especially suited to carrying longer items such as pipes, boards and carpet rolls. You can have the option of a massive 5-Tonne GVM variant now too. There are innumerable options in terms of body styles and variants available for the Transit, including custom versions and All-Wheel Drive versions.
The Caddy has been a fixture at Ireland’s top of the van charts for years and is now in its 5th generation. The Caddy is one of the most car-like vans you can find. This is especially true of the 5th-generation model, heavily based on the 8th generation of the Volkswagen Golf, which has a thoroughly modern interior and infotainment system. There are three trim levels for the Caddy in Ireland, the Cargo, the Cargo Business and the Cargo Edition. Prices start from €20,645, and even the entry-level version has creature comforts such as App Connect (so you can use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but a much better buy is the Business spec, with things like Air Conditioning, Park Distance Control and Cruise Control all as standard from this trim. The Edition gets all the bells and whistles, with things like LED headlights, climate control, and front and rear park distance control. Power in the Caddy comes from a 2.0-litre TDI Diesel engine with either 75-, 102- or 122hp. Transmissions are either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG automatic.
The Peugeot Partner is another former Van of the Year, and it is available with a choice of powertrains – diesel and now electric. The Partner sells well here in Ireland, and with excellent reason, as it is one of the front runners in the small van segment. Previously the Partner has been a rehashed Citroen Berlingo, but last time around, Peugeot was the brand to take the lead with this model. At the entry point, there is a 100hp 1.5-litre diesel with a 650kg payload followed by a 1000kg payload version. There is a more powerful 130hp version of the same engine, and this one is also available with an 8-speed automatic (compared to the 6-speed manual). There is now an electric version of the Partner, too, with a 50kWh battery and a 136hp electric motor. The electric model starts from €34,560, including the SEAI grant. There are two lengths available, Standard and Long, with a single roof height.
The Proace City has been a strong seller in Ireland in 2022 because it offers good value, car-like features and a good diesel engine. Powered by a 1.5-litre, 100hp Diesel, the Proace City has a choice of Short- or Long-Wheel Base and a 1-tonne payload version in the Short-Wheel Base version (from €25,325). The Proace City has a towing capacity of up to 1.5 tonnes and a load capacity of up to 4.3m3. Inside there is smartphone integration, and the flat floor and bench seat provides seating for three in comfort. A cleverly integrated table on the folding centre seat can be angled towards either the passenger or driver.