Best panel van - NJ

I am looking to get my first van - mid sized panel with limited budget. Been looking at vivaro/trafic/primastar or ford transit custom. The van needs to tow as well. I have had mixed advice so far. What do I need to look out for or avoid - and what is the most reliable optio? TIA

Best panel van - Steveieb
So simple.

Just avoid the Vivaro and derivatives they may be cheap but are plagued with gearbox problems and featured on Watchdog by having cylinder head problems which aren't easy to fix.

Just look out for a 03 04 05 Transit with the 2 litre engine and check the wheel arches etc for rust.
No DPF s to worry about.

Simple advice which most people ignore when they see how cheaply the Vivaros go for and take a chance only to end up with a 1500 pound bill for a gearbox replacement. Apparently the gearbox is taken straight from a passenger car !
Best panel van - badbusdriver

Most reliable option would be the toyota hiace, but that may not be big enough. Also, because they are so reliable, people tend to hold on to them forever!. Which has 2 effects, first being that any cheap hiace is going to be scruffy, dog-eared and have a million miles on it!, second being that decent lower mileage versions will be dearer than an equivalent transit or similar.

But without a budget it is difficult to make a useful suggestion.

Edited by badbusdriver on 06/04/2018 at 17:25

Best panel van - gordonbennet

BBD has it right, if you can find a Hiace (preferably with the 2.5 turboDiesel) you've cracked it, its near enough a 2WD Hilux in a different frock.

Best panel van - Steveieb

Correct me if I am wrong but is the new Hi Ace just a rebadged Vivaro which brings with it all the problems mentioned above ?

But an old one would be fine if you can find one ??

Best panel van - badbusdriver

You are corrected!. There is no 'new' hiace, at least, not in this country. You are thinking of the proace, but even that has nothing to do with the vivaro, etc. The proace is essentially a rebadged citroen dispatch / peugeot expert / fiat scudo.

You can buy a new hiace in Asian markets (+ Australia and New Zealand), and it is 100% toyota and shares the legendary reliablity. But, as it is a 'forward control' (flat front, like a truck, driver sitting over the front wheels) it is deemed too old fashioned (and with possible safety concerns regarding head on collisions), so it is not sold here, nor, as far as i am aware, anywhere else in the EU. That is a shame in my opinion, as the forward control layout gives it a very short wheelbase, this, and it being fairly narrow, makes it extremely manoeuvrable while still having a load bay as long as a much bigger van.

Best panel van - SLO76
Much depends on your budget but most used vans are a total liability as the majority of firms only offload them when they become economically unviable. Vans aren’t changed for the sake of a change, they’re used until they become unreliable and too costly to run in most cases. Exceptions to the rule are the likes of BT and the NHS who replace them at a certain age but I suspect these will be out of your budget, the NHS for example tend to offload at 3yrs. I bought a VW Caddy that came from the NHS and it was great but at 3yrs old it was still inexcess of £7,500 including VAT and that was many years ago now.

From the experiences of taxi owners I know well the Vivaro and it’s identical twins do rather poorly as the miles and years pile on with major engine and gearbox failures very common. It’s not one I’d touch unless you’re able to find an early 1.9 non-turbo diesel that hasn’t been utterly abused.

The Peugeot Expert is much better as long as you stick to the 2.0 diesel and avoid the notorious 1.6 which doesn’t take neglect or abuse at all well. Electrical and trim issues are common but they’re mechanically capable of big mileages. Most will be knackered though as again they tend to be run until they drop by most owners.

The Transit is bad for timing chain issues along with DMF failure and plenty of other woe. Again most are abused mercilessly by staff.

The Toyota Hiace is great but good examples cost plenty while older vans are usually being sold because they’re ruined. Many small shop keepers buy them and never service the things. Get a good one and it’ll run forever but be very careful.

Be very careful buying a cheap van, this is a real minefield to be wondering into.
Best panel van - daveyK_UK

if your budget is limited, then a Ford Transit Custom wont be on your list unless its got serious high mileage.

The Custom is the best van to drive by a country mile, but it does have some niggles and a major security flaw with the locks.

a Fiat Scudo could be a good buy, its essentially a re-bagged Citroen Dispatch/Peugeot Expert/Toyota Hi-Ace

Best panel van - badbusdriver

I have already been over this, but just to clarify, the Toyota Proace is a rebadged Dispatch/Scudo/Expert. The Toyota Hiace on the other hand, has absolutely nothing in common with them at all and definately should not be thought of as such. That would be doing a great disservice to the Hiace.

A better and more accurate way to think of the Hiace would be to recall that famous episode of Top Gear, where Clarkson tried, unsuccessfully, to kill a Toyota Hilux pickup. Well the Hiace van is essentially a 2wd Hilux with a van body.

Best panel van - elekie&a/c doctor
Another one to avoid is the Nissan nv 200.Low quality build with cheap and nasty interior.Gearboxes worn out at 40-50 k miles.
Best panel van - daveyK_UK

I have already been over this, but just to clarify, the Toyota Proace is a rebadged Dispatch/Scudo/Expert. The Toyota Hiace on the other hand, has absolutely nothing in common with them at all and definately should not be thought of as such. That would be doing a great disservice to the Hiace.

A better and more accurate way to think of the Hiace would be to recall that famous episode of Top Gear, where Clarkson tried, unsuccessfully, to kill a Toyota Hilux pickup. Well the Hiace van is essentially a 2wd Hilux with a van body.

correct, i got the hiace and proace mixed up.

 

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