As for the cabin, it is full of robust-looking materials and practical storage spaces for mobile phones, laptops, sunglasses, work gloves, water bottles and coffee mugs.
Pull up the passenger seat cushions and you will find storage underneath; pull down the middle seat’s back and it turns into a desk complete with pen trays, a couple of cupholders and an elasticated band to keep paperwork in place. Legroom for the passenger in the centre isn’t bad either and, just like its Crafter counterpart, is better than that in other three-seater cabs we have encountered.
Other than the mandatory anti-lock braking (ABS), standard spec includes technology such as electronic brake assist (EBA) and electronic stability control (ESC), which we were able to really put to the test on the wet part of the track.
However, the range lacks VW’s post-collision assist, which is available as standard on the entire Crafter range – a real shame. Aircon is also surprisingly an extra, at £1,375, and the standard spec on our vehicle meant we had to ensure we were driving it around the track on a pretty warm day with the windows down.
The van went on sale in September, and Thomas Hemmerich, managing director of MAN Truck & Bus, explained that the MAN dealer network is strategically located across the UK to support all of its customers needs: “We are offering extended opening hours, around-the-clock, 365 days per year mobile 24-hour roadside assistance, and an embedded can-do commercial attitude ingrained within our company. This is just a few of the many factors that will set us apart from our competitors in the light commercial vehicle sector.”
Hemmerich explained what impact he expects the TGE to make in the van segment: “The launch of our new TGE range in the UK market is an important milestone in our history; after 100 years of building heavy commercial vehicles, MAN Truck and Bus now has a light commercial vehicle range to offer our customers.”
Unlike Ford, Renault and Fiat, MAN Trucks have entered the market through a different route, explained Hemmerich: “Instead of a passenger car manufacturer venturing into LCV we have decided to give heavy trucks a break and head into the LCV world with our new TGE, which is a great thing to offer as we already have knowledge of the commercial vehicle market.”
As for future plans, Beeton said that while MAN is committed to e-mobility and there are plans for an electric TGE, no time frame has been laid out as of yet.
Only time will tell if the TGE can mark its ground in the LCV sector where no new companies have laid foot for a while. First impressions, though, are that the new kid on the block looks like it’s going to be a fierce competitor.
Price (ex VAT) £25,686
Price range (ex VAT) £23,990–£29,956
Insurance group 41A
Service intervals tbc
Load length 5,986mm
Load width (min/max) 1,311/1,832mm
Load bay height 1,587mm
Gross payload 831kg
Load volume 9.9m3
Engine size/power 1,968cc/140hp
Combined fuel economy 38.2mpg
Based on one of the sector’s thoroughbreds and with MAN’s extended servicing offering, the TGE is well placed to make its mark.