For 2017 the enduringly popular Vauxhall Vivaro has once more scooped our Used Van of the Year Award.
Although small numbers of the new-generation model that launched in 2014 are starting to appear in the auction halls, it is the original vintage, which burst onto the scene in 2001, that is still around in big volumes and attracting most interest.
It is worth remembering that when the Vivaro appeared it was something of a Marmite light commercial, with people either loving or hating its unusual and, at the time, futuristic looks. A Vauxhall insider even described it thus: “If Batman drove a van it would look a bit like this.”
Critics predicted its design would date rapidly, but in fact it has remained in demand and now appears to have been ahead of its time in emphasising design values in the light commercial sector – a trend that other manufacturers have since followed.
One market watcher not surprised by the mk1 Vivaro’s success is LCV industry consultant Tim Cattlin, who supported it from the beginning.
“It backs up how I, a little controversially to some, forecast it to do when it launched,” says Cattlin.
Residual value oracle Glass’s says: “The Vivaro has little issue in selling at auction, with both the trade and end-users happy to take ownership.”
It adds that as values start to drop from their previous “lofty perch”, it is models that differ from the norm – for example, sporty derivatives or crew vans, and even the occasional Tecshift semi-automatic gearbox – that will perform the best.
With a ready supply of previous-generation Vivaros still available at auction, straight-to-forecourt stock is sought after with Guide money paid for the best short-wheelbase examples in particular, Glass’s says. LWB Sportive models are popular, but poorer examples may struggle with their values coming under pressure.
Tidy condition and metallic paint to enhance the van’s looks are always likely to boost value.
The Vivaro was revised in 2006, five years after its launch, with the choice of a 2.0-litre diesel generating either 90hp or 115hp, or a 2.5-litre diesel pumping out 145hp. The original 1.9-litre diesel was withdrawn. Available in two wheelbases with two roof heights, load cubes extend from 5.0m3 to 8.4m3, and payloads go from 1.0t to 1.2t, with gross weights of either 2.7t or 2.9t.
The Vivaro is backed up by Vauxhall’s large dealer network, which means parts and service support is easy to come by.
Highly Commended: Ford Transit
The saying goes that nobody ever got shot for buying a Ford Transit and that goes for used ones as well as new.
The Transit has for a long time been a favourite with both trade buyers and end-users. It has proven itself to be robust and reliable and is supported by the biggest LCV dealer network in the UK.
The current Transit arrived three years ago and Ford has been bold in predicting it will outperform its predecessor in terms of residual values.
The core 350 L3 H3 125hp RWD is projected to be worth £11,925 after three years/60,000 miles – a jump of £2,575 compared with the previous 350L high-roof equivalent. The Transit is offered with front-, rear- or all-wheel drive and from launch used a 2.2-litre diesel powertrain that has now been superseded by a 2.0-litre unit.