The key to LCV success in European markets, is shared designs, and the Vauxhall Movano is one half of one of the best, as Ian Shaw explains
Few vans in the 2.8 to 3.5 tonnes sector are individual models. The SEVEL trio of Citroen, Peugeot and Fiat is well established and even the mighty German brands of VW and Mercedes-Benz saw fit to pool resources on the Sprinter and LT/Crafter. Renault however always went its own way and against the might of SEVEL the original Master held its own. The visually unusual egg-box design was a stroke of genius with the van being designed inside-out from a dimensional point of view, but later models have mellowed on the eye. That's where the Movano came in.
A range of engines was ushered in for 2010 when this version appeared, or perhaps it’s more accurate to say a range of power outputs .The 2.3-litre CDTi 4-cylinder diesel engine is shared by Vauxhall, Renault and Nissan, and is available in three states of tune, from 100 PS (99 bhp) to 150 PS (148 bhp).
Servicing is straightforward with long intervals, oil changes are now only required every 25,000 miles (or annually) and coolant only needs to be changed at approximately 100,000 miles, some 25,000 miles more than its predecessor.
At launch, Vauxhall claimed the Movano’s cargo area offered among the best in class for load capacity in its segment. Three wheelbases from 3.18 to 4.33 metres could be specified, and four exterior lengths from 5.05 to 6.85 metres, allowing on-floor cargo load lengths from 2.58 to 4.38 metres. There were also three interior roof heights from 1.7 to 2.14 metres, while load volume ranged from 8.0 to 17 cubic metres.
Payloads up to 2.5 tonnes are allowed on the twin-wheel rear axle version, with gross vehicle weights ranging from 2.8 to 4.5 tonnes.
This higher payload and GVW is made possible by the modular platform design, meaning that this model could be configured with rear-wheel drive, or front-wheel drive.
On the reliability front the DVSA (formerly VOSA) lists a few recalls on Movanos of the era we are interested in. Firstly from 04/01/2011 recall number R/2010/188 says the seat belt may not perform correctly on vehicles with VIN codes WOLMRFEAC42079154 to
WOLMRFECCAB002968 built from 15/12/2009 to 09/07/2010. Then two which sound rather serious; from 04/01/2011 recall R/2010/187 states "rear axle may detach" and relates to VINs from WOLMRFEAC42079154 to WOLMRF2CCAB967598 with build dates 15/12/2009 to 22/04/2010 and the recall dated 19/09/2011, R/2011/103 stating "rear wheel bearing may shear" on VINs WOLMRFEAC42079154 to WOLMRF2CCAB967598 for vehicles built from 15/12/2009 to 22/04/2010. Certainly check that any vehicle you look at on the VIN codes has had these recalls done. Finally there is one from15/07/2011on number R/2011/073 for the fault "spare wheel may become detached" affecting VINs WOLMRF4DE40511971 to WOLMRF4CEAB002824 with build dates from 10/03/2009 to 27/08/2010.
So how much should a good used Movano cost you? They start at under £7,000, according to the WhatVan.co.uk used van locator. For a 3.5 tonnes 11-plate medium roof example with 67,000 miles on, its just £6,995, for a van that will serve most small business needs well. A long wheelbase mid-height roof example a year newer with 100,000 miles on adds exactly a thousand pounds to that price. Go slightly newer still and a 60-plate LWB medium roof example with 60,000 miles on mileage is £9500. We also found a tidy 12-plate high mileage example for under £10,000 and a 14-plate SWB standard roof version at £11,500, quite a saving from new.