Vauxhall’s Movano really came of age following an impressive round of revisions at the end of 2003. Anti-lock brakes were standardised, there was a new familylook front-end and the gearchange was moved to the facia in the all-new cab.
There are now three 2.5-litre common rail diesels to choose from, starting with a 100hp version. The other two are rated at 120hp and 150hp. All these powerplants are refined with a good spread of torque and all three drive the front wheels through a six-speed gearbox. The all-round disc brakes (ventilated at the front) work very well and there’s the added benefit of ABS for when the road conditions deteriorate.
The braking system includes Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) which optimises distribution of the braking effort to all four wheels to help minimise wheels locking up. ESP is available as an option. With three wheelbases and three roof heights there is no shortage of model choice and load space starts at 8.0m3, rising to 13.9m3 for the LWB, high roof. Movano is available at three gross vehicle weights — 2.8t, 3.3t and 3.5t — and payloads range from 1,043kg to 1,551kg. The rear loading height is remarkably low at a maximum of 545mm.
The cab is comfortable enough and well laid out with an abundance of storage cubbies. The driving position is excellent and there’s good, all-round visibility, but the whole package is beginning to feel like it’s a bit past its sell-by date.
Servicing costs shouldn’t deplete the wallet too much thanks to 25,000 mile/two year intervals for all engines.
These Movanos (and the Interstar and Master) represented a big step forwards in 2003 and there’s no doubt that the new engine line-up introduced in 2006 was a welcome move, but the sophistication of the market has moved on considerably. Movano really hasn’t.