Cutting your carbon footprint – which means cutting the amount of fuel you burn and thus saving money – has to be a priority for all van operators. Vauxhall’s diesel-powered Euro5 Corsavan 95hp 1.3 CDTi Ecoflex Start/Stop makes a key contribution toward achieving this desirable goal: one reason why the most compact light commercial in the company’s line-up has won our Small Van of the Year accolade for 2012.
At a super-low 95g/km, no other diesel light commercial in its sector puts out less CO2. Stop/start, which kills the engine if the driver allows it to idle wastefully in traffic or at the lights, clearly helps, but the modifications do not stop there. Other features aimed at reducing diesel consumption and emissions include aerodynamic wheel covers, optimised gear ratios and an indicator on the dashboard that tells you when to change up a gear to achieve optimum fuel economy.
The end result is a handy 65.6mpg on the urban driving cycle, according to Vauxhall, and a stunning 78.3mpg on the combined cycle – it’s enough to make an oil sheikh weep.
Laudable though these figures are, this is by no means the only Corsavan in the line-up. Customers can also pick from a 70hp 1.2-litre petrol model, a 75hp 1.3 CDTi diesel, and a 95hp 1.3 CDTi diesel in fancy Sportive trim.
Sportive gets a six-speed manual gearbox – the other models come with five speeds – along with a brimming basket of goodies including air-conditioning, 15-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, sports-style seats, metallic or pearlescent paint and a chrome exhaust tailpipe. Electric windows and electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors are fitted too.
Whichever model you opt for, you will enjoy the same payload capacity – 550kg – and the same load cube: a compact 0.92cu/m. You are also protected by a wide variety of safety devices including ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Emergency Brake Assist, Drag Torque Control and Cornering Brake Control. Electronic Stability Programme with traction control is listed as an option.
Lively on-road performance is what you get with virtually all Corsavans, including the Ecoflex, with sharp handling – the power steering provides plenty of feedback – and a precise gear change thrown in for good measure. In passing it is worth noting that Vauxhall now has an Ecoflex version of every light commercial in its line-up.
Potential purchasers won’t complain about the amount of space available in the cab. For a small van, the Corsavan’s cabin is surprisingly roomy, with more generous legroom than one might expect.
Hard on the heels of the Corsavan comes Ford’s appealing little Fiesta Van, our Highly Commended choice.
With very roughly the same amount of load space and payload capacity as Vauxhall’s offering, along with responsive handling, it too boasts environmental credentials. The Econetic variant has shaved 3g/km from its CO2 output and now generates 95g/km of CO2; the same as the Corsavan Ecoflex Start/Stop and certainly a figure that impresses.
Buyers get to choose from a 70hp 1.4-litre diesel, a 95hp 1.6-litre diesel, and a 82hp 1.25-litre petrol. Our advice would be to check out the 95hp Sport Van if you want a bit of fun for your money.