For 2019 we expanded the pantheon of awards to include 22 categories with the addition of Rental Company of the Year, Leasing Company of the Year, and a second reader-voted prize, Insurance Company of the Year, alongside the established Converter Award.
We once more opened the doors to the What Van? Hall of Fame to welcome another worthy entrant and, last but by no means least, revealed the overall What Van? Light Commercial Vehicle of the Year.
And for 2019 the most coveted accolade went to PSA’s trio of new light vans, the Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo. PSA Peugeot-Citroen acquired Opel/Vauxhall, which was previously owned by General Motors, in 2017 and the three models are the first to be launched by the expanded group.
Dallas said: “PSA has raised the bar in terms of driveability and load-carrying practicality.”
Two wheelbase lengths are available in all three vans, payloads go up to a class-leading 1,050kg, while load volume extends to 4.4m3.
An outstanding 1.5-litre BlueHDi Euro6.2-compliant diesel engine is available with outputs of 75hp, 100hp and 130hp, and will be joined in 2019 by a 1.2-litre Puretech petrol engine with 110hp and 130hp outputs. The higher-powered petrol engine, like the 130hp diesel, will get the slick new EAT8 auto transmission.
Other highlights of the event included: the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter taking the Large Van of the Year award, a notable feat considering it pushed last year’s Light Commercial Vehicle of the Year, the VW Crafter, into second place; the revised Ford Transit Custom, the UK’s biggest-selling LCV by a distance, winning the Medium Van prize; market newcomer the Mitsubishi Shogun Commercial scooping the 4x4 category; and the Iveco Daily Blue Power range capturing the Editor’s Choice award.
The Small Van prize went to the Ford Transit Courier, which is likely to face stiff competition from its revived sibling, the Fiesta Van, next time around. The Nissan eNV200 captured the Green Award, Isuzu’s D-Max held onto its Pick-up of the Year award, and Volkswagen retained the best website vote, while the brand also scooped the Used Van prize for its enduringly excellent Transporter.
Other winners included Leeds City Council in the Green Fleet category, telematics platform LEVL-Geotab in Innovation, and County Rental and Leaseplan respectively took the inaugural rental and leasing company awards. Our readers voted Adrian Flux to the podium to become the first recipient of the Insurance Company of the Year Award. Steve Bridge, Mercedes-Benz’s resourceful and innovative head of vans, was deservedly ushered into the Hall of Fame.