New Market Analysis: Compact Vans

Date: Friday, February 16, 2024   |   Author: James Dallas

Compact van sales got off to a flying start this year and big-name products are poised to further boost the market.

As the UK’s new light commercial vehicle market notched up 13 consecutive months of growth in January, sales of compact vans weighing between 2.0 and 2.5-tonnes joined the party with a 60.9% leap in registrations to 5,040, according to the SMMT.

The market for microvans weighing less than 2.0-tonnes, however, looks as though it could be in terminal decline; falling almost 20% to just 352 sales.

A trio of compact vans were among the top 10 selling LCVs in January: the Citroen Berlingo was in fourth spot with 1,598 registrations and was joined by its Stellantis stablemate the Peugeot Partner, which was January’s ninth best seller with 789 registrations and Ford’s Transit Connect in 10th spot with 661 sales during the month.

The big product news at the beginning of 2024 is Ford’s imminent launch of its new Transit Courier, which will go on sale during the first quarter of the year in petrol and diesel versions, with a BEV to follow, and will be expected to make a significant impact on the market.

Customers can opt for a 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol engine with outputs of 100 or125hp or a 1.5 100hp diesel engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard but the petrol engine is also offered with a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Auto start-stop and an active grille shutter are standard to boost efficiency. A 100kW (136hp) electric motor will power the E-Transit Courier. The manufacturer says an 11kW AC onboard charger will provide a charge from 10% to 100% in 5.7 hours, and a 100kW DC fast charger will deliver 10% to 80% in less than 35 minutes as well as adding 54 miles in just 10 minutes. 

Ford’s next generation Transit Connect, which is based on Volkswagen’s Caddy, will come to market in the fourth quarter of this year. In the meantime, the current Connect continues to make its mark with fleet customers such as industrial services provider Altrad, which added 100 new Transit Connect vans to its fleet in November, supplied through ALD Automotive/LeasePlan UK and TrustFord.

Vauxhall has announced updates to its Combo Life Electric. The passenger-carrying version of its compact van has received an increase in driving range on the official WLTP cycle – by 18% to 205 miles.

Exterior design alterations include the adding of Vauxhall’s ‘Vizor’ front-end styling treatment.

The redesigned interior includes a new 10in infotainment touchscreen and new 10in driver display.

Up to 18 driver assistance systems are available, including adaptive cruise control with stop and go function and a 180º reversing camera. For the first time, the Combo Life Electric will also be available with LED matrix headlights. The changes follow hot on the heels of similar updates to the Combo Electric panel van.

Meanwhile, the refreshed diesel Combo is now offered with a choice of Prime and Pro trim levels, and with two different vehicle lengths. 

The Vauxhall Combo is up for grabs with two or three seats, or as a five-seat Crew Cab. Prices excluding VAT start at £20,850 for the Combo, and £28,550 for the Combo Electric.


Vauxhall Combo update November 2023

Vauxhall Combo Electric update November 2023

Vauxhall Combo Life update December 2023

Vauxhall Combo Life Electric update December 2023

Ford Transit Courier March 2024

Ford eTransit Courier (est) September 2024 

Ford Transit Connect (est) October 2024 



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