Drivers of diesel vans should adapt reasonably easily to the in-cab environment. The shift lever is not too dissimilar to that typically found in an automatic van, with park, neutral, reverse and drive settings. Nor is a starter button, that only works if the key fob is present, unusual these days – many diesel LCVs have one. The green ‘Eco’ button that restricts performance to increase range isn’t that novel either.
In-cab features include a good-quality MP3/iPod-compatible radio/CD player with steering wheel-mounted controls, satnav – that tells you where the nearest publicly accessible charging stations are – Bluetooth, climate control and an aux-in socket. With reverse engaged a rear-view camera shows what is behind the vehicle on the dashboard’s touch-screen.
A button on the dashboard allows you to lock and unlock all the doors.
Electric windows and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors are included in the package and our test van was fitted with an optional Cold Pack. It consists of a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and heating elements for the aforementioned mirrors. But given that such items draw power from the battery we’re not sure it’s entirely wise to specify such a pack on an electric van.
In-cab storage space includes bins in each of the doors and a lidded glovebox, all of which are on the small side. However, they are supplemented by a shelf on top of the dashboard, which will take an A4 pad, and a cup-holder at either extremity of the fascia.
A roomy lidded box sits between the front seats along with a tray, two more cupholders and some slots that could be used for small change. The passenger seat back flips down and turns into a desk and there’s a drawer beneath the seat to conceal items.
The steering column is height-adjustable – although the adjuster on our demonstrator kept sticking – but the driver’s seat is not, an omission that needs rectifying.
Independent suspension with MacPherson struts helps support the front while a torsion beam axle does the same for the rear. Our test van’s 15in alloy wheels wore Goodyear Efficient Grip 185/65 R15 tyres. A full-size spare wheel is standard.
Electric power steering is fitted. It delivers a 10.6m turning circle kerb-to-kerb and 11.13m wall-to-wall.
All the usual onboard safety aids are installed. As well as a tyre pressure monitoring system they include ABS, electronic stability programme, electronic brakeforce distribution, hill-start assist and traction control, which can be switched off.
Disc brakes are fitted all round and front fog lights are standard, as is a full airbag pack with driver and passenger airbags. An alarm is included along with a trip computer and rain-sensing windscreen wipers.