The What Van? Road Test: Vauxhall Movano (2019)

Date: Monday, February 10, 2020   |   Author: Steve Banner


Vaux Movano Cabin

Interior and equipment

If you are the sort of driver who has to carry umpteen bits and pieces of equipment around with you then you will not be short of places to put them. The cab – a three-seater in our case – boasts numerous (Vauxhall says 22) useful nooks and crannies capable of housing everything from a flask of tea to a clutch of pens and a notebook.

Storage facilities include three shelves on top of the dashboard, more shelves above the windscreen, a glove box which, although it has the drawback of not being lockable, has plenty of room inside, and capacious bins in each of the doors with a moulding that can hold a big bottle of water. Yet another shelf sits two-thirds of the way down the fascia and accommodates a 12V power point, but has the drawback that it restricts the centre passenger’s legroom.

Pull up either one or both of the passenger seat cushions and you will find sufficient space underneath to conceal power tools and a tablet computer or two from prying eyes.

Flip the back of the middle seat downwards and a desk is revealed with a section that can be swivelled towards the driver for easier use. The desk is an option, along with the aforementioned under-seat storage, and boasts a couple of cupholders. You will find two more at each extremity of the dashboard.

Our demonstrator boasted a driver’s airbag, optional air-conditioning, electric windows and electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors. It was additionally equipped with Navi Pro, which includes a 7.0in colour touch-screen, a DAB radio, Bluetooth compatibility, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto interfaces, satellite navigation and a three-year subscription to TomTom Live. Remote audio controls are mounted on the steering column and both the column and the driver’s seat are height-adjustable.

Rearward vision is about the best you are going to get in a van with a full-height opaque bulkhead and opaque rear doors.

Aside from the aforementioned mirrors, the Movano was fitted with reversing sensors and a reversing camera – both options – which shows an image of what is directly to the rear of you on a screen in the middle of the dashboard. Front parking sensors are included in the deal.

A separate, optional, smaller screen gives you a constant medium- to long-distance view of the road behind as you are travelling along – unless you switch it off.

In a neat twist, a wide-angle mirror on the inside of the passenger sun visor allows the driver to see if anything or anybody – a cyclist, for example – is sitting in the vehicle’s nearside blind spot. That could be a life-saver if the driver is about to turn left without being aware of a vulnerable road user’s presence. As it happens, our van had blind spot alert, which uses ultrasonic sensors to achieve the same goal on both sides of the vehicle, using LED indicators in the mirror on the side where the hazard has appeared to warn the driver.

It also featured lane departure warning, which sounds an alarm if the vehicle strays out of lane. Both are included in an extra-cost Advanced Safety Assistance Pack.

ABS is standard, as are electronic stability programme, emergency brake assist, electronic brakeforce distribution and hill-start assist. Side-wind assistant is standard too, designed to prevent the van being blown into an adjacent lane on the motorway in a crosswind.

Disc brakes are fitted all round on the Vauxhall Movano and are ventilated at the front.


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