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Mercedes-Benz vans leads FN50 reliability survey

van reliability

Sprinter tops the van reliability table and the Vito also sits in the top 10 to cement Mercedes’ position, reports Matt de Prez

Once upon a time, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter was named the Most Reliable Van by the UK’s top 50 leasing companies and it stayed there forever and ever. The end.

It might not be much of a fairy-tale though given the Sprinter’s reliability performance has been unrelenting. It has held the top spot for six years.

The Sprinter is the UK’s second best-selling commercial vehicle and, with a new model introduced in 2017, has continued to prove its worth to fleets year after year.

It has also extended its lead, with more leasing companies than ever ranking it as their most reliable van.

Such is its performance in this year’s FN50, Mercedes-Benz Vans has regained pole position as the UK’s most reliable van manufacturer.

And it is testament to the Sprinter’s reliability that Mercedes-Benz Vans moves back to the top: the manufacturer has two vans in the top 10 compared with second-place Volkswagen’s three, a seemingly incongruous result only explained by the high regard with which leasing companies hold the Sprinter.

Aside from the Sprinter’s stronghold at the top of the chart, every other vehicle in the top 10 most reliable vans list has moved places this year.

Leasing companies gave a reliability rating to 44 van models and 15 brands this year.

Volkswagen’s Caddy and Transporter have switched places since last year, with the coveted second-place going to the smaller offering, while the mid-size Transporter takes third.

The Crafter, meanwhile, continues to yo-yo around the table.

It’s ninth position this year is an improvement on 2019 for VW’s largest van, but not as impressive as the sixth place it held in 2018. 

Renault’s Trafic springs to fourth place, switching positions with the Vauxhall Vivaro, which takes fifth.

While both vans shared a platform for many years, Vauxhall’s integration into Groupe PSA resulted in an all-new model based on the Peugeot Expert and Citroën Dispatch coming to market. 

The trio only came to market last year, so it will be a while before their impact on the reliability index becomes apparent.

Citroën’s smaller Berlingo van take sixth place in this year’s FN50 van reliability survey.

It’s an improvement of one position compared with last year, but leaves it one place short of its 2018 result.

A jump for Peugeot

Peugeot’s Boxer, meanwhile, jumps six places to seventh overall.

The large van, which shares a base with the Citroën Relay and Fiat Ducato, is the only model of its respective platform share to achieve a position in the top 15.

The Mercedes-Benz Vito places eighth, slipping two spots since 2019’s results. It’s been given a mild facelift, new engines and gained an all-electric model this year, following its introduction in 2014.

Sitting in 10th place is the UK’s best-selling van, the Ford Transit Custom. To date, the Transit Custom has outsold its larger brother, the Transit, by two to one, cementing its place as a clear favourite.

Boosting its popularity, among urban operators especially, is the introduction of a plug-in hybrid that enables zero-emissions running in city centres.

However, the Custom is the only Ford inside the top 10. The Transit Connect, No 9 last year, slips to joint 15th, although the Transit is in 12th and the Ranger rises to 23rd.

Beyond the top 10, the Citroën Dispatch jumps four places to sit in 11th.

Nissan re-appears in the top 15 with two vans – the NV200 (13th) and the Navara pick-up (14th).

It’s rare for a pick-up to make top 15, but two have managed it. The Mitsubishi L200 sits equal 15th with the Transit Connect and Vauxhall Movano.

Who makes the most reliable van?

As mentioned, Mercedes-Benz has doubled up on the reliability charts this year taking the title as the Most Reliable Van Manufacturer.

It has tussled for the top spot with Volkswagen for the past three years, with the Hanover-based brand taking second place this year.

Nissan is a star performer this year, jumping two places to take third. The brand has increased its position year-on-year since 2016. 

Its alliance partner Renault has also returned an impressive performance, up three places to fourth.

Citroën, therefore, slips to fifth, while fellow Groupe PSA brand Vauxhall slips from third to sixth. The slight dip in the Vivaro’s performance, coupled with a drop in the Combo’s score (falling from 14th to 27th) undoubtedly contributed to this.

Peugeot’s performance enables Groupe PSA to recover some lost ground this year, gaining two places to rank seventh.

Eighth place goes to volume champion Ford, while Fiat Professional drops one to ninth.

Mitsubishi retains its stronghold of 10th position, fending off fellow Japanese brand Toyota. 

The five-year battle between Iveco and Isuzu was won by Iveco this year, putting it in 12th, with pick-up manufacturer Isuzu in 13th level with MAN.

FN50 2020 special report

Analysis and insight into the UK's contract hire and leasing industry

Read now

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