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Light van trio share top prize in LCV 'Oscars'

Date: 09 December 2008

The influential What Van? magazine has chosen the winners of the LCV market's biggest awards, and there's a three-way tie at the top. Paul Barker reports

The LCV market has again awarded its Oscars, with BusinessCar sister title What Van? announcing the winners of its coveted awards.

The Van of the Year trophy will have to be chopped into three this year because the Citroen Nemo, Fiat Fiorino and Peugeot Bipper have collectively scooped the top spot. The trio are intrinsically linked, having been born of a joint venture between Peugeot/Citroen parent PSA and Fiat.

The judges decided that potential price discounts and the location or quality of the respective dealers weren't enough to separate the trio, so they share the prize.

Launched earlier this year, the three LCVs virtually created a new segment at a stroke, slotting between small car-derived vans such as the Vauxhall Corsavan and larger vehicles like the Ford Transit Connect. The Nemo/Fiorino/Bipper triumvirate also scooped What Van?'s light van category, beating VW Caddy, which took the highly commended spot. The Caddy's longer Maxi variant grabbed the Editor's Choice special award.

In the class below the light van category, Vauxhall's Corsavan emerged victorious, grabbing the small van prize ahead of the Peugeot 207, while in the microvan class Piaggio's Porter took top spot thanks mainly to its pioneering electric alternative.

Citroen/Fiat/Peugeot also picked up another award together, with the Citroen Dispatch, Fiat Scudo and Peugeot Expert trio beating the Ford Transit to the top prize. The UK's top-selling LCV brand did, though, grab a couple of gongs, claiming the best minibus trophy ahead of Citroen's Relay and both the security prizes - the Transit Connect in the light van class and the Transit for panel vans.

Number one among large panel vans was last year's Van of the Year, the Iveco Daily, with the Mercedes Sprinter being highly commended.

In the pick-up category, Mitsubishi's L200 took the gong ahead of the Toyota Hilux, while the top 4x4 van is also a Mitsubishi, the Outlander finishing ahead of Ssangyong's Rexton.

Away from the specific model categories, Citroen was chosen as the best one-stop-shop brand, thanks to a range of more than 80 different conversions across its commercial vehicle offering, from refrigerated Nemos through to wheelchair-friendly minibuses, all covered by the manufacturer's three-year warranty.

Michelin's Agilis II tyre collected the technology award. The new rubber, designed for vans of 2.8t-3.5t, is claimed to be 20% more durable than its predecessor, and also offers less rolling resistance to give a small fuel and CO2 saving.

Congratulations to the winners, who were rewarded today in a ceremony at top London restaurant Zaika.