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2010 What Van? Award Winners announced

Date: 08 December 2009

Nissan's brand-new NV200 light van has scooped the top honour in the light commercial vehicle industry's most prestigious prize-giving of the year.

The 2010 Van of the Year title was awarded by What Van? magazine mainly due to the Nissan's clever packaging that leads to a Tardis-like quality of small footprint in terms of road space taken up, yet a large carrying capacity that will fit in two Europallets, something no other light van can achieve. In order to create that space, Nissan has positioned the front seats as far forward as they can go without compromising legroom, with the fuel tank mounted beneath them, and the firm developed a compact rear suspension system that doesn't intrude into the cabin area. The Renault Kangoo-rivalling NV200, which went on sale in November, also picked up the award in the light van category.

Highly commend in the light van category were the trio that the NV200 has succeeded in both the overall award and the light van categories, in the form of the Citroen Nemo, Fiat Fiorino and Peugeot Bipper, jointly developed between the manufacturers.

The triplet's bigger brothers, the Citroen Dispatch, Fiat Scudo and Peugeot Expert retained the medium van prize ahead of the Ford Transit, which was also highly commended last year, while the Large Panel Van category was also retained by the Iveco Daily ahead of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

Ford's new Fiestavan scooped the Small Van of the Year gong, with the impressive little car-derived model beating arch-nemesis Vauxhall's reigning Corsavan into the highly commended spot. Below the small vans, Piaggio maintained the award it has made its own with the Porter bagging Microvan of the Year.

Though the commercial vehicle market is running behind cars in terms of pressure to reduce CO2 emissions, the issue is gathering pace, hence the Eco Van of the Year award. It goes to Smiths Electric, the firm that adapts Ford Transit models to run on electric power, with a 100-mile range and 50mph top speed. Fellow electric vehicle pioneer Modec is highly commended.

Mitsubishi grabbed a pair of awards thanks to the L200 grabbing the Pick-up of the Year title ahead of Ford's revised Ranger, and the 4x4 Van of the Year was shared between Mitsubishi's Outlander and its Citroen C-crosser sibling, the commercial vehicle versions of the jointly-developed models.

Ford collects a further hat-trick of awards as well as its Fiesta prize, with the security category in both the light van and panel van sectors going to the blue oval for the Transit Connect and Transit respectively, while the Transit is also Minibus of the Year, with Citroen's Relay given a highly commended nod.

The French brand does though pick up a second top prize to go with the C-crosser, in the one-stop shop category, thanks to its huge range of specially converted LCVs.

The editor's choice award again goes to the VW Caddy, thanks in part to the addition of a new DSG automatic gearbox, as well as the introduction of window van and long-wheelbase Maxi models.

For more on all the winners, go to the What Van website.

What Van? Award winners
Van of the YearNissan NV200
MicrovanPiaggio Porter
Small vanFord Fiesta
Light vanNissan NV200
Small panel vanCitroen Dispatch/
Peugeot Expert/Fiat Scudo
Large panel vanIveco Daily
Pick-upMitsubishi L200
4x4 vanCitroen C-crosser/
Mitsubishi Outlander
MinibusFord Transit
One-stop shopCitroen
Security (light van)Ford Transit Connect
Security (panel van)Ford Transit
Eco vanSmith Edison
Editor’s choiceVW Caddy