Eight commercial vans underwent the same rigorous testing used for pickup trucks by the judges of the Canadian Truck King Challenge last week – in addition to adding a unique category called “Inner-City Drivability”. The growth and rapid change in this segment is what prompted the Challenge to undertake this intense look (for the first time) at vehicles that are vital to the North American service industry economy.
“We knew that these trucks had to be capable and reliable to achieve one purpose – get the job done for their owners,” said Howard J Elmer, creator of the Truck King Challenge.
Over two days six automotive journalist judges drove the eight vans back to back, empty, loaded with payload and while negotiating parking lots, back alleys and laneways to simulate deliveries and service calls.
At the end of almost 2,000 kms of road testing (and a combined 110 hours of seat time) the judges awarded the top score for 2015 to the Ford Transit. Our tester was the Ford Transit 250 equipped with the new 3.2L Power Stroke I-5 diesel engine and six-speed automatic transmission.
The final scores for all entries were as follows.
Full Size: Ford Transit 250 81.18
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 I-4 diesel 78.86
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 V-6 diesel 78.25
Ram ProMaster 1500 V6 gas 73.50
Ram ProMaster 2500 V6 gas 72.47
Mid Size: Nissan NV200 78.17
Ford Transit Connect 2.5L 77.70
Ford Transit Connect 1.6L EcoBoost 74.74
In the Mid-Size category it was the Nissan NV200 van that squeaked out a win over its like sized Ford rivals. While these vans were were similarly scored, in the end, it was the price difference that put the NV200 on top by less than one signal point.