The recent CV Show at the NEC in Birmingham proved to be a huge success for vehicle bodybuilder, Coolertech Ltd. The company, which designs and builds insulated vehicles ranging from small car-derived vans, through to 26 tonne rigids, exhibited in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz dealer, Rossetts Commercials. Three Mercedes temperature-controlled vehicles were on display; two insulated box bodies and one insulated panel van conversion. Continue reading
More than two years after the launch of the third-generation of the New Master, Renault’s large van has earned further trade recognition, this time in the form of Germany’s 2012 Utility Vehicle of the Year award. Continue reading
The trend towards ‘greener’ cars is currently one of the most important in the automotive industry. Now even commercial vehicle design is increasingly focusing on low emissions and efficiency. Here is an analysis of the new models of the two largest providers of high-quality Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) – Mercedes Benz and Volvo. Continue reading
Two German manufacturers. Two large cars. How do they compare? How well do they fare when treated as family vehicles?
The Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life is 1185mm wide (2062mm including wing mirrors), 4876mm long, and includes a side sliding door – handy for easy access even in cramped parking conditions. It is advertised as ‘agile but spacious with plenty of room for bags and equipment’, and provides five seats.
The four cylinder diesel engine is available in several versions; the most powerful is the 140bhp TDI, and a 109bhp EcoFuel version is also available (this features a petrol engine optimised for the use of natural gas). A Start-Stop System based around brake energy recuperation contributes to greater fuel efficiency – average fuel consumption across all models is 41.6mpg, with a CO2 output of 177.0g/km.
The standard interior equipment features electrical front windows, ‘Climatic’ manually-controlled air conditioning, cruise control, and a hill hold assistant. The multimedia equipment is basic – aux-in, so MP3 devices can be played through the car’s stereo system, is the extent of the standard kit. A Satellite Navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB, and an active steering wheel are optional.
The Sport model of the Mercedes Vito is the best comparison to the Volkswagen model. At 1901mm wide (2253mm including wing mirrors), and 4763mm long (for the Compact), it is wider but shorter than the Volkswagen Caddy. It features family-friendly side sliding doors, and provides five roomy seats, with plenty of space for either more passengers, or extensive luggage and sports equipment. Sliding doors on both sides and a useful top-hinged tailgate provide easy access to children and luggage.
Two engine versions are available; both are diesel, with either 163bhp or an impressive 224bhp. Fuel economy ranges from 32.5mpg to 37.7mpg on EUDC Combined Cycle.
The Vito Sport looks a lot more exciting than the Volkswagen Caddy, featuring 17” alloy wheels, chrome trim on the front grill, and sporty-looking interiors. Multimedia equipment is also more advanced – top speed limiter and cruise control are included as well as air conditioning, heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors, and a multi-function steering wheel which allows for easy control of the trip computer, music volume, and mobile phones via Bluetooth.
Available from £20,192, the Volkswagen Caddy maxi Life is the cheaper option than the Vito Sport, which starts at around £27,000. The Volkswagen’s fuel economy is also significantly better. On the other hand, the extensive extras made available to Mercedes customers should not be disregarded – all Vito Vans come with three years of unlimited mileage warranty as a standard, and the free Service Package provides for routine service costs for five years/60,000 miles. Mercedes’ MobilityGo Service, which provides alternative transport in case of a breakdown is a particularly useful feature.
Latest in the line of high-profile Mercedes-Benz acquisitions, Arnold Schwarzenegger – star of action films such as The Terminator series and Conan the Barbarian – has acquired a custom Mercedes-Benz Unimog U1300 truck for personal use on the California roads. Continue reading
So pleased has M Torrance Recovery been with its first two Dyson Hydraloader slidebeds that it has just returned for a third – this time, though, the vehicle came with a series of ‘no cost’ anniversary upgrades. Continue reading
Just two years on from its launch, the in-house graphics division at leading dry freight commercial vehicle bodybuilder Bevan Group is going from strength to strength. Continue reading
The Freight Transport Association’s Van Excellence Governance Group stands united in its decision to appeal to van manufacturers to supply vehicles with a speed limiter set at 70 miles per hour as a no-cost option. Continue reading
Size really does matter to Montgomery Refrigeration when it comes to its service vans – and the availability of an Extra-long body variant helps to explain why the Belfast-based company relies so heavily on the Mercedes-Benz Vito. Continue reading
The 2012 Arrive ‘N’ Drive at Rockingham will see a huge demonstration of low and zero missions cars and commercial vehicles that will help to slash emissions from fleets across the UK and, once again, Paneltex, the specialist manufacturer of temperature controlled truck and van bodywork, will be exhibiting at this year’s show. Continue reading
The long-standing reputation of Isuzu Truck within the rescue and recovery industry came to the fore at the recent CV Show in Birmingham when the adverse weather conditions caused a problem for the organisers. Continue reading
They’re best known for turning out sleek, aerodynamically efficient commercial vehicle bodies such as the Bevan21 and Bevan ICON – but as this photograph confirms, some members of the Bevan Group team have a little way to go yet before their own silhouettes are a match for the streamlined products they manufacture. Continue reading