When it comes to your business, work vans can be the perfect option when cab-over trucks and minibuses don’t fulfill your needs. Read on to find out which types of work vans are common, what to consider when buying a van, and which Japanese vans can get the job done.
Common Types of Work Vans
There are many different types of work vans, each with its own merits, but the three main ones are delivery/cargo, service, and passenger vans.
Delivery and Cargo Vans
Delivery and cargo vans are built primarily for transporting cargo. These vans do away with seats to maximize storage space and usually come with doors designed for easy loading and unloading.
Service (Cutaway) Vans
Service vans, also known as vocational or cutaway vans, are vans built specifically for a certain job, be it food delivery or contractor services like electrical or plumbing. Service vans can even come with the ability to be used as a mobile workstation.
If you need a van for personnel transport, the passenger van is an ideal choice. These focus on providing maximum seating, some of which can be moved to make room for easier access or the storage of goods. Depending on the size of the passenger van, you could be able to seat up to 15 comfortably.
What to Consider When Buying a Work Van
Besides the three main types, vans can also come with any number of customizations. Here are some considerations to help narrow down your options.
If you are looking for a van to ferry passengers, then it is important to consider seating capacity. There are full-size vans that can seat 12 to 15, smaller minivans capable of 7 to 8, and larger, minibus style vans with high roofs and longer cabins that can have capacities of up to 23 passengers.
Cargo / Trunk Capacity
Just as with passenger seating, cargo capacity requirements are a prime consideration. It is important to consider what you will be transporting and ensure that the van you are looking at has the right payload dimensions and enough hauling capabilities.
Engine and Fuel Efficiency
Vans can come with gas, diesel, and hybrid powertrains of varying horsepower. Take time to research and choose the engine type that will best meet your budget and fuel efficiency requirements.
Most Vans come with a standard array of safety features like ABS, EBD, and airbags. Depending on the model, more advanced safety devices like lane-keep assist might also be available.
Best Japanese Work Vans
Toyota’s HiAce combines reliable engines, functionality, an abundance of room, and an attractive price point into one package to cement its place as a top pick among van owners around the world.
Another popular Toyota van is the Probox. Designed primarily for commercial use, it is a compact van that emphasizes capacity, performance, fuel economy, convenience, and safety. The 1.5L inline four-cylinder direct injection engine option supplies enough horsepower, all while keeping fuel consumption low.
A fuss-free option from Toyota is the TownAce, which makes everything a breeze with its spacious trunk and front cabin space that comfortably seats three in the passenger row, effective trunk height of 1.2 meters, and a load capacity of 500 to 750 kg.
The Nissan Clipper is popular among tradesmen and small businesses due to its high roofline and large cargo area. It also features a rear hatch and sliding side doors for easy loading.
Designed by Nissan as a fleet vehicle and cargo van, the Caravan is the ultimate workhorse. It comes with high and flat roof trims along with various gas and diesel engines from 2 to 3 liters.
While Honda does not have as many work van offerings as Toyota and Nissan, the carmaker’s Acty is a no-frills, agile offering that is available either as a microvan or a cab-over truck. It comes with economical 550cc and 660cc engines.
The Mazda Bongo is to many the ideal work van. It provides a great deal of utility and cargo space, also featuring a sliding rear door for easy access. All-wheel drive versions are available.
There is also the Mazda Autozam Scrum, which delivers tough performance with a cushy ride thanks to its durable build and wide range of utilities. The Scrum is available with either 4WD or 2WD.
The Mitsubishi Minicab does away with any unnecessary features to keep maintenance and upfront costs at rock-bottom prices. It gets 360cc inline two-cylinder and 660cc inline four-cylinder engine options and is available in 2WD and 4WD.
The Mitsubishi Delica is designed with cargo in mind, arriving with just three seats in the standard versions to afford its large cargo-carrying capacity with ample floor-to-roof space (1.35 meters in the latest versions).
The Subaru Sambar is a hardy microvan that has been in production for more than 60 years. Since 2012, the Sambar has become a rebadged Hijet while still continuing the winning formula of reliable performance.
The Suzuki Every is an all-around utility van that has been popular through the years for its emphasis on comfort, space, and utility. A straight-three engine powers the Every, although an intercooled turbo engine is available for greater performance.
Recent trims of the highly maneuverable Daihatsu Hijet Cargo come with efficient 660cc engines and a wide array of standard features. These are topped off with a confident design and choice of seven attractive pastel colors.
The Como is the Isuzu-badged version of the Nissan Caravan. It gets various gas and diesel engines from 2 to 3 liters. Safety features such as dual airbags, seatbelts with load limiter and pretensioner, and ABS are standard on all Comos.
In addition to being available as a cab-over truck, the Hino Dutro is a high-performing route van filled with modern features like a cozy cloth interior, power windows, and power steering.
Where to Get the Best Deals on Work Vans from Japan
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