Top 5 Medium Vans for Payload

Top 5 Medium Vans for Payload

25 April 2022 | Kate Kozlowska | 10 min read

Medium vans are the most popular commercial vehicles in the UK. This is because they are convenient, easy to drive and can carry heavy payloads. But what is a payload? The payload in a van is the maximum weight you can load onto your van. Going over your payload is illegal and drivers caught with an overloaded van may be penalised and fined.

The medium van sector offers some of the best light commercial vehicles ever made. Their cabins provide car-like comfort; they look modern and have more efficient engines than ever. What's more important is that the payload has improved, too. Many of our customers think that the bigger the van, the bigger the payload, but that's not true. In fact, the smaller a medium van, the bigger its payload. So make sure you have a medium van to suit the items you're carrying. Knowing which is best can be challenging, with an overwhelming amount of information on the vehicle spec. If the payload matters to you the most, we're here to help with our payload guide and pick the top 5 medium vans for payload.

Don't worry. We are here to help you make the right decision with our handy medium van payloads guide with the top 5 medium vans for payload.

Firstly, the vehicle's payload (Gross Vehicle Weight or GVW for short) is calculated by using the unladen weight (weight with no load, passengers and fuel), the weight of 2 passengers (around 85 kg per person) and full tank of fuel (about 100 kilograms) = vehicle's maximum payload.

The lower the unladen weight and the higher GVW, the higher the payload will be. This also explains why some small vans offer such an excellent payload.

Let's take a look at the top 5 medium van payloads

1. Ford Transit Custom 340 L1H1 - 1,469kg

Ford Transit Custom Leasing

Ford Transit Custom is a familiar sight on the roads. It's not only a top-selling van in the UK but also one of the best-selling vehicles in general. We are not surprised by this, considering how dependable, efficient and affordable the Transit Custom is.

Ford Transit Custom 340 L1H1 offers the highest payload in the whole medium van sector - an astonishing 1,469kg, the smallest Transit Custom lease with a load volume of 6m3 and a maximum load length just over 2.5m. The loading bay is easily accessible by the twin rear doors and a single sliding door on the side of the van. Under the bonnet, you'll find excellent and super-efficient 2.0 EcoBlue diesel engines with either 130 PS or 170PS.

For many of our customers, the Ford Transit Custom leasing is their first choice of a van. Yet, once they have leased one, they usually come back requesting another Ford Transit Custom deal. As it's hard to move away from such a renowned, reliable van.

2. Citroen Dispatch M1400 / Peugeot Expert Standard 1400 / Toyota Proace Medium / Vauxhall Vivaro L1 3100 - 1,458kg

 Citroen Dispatch Leasing  Peugeot Expert Leasing

Toyota Proace Leasing  Vauxhall Vivaro Leasing

CitroenPeugeot and Vauxhall belong to the PSA Group, while Toyota is a platform partner. Though, all four manufacturers share the market. Therefore, despite the vans being made using the same platform (and hence display several similarities), they still are all different.

The above four medium vans offer the same excellent payload of 1,458kg, which is only 11kg less than the Ford Transit Custom 340 L1H1. You'll be able to transport loads of just over 2.5m and easily access the loading area via a twin rear door and one sliding side door. Load volume for these vans is 5.3m3, a bit less than the Ford Transit Custom 340 L1H1 and the lowest in this top 5. This is compensated by the excellent range of trim levels and options available on these sought-after medium vans. When it comes to the engines at this payload, there are 120PS and 150PS diesel options, all compliant with Euro 6 emissions regulations.

You'd think that since they look so similar and share the same platform, they all must be the same van. But, trust us, each of them has their own identity, but all are excellent vans and easy to live with.

3. Volkswagen Transporter SWB T32 Startline 110PS - 1,304kg

Volkswagen Transporter Leasing

The Volkswagen Transporter is well known as a modern version of the iconic Camper Van. In the commercial vehicle market, it is often placed alongside the Mercedes-Benz leasing options as both are considered to be premium brands. Nevertheless, the VW Transporter lease is practical and robust, while the fact that this is a smart-looking van is a bonus.

Suppose you want to lease a Transporter with the highest payload. In that case, you should go for a Volkswagen Transporter SWB T32 Startline 110PS, which offers the highest payload of 1,304kg. This short-wheelbase version has a load volume of 5.8m3 with a load area length of just over 2.5m. Like the above vans, the Transporter also offers access to the loading area via a twin rear door and a single side door. Under the bonnet, you'll find an excellent 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine offering 110PS.

This latest version of the Transporter is the best the Volkswagen has ever made (that's our opinion, of course). Compared to the previous model, this one definitely has a better cabin, cleaner and more efficient engines, and a better choice of trim options. 

4. Renault Trafic LL30 L2H1 / Nissan NV300 1200 L2H1, Fiat Talento L2H1 - 1240kg to 1264kg

Renault Trafic  Nissan NV300

Fiat Talento

The Renault TraficNissan NV300 and Fiat Talento are all built on the same platform that the Vauxhall Vivaro was built on before the PSA Group acquired it. The old Vivaro was extremely popular, and many of its features can be found in these three vans.

Each of these vans has a payload between 1240kg and 1264kg with an internal loading bay length of just under 3m and a load volume of 6m3. All three also have 2.0-litre diesel engines.

These vans are slightly larger than the others on this list, and so even though they offer a lower payload, the cargo space can compensate for that. If you're unsure whether the payload or cargo space is more important, contact us for advice on your medium van lease.

5. Mercedes-Benz Vito 110 / 114 L1 Progressive FWD - 818kg

Mercedes Vito

And the final van from our top 5 medium van payloads is the Mercedes Vito, with a maximum payload of 818kg. This van is called "premium" in the industry, which basically means it has a famous badge. Surely you've noticed how low the payload is compared to the other vans from this list - the payload is over 400kg less than our first 4 van offers. But due to the excellent payload, reliability and infamous name, this Mercedes van still makes it into the top 5 medium van payloads. Please also note that this particular model has a loading bay length of nearly 2.2m, which is again the shortest on this list. The loading volume is 5.5m3 - the second smallest on the list. The loading bay can be accessed via 2 side sliding door and a big rear door.

The Vito van is waiting for an update from the Mercedes to match the quality of its larger sibling, the Mercedes Sprinter. Still, it's classy and great to drive as a medium van, so an option if you don't mind a slightly lower payload.


We hope that this short guide on medium vans payloads will help you choose the right van contract hire or leasing deal for your business. Also, don't forget to check our top offers on medium van leasing and get in touch if you have any queries.


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