Top 5 Medium Vans for Payload

Top 5 Medium Vans for Payload
01 March 2021

Best medium vans for payload - but what is payload?

Medium vans are the most popular in the UK. They are very practical, easy to drive and are able to carry heavy payloads. But what is payload? 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 important - the payload has improved, too. Many of our customers think that the bigger the van, the bigger the payload, but that's not actually 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 is what matters to you the most we're here to help with our payload guide and pick of 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 can easily be calculated as follows:

Gross Vehicle Weight GVW)  - unladen weight (weight with no load, passengers and fuel) - weight of 2 passengers (most manufacturers use around 85 kg per person) - full tank of fuel (around 100kg) = vehicle's maximum payload

Basically, the less the unladen weight and the higher Gross Vehicle Weight, the higher the payload will be. This also explains why some small vans offer such a high 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 very common 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 and efficient as well as affordable the Transit Custom is.

Ford Transit Custom 340 L1H1 offers the highest payload in the whole medium van sector - an astonishing 1,469kg. This model is the smallest Transit Custom lease available with a load volume of 6m3 and a maximum load length of 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. 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

Citroen, Peugeot and Vauxhall belong to the PSA Group, while Toyota is a platform partner. All four manufacturers share the market and 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 which is a bit less than the Ford Transit Custom 340 L1H1 and the lowest in this top 5, but 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. 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. The VW Transporter lease is not only practical but also tough, while the fact that this is a smart-looking van is an added bonus.

If you want to lease a Transporter with the highest payload, 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. Same as 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). When compared to the previous model, this one definitely has a better cabin, cleaner and more efficient engines and a better choice of trim options as well. 

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

Renault Trafic  Nissan NV300

Fiat Talento

The Renault Trafic, Nissan NV300 and Fiat Talento are the three medium vans built on the same platform the Vauxhall Vivaro used to be built on before it was acquired by the PSA Group. The old Vivaro was extremely popular and a lot 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 bigger 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 not sure whether payload or cargo 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 what our first 4 vans offer. But due to the good 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 and 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 its 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. 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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