Best five-seater vans

Here are the best vans for carrying up to five people - these five-seater vans bring the capability for carrying both people and cargo

Sam Naylor
Jul 31, 2021

If you need a vehicle to carry heavy or bulky items but also have to bring passengers along for the ride, you’ll probably want to consider a five-seater van, that offers plenty of space for both people and cargo.

Typically, vans have two or three front seats with a bulkhead behind them, which separates the cabin from the load bay. Some vans have a metal bulkhead that totally cuts off access, while others have a mesh that partitions the van up.

But if you need five seats in a van then usually this bulkhead is removed and an extra bench is added at the front of the load bay. Five-seater vans tend to be small vans, as the larger models tend to have room for six or more seats.

Most of the time, this is an option fitted from the factory and if you're buying second-hand then you’ll want to keep an eye out for terms like crew cab or combi cab - sometimes even 'kombi' - depending upon the manufacturer, to signify that this option has been added. Usually crew cab vans have windows for the rear seats, which is easy to spot.

Some five-seater vans have a bulkhead behind the extra seats and some leave the space open. This can be good or bad depending on your usage needs - a bulkhead keeps the passengers in a more comfortable bubble away from the cargo, but it does make access to things in the back a bit more difficult.

Five-seater vans are great for work but some private buyers might consider them as well, if they like to carry bikes or surfboards around on their adventures with the family. They’re useful for all kinds of reasons, so we’ve picked out some of the best ones for different purposes below.

Best vans with five seats

We’ve chosen a variety of vans available on Buyacar.co.uk. We’ve also included a wild card option: a pick-up. These are classed as vans for tax reasons, and make a great five-seater option for some because they’re quite car-like and the open load bay suits some people really well. They can also offer decent off-road ability, which might come in handy if you need to access remote farms or hard to access sites.

So, read on for our picks of the eight best five-seater vans for a variety of purposes and budgets.

1. Peugeot Partner Long Professional Crew Van

Best five-seater van for value

Used deals from £17,995
Monthly finance from £400*

The Peugeot Partner is a great-value small van and in Long Professional Crew Van form, it comes with five seats. It has two up front and a second row of three, with a small window in the sliding side door available, though not all versions have this.

It uses a sliding mesh bulkhead that can be folded away, plus the rear bench folds as well to improve load space. A load length of just over three metres is possible with the seats folded away, though it can only store up to 1.45-metre-long objects with the seats and bulkhead in place.

The Partner is a great van overall, as it’s comfortable and easy to drive, plus the engines are efficient and smooth. Low asking prices mean that it’s a great choice if you want a small, good-value crew van with a good amount of modern tech in the cabin.

2. Ford Transit Connect Double Cab-in-Van

Best five-seater van for driving

Ford Transit Connect front three quarters view

Used deals from £9,999
Monthly finance from £241*

The Ford Transit Connect is good value, practical and really good to drive - the engines are strong but economical, and thanks to comfy seats, a slick gearchange and enjoyable handling, it’s great for those spending time out on the open road.

For five seats, the model you want is the Double Cab-in-Van version, which has two front seats and a rear bench for three extra passengers. You can fit a Europallet in behind the rear seats even with them in place.

The seatbacks fold down and you can tilt the entire unit forward or even remove it completely to maximise the use of the load bay in the back. This means it’s really versatile, and thanks to the mesh bulkhead, you can separate the passengers from the cargo as well.

3. Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Crew Cab

Best five-seater van for interior

Used deals from £15,496
Monthly finance from £365*

The Volkswagen Caddy is a great van for using every day, even for families, as it’s very car-like inside. It feels more like a Volkswagen Golf inside than a van, and that extends to the fact that it has two front seats and a rear bench for three people. There are windows in the side doors for a more comfortable experience for rear-seat passengers, too.

Access to the rear is good, and the seats fold down to improve the loading capacity. There’s no bulkhead, which means you can easily get at the cargo in the back, but the rear seats form a barrier if they’re folded up. You can also find versions with a top-hinged rear door or two side-hinged doors.

The Maxi version of the Caddy is the long-wheelbase model, which means there’s more space in the back. You could also consider the Caddy Life, which isn’t technically a van - it’s classed as a car and has more windows. It has seven seats rather than five, though.

4. Mercedes Vito Crew Van

Best five-seater van for comfort

Used deals Limited stock

The Mercedes Vito is a panel van that comes with five seats in Crew Van form, offering more space than some of the other vans here because it’s a mid-sized panel van. It has the same configuration as the others, with two front seats and a rear bench with room for three.

There’s no bulkhead so access to the cargo bay is easy, although we noticed that one available on Buyacar.co.uk has had a wooden bulkhead added, which could be useful for security and noise reduction in the cabin. As always, it's worth keeping an eye out for any desirable optional extras on specific used models you're looking at.

Not that noise is too much of an issue, because the Vito is one of the more comfortable vans of its type, especially in terms of how well it deals with bumps and potholes. The seats are firm but comfy, and the Vito looks smart. There’s also a V-Class people carrier, which is classed as a car, if you need extra windows and seven seats.

5. Renault Kangoo Maxi Business Crew Van ZE

Best five-seater van for electric power

Used deals Limited stock

Here’s a bit of a left-field choice for those doing short-range deliveries: an electric van with five seats. The Kangoo ZE is the electric version of the Renault Kangoo, and it’s available in Business Crew Van form, which brings a rear bench with three more seats.

The Kangoo ZE has a range of around 170 miles per charge, which isn’t ideal for many van users. However, it also offers ultra-low running costs for those who do less than that mileage each day and can charge up overnight.

The Crew Van model comes with a folding rear bench and a mesh bulkhead that can be removed for extra versatility within the cargo bay. The sliding rear doors have windows, and the near-silent running from the electric motor means that it’s a relaxing vehicle for nipping around town in. There are conventionally-powered versions of the Kangoo Crew Van as well, but the electric model is the most interesting.

6. Ford Transit Custom Double Cab-in-Van

Best five-seater van for all-round use

Used deals Limited stock

The Ford Transit Custom is one of the best vans around, and in Double Cab form, it has five seats - two in the front and three in the back. Unlike most of the other vans on this list, it has a fixed rear bulkhead behind the rear seats, which does impact its versatility.

Still, the Transit Custom is a roomy van and the cargo area is spacious even with the bulkhead there. As it’s a roomy van, the rear bench easily has room for three passengers and you get a full seatbelt on all three rear seats, plus the floor is flat for better legroom.

The Transit Custom is a great van for all sorts of other reasons too: it’s great to drive, the 'EcoBlue' diesel engines are punchy and economical, it’s comfortable and there’s a good amount of technology in the cabin. It’s a dependable van that will suit lots of usage cases.

7. Volkswagen Transporter Kombi

Best five-seater van for space

Used deals from £24,990
Monthly finance from £586*

The Volkswagen Transporter is one of the most car-like panel vans around, and the Kombi version’s five-seater layout means it’s actually an excellent substitute for a family car if you often carry large items like bicycles around with you and the family.

The Transporter is comfy and good to drive, with an excellent cabin, a smooth ride and lots of tech. High-spec models are well equipped and easy to drive, especially with the 'DSG' automatic gearbox option fitted, and the 2.0-litre diesel engine is punchy.

There’s no rear bulkhead, so you can fold the seats down and away to maximise the loading space in the back. There’s space under the seats for a long item in a pinch if you need to carry passengers as well, although this does also mean there’s no separation between the cabin and load bay - which is useful for some users and not for others, so it's worth thinking about whether this works for you.

8. Nissan Navara Double Cab

Best five-seater pick-up

Used deals from £17,490
Monthly finance from £411*

Here’s an idea if you are looking for a five-seater commercial vehicle but aren’t dead-set on a van: a pick-up. The Nissan Navara is one of our favourites, as it combines car-like features such as a pleasant cabin, a smooth ride and an enjoyable driving experience with some of the practicality of a van.

You can get versions with hard-tops for the load bay, stick with a roller cover or just leave it open depending on what you usually carry in the bay. Of course, the Navara Double Cab comes with five seats, and most of the pick-ups you’ll see for sale on Buyacar use this popular configuration.

The load bay of a Navara can take a Europallet, plus it’s perhaps more useful than a van if you go off-road a lot or need to tow a trailer. All come with four-wheel drive and a powerful four-cylinder diesel engine that’s great for tough terrain or pulling heavy loads.

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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