Best petrol vans

Time to ditch diesel? We’ve loaded up the best petrol vans on BuyaCar now, so you never need worry about diesel emissions or taxes again

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Mar 18, 2020

Vans with petrol engines are becoming increasingly popular as anti-diesel sentiment builds and ever more emission restriction zones pop up. The social stigma associated with diesel – combined with the threat of higher taxes and city centre bans – means that many van drivers are seeking alternative methods of propulsion.

Petrol engines can make a lot of sense for many van owners, especially those who spend a lot of time in towns and cities. Some petrol vans can be practically as economical as their diesel engine counterparts and it’s also cheaper to fill the tank. We're focusing mainly on smaller vans here, as larger models are still likely to need to the low-speed torque of a diesel engine to shift the additional weight.

So here are some of the best petrol vans available on BuyaCar. If you're wondering whether now is the time to ditch diesel in favour of something cleaner, then one of these eight vans could be enough to persuade you. With petrol vans from well under £10,000 or £200 per month, it should prove cost effective to say goodbye to diesel and hello to petrol. 

With vans traditionally being powered by diesel, it's mainly smaller vans that come with petrol power. However, an increasing number of larger models, such as the VW Transporter and Ford Transit Connect are available with petrol power now. Better still, the turbocharged petrol engines that come with these models are surprisingly punchy and much more smooth and refined than the diesel alternatives.

Best petrol vans

Keep an eye on the 'torque' figure, as this shows the low engine speed muscle the engine can muster. More torque means a van that can more easily deal with lugging around a high payload. As you'll see with the Transporter and the Berlingo/Partner, petrol power needn't mean sacrificing payload, as these can all cope with up to around 1,000kg.

1. Citroen Berlingo

Used deals from £12,495
Monthly finance from £256

  • Engine 1.2-litre PureTech
  • Fuel economy 36.7-44.1mpg
  • Torque 205Nm at 1,750rpm
  • Payload 850-1,000kg

Although the vast majority of Citroen Berlingo vans leave the factory with a diesel engine, the 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine makes a lot of sense. An 850kg payload is available in the crew cab version, but this rises to an impressive 1,000kg in the standard panel van.

It’s closely related to the Citroen Berlingo MPV – a car we rate highly on BuyaCar – so you can expect a car-like driving experience and a cabin to match. Throw in that smooth, surprisingly strong petrol engine and this is a great compact van.

CITROEN BERLINGO BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Peugeot Partner

Used deals from £11,924
Monthly finance from £292

  • Engine 1.2-litre PureTech
  • Fuel economy 36.7-44.1mpg
  • Torque 205Nm at 1,750rpm
  • Payload 850-1,000kg

The Peugeot Partner is closely related to the Citroen Berlingo, so the choice of van is largely down to brand loyalty, the offers available and the proximity of the nearest dealer for servicing. One key difference is the dashboard, with the Partner featuring a small steering wheel and high-set dials. It looks funky, but it won’t suit all van drivers.

The 1.2-litre PureTech petrol engine is available on the Professional, Asphalt and Crew Van Professional models, with up to 1,000kg payload available. There’s enough room in the back for a pair of Euro pallets, while the Asphalt version features comfort seats, enhanced smartphone connectivity and extra cabin storage, making it ideal for those who spend a long time in their van.

3. Volkswagen Caddy

Used deals Limited stock

  • Engine 1.0-litre TSI
  • Fuel economy 37.2-40.9mpg
  • Torque 175Nm at 1,500-3,500rpm
  • Payload 670kg

The Volkswagen Caddy isn’t the cheapest, most practical or most flexible small petrol van you can buy, but it remains incredibly popular. Why? Because the build quality is first-rate, it has a strong image, and it feels like you’re driving a car.

Most C20 Caddy customers opt for the diesel, with the 1.0-litre TSI petrol accounting for a small proportion of UK sales. The turbocharged petrol engine is less economical and down on torque compared with the Peugeot and Citroen rivals, while the 670kg payload is rather limited.

You’re also restricted to the entry-level Startline trim, while diesel customers can select the more lavish Trendline and Highline models. Still, the VW feels like a premium product, so if you want a relatively small van, petrol power and the right badge, it could be for you.

4. Ford Fiesta Sport Van

Used deals from £13,236
Monthly finance from £324

  • Engine 1.0-litre EcoBoost
  • Fuel economy 64.2-67.3mpg
  • Torque 170Nm at 1,400-4,000rpm
  • Payload 508kg

The Ford Fiesta Sport Van is based on the UK’s best-selling car and it shares much in common with the popular supermini. It drives just as sweetly, it has the same dashboard layout, and it’s powered by a brilliant 1.0-litre 'EcoBoost' turbocharged petrol engine.

You could argue that this is little more than a Ford Fiesta with the rear windows blanked out, the rear seats removed and a rubber-lined load area. While that might be true, there are obvious tax benefits associated with running a van - not to mention the social brownie points associated with ditching diesel.

Thanks to the sports suspension, the handling lives up to the promise of the styling - and the name - while the Sport Van is also packed with standard features. The payload is a little on the small side, but if you require a nippy, economical and lightweight van for the city, the Fiesta Sport Van is hard to beat.

FORD FIESTA BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Fiat Fiorino Cargo

Used deals Limited stock

  • Engine 1.4-litre Fire
  • Fuel economy 39.8mpg
  • Torque 115Nm at 3,000rpm
  • Payload 610kg

Fiat builds some of the most popular commercial vehicles in Europe, but the Fiorino Cargo is beginning to show its age. The 1.4-litre petrol engine doesn’t offer the performance and economy of its newer rivals, which is why the vast majority of Fiorino Cargo customers opt for the diesel engines.

That’s not to say that the Fiat is without appeal. These things are built to last and are capable of withstanding many years of abuse. The load area is also large enough for a Euro pallet to fit between the wheel arches. Plus, prices are very low, so if you want an affordable petrol van, this could be it.

6. Ford Transit Connect

Used deals Limited stock

  • Engine 1.0-litre EcoBoost
  • Fuel economy 44.1mpg
  • Torque 170Nm at 1,400-4,000rpm
  • Payload 645-662kg

The Ford Transit Connect is arguably the best small van you can buy. Although it dates back to 2013, an update in 2018 ensures it stays at the top of its game, making it ideal for those who don’t require the full-fat Ford Transit experience.

Your options are limited with the 1.0-litre petrol engine, but you get the same impressive payload, great ride and handling characteristics, and one of the most car-like cabins in its class. In common with other vans with petrol engines, the 1.0-litre unit is best reserved for darting through congested city streets than it is for hardcore loading duties.

As the Transit Connect is one of the UK’s best-selling vans, you can afford to be picky, so you should have no problem finding a used version to suit your needs and budget.

7. Volkswagen Transporter

Used deals Limited stock

  • Engine 2.0-litre TSI
  • Fuel economy 30.4mpg
  • Torque 350Nm at 1,500-3,750/4,000rpm
  • Payload 1,097kg

When Volkswagen updated the Transporter range in 2018, it cut the 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine from the range. This means that you can’t order a new T6.1 model with a petrol unit. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a nearly-new Transporter 2.0 TSI. Since nearly-new models offer the benefits of a new van with far lower prices, this should be no hardship.

Sure, the fuel economy is nothing to write home about, but if your business is looking to turn away from diesel, it's easy to make a case for the Volkswagen Transporter with a petrol engine - espeically as this petrol engine is incredibly strong, with a serious amount of pulling power on tap. The icing on the cake is just how well built and desirable the Transporter is.

VOLKSWAGEN TRANSPORTER KOMBI BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Ford Transit Courier

Used deals Limited stock

  • Engine 1.0-litre EcoBoost
  • Fuel economy 50.4-53.3mpg
  • Torque 170Nm at 1,400-4,000rpm
  • Payload 530-595kg

The Courier is the smallest member of the Ford Transit range, but it’s also the most car-like to drive. It occupies the space between the Fiesta Sport Van and Transit Connect, making it suitable for those considering upgrading from a car-based van to a proper load-lugging machine.

While most vans seem best suited to a diesel engine, the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol unit feels at home here, giving the Transit Connect a decent turn of pace and enhancing the overall driving experience.

Opt for a post-2018 model for the best equipment and tweaked styling. That said, pre-facelift models offered a larger 660kg payload, so choose carefully if that's important to you.

 

Latest best cars & vans

  1. Best cars for surfers

  2. Best cars for tall people

  3. Most reliable second-hand cars

What our customers say