Historic light and mid-sizes vans

Light and mid-sized commercial vehicles have gone a long way since their creation. Throughout the years automotive companies have manufactured vans and various sizes which can haul all types of goods from point A to point B. But which are the best commercial vehicles in history? If you have ever asked yourself this question, keep reading because we will turn your attention towards some of the finest vans to ever be produced.

Ford Transit Connect

Ford Transit ConnectThe Ford Transit Connect was introduced on the automotive market in 2002. Since then over one million unit have been sold making it one of Ford’s most successful vehicles. The van is manufactured in Turkey and can be found in two variations: Panel van and Leisure activity vehicle. The second generation of the Ford Transit Connect was created in 2012 and can be fitted with four different types of engines. It has a maximum payload capacity of 1.610 lbs and if converted into a wagon it can carry up to seven people (driver included).

Fiat Doblò

Produced by Italian automaker Fiat, the Doblò is one of the company’s most successful and emblematic light commercial vehicles. It was launched in 2000 and is the successor of the Fiat Fiorino. The van is manufactured in the Turkish automotive factory of Tofaş in the city of Bursa. Since 2010, the Doblò has entered its second generation of vehicles which can be found in two, three, four and five door variations. Also a multitude of engines are used for the creations of these vehicles. The van is sold in different parts of the world and in known by different names in dependence of the geographic location. In the United Kingdom and Australia the Doblò is rebadged as Vauxhall Combo, in the United States of American the van is known as Ram Promaster City and in some parts of the planet it is called Opel Combo. The Fiat Doblò has a maximum payload of one tonne which is why it is one of the favorite vehicles of delivery companies, postal services and other contractors who have to haul heavy machinery or items.


Russian may not be known throughout the world for its automobiles but the GAZelle is one of the most successful light commercial vehicles in auto making history. The manufacturing of the van began in 1994 and is still being produced in the company’s Turkish factory (although in much smaller numbers). The vehicle could be found in a two, three and four door variation and had a five speed manual transmission. In 2010, the GAZelle was upgraded and was rebranded to GAZelle Business which has a payload capacity that ranges from 3020 to 3659 lbs in dependence of the goods that are being transported. The vehicles is renowned for its goods quality of built and its low price which is why one of every three light commercial vehicles in Russia are either a GAZelle or a GAZelle Business. In 2013, GAZ commenced the manufacturing of a third generation van known as GAZelle Next.

Renault Trafic

Renault TraficFrench automotive company, Renault produces more light and mid-sized commercial vehicles than any other automaker in Europe and the Trafic is arguably its finest model. The van dates back to the early 1980s and is currently in its third generation which is being manufactured in Sandouville, France or Luton, United Kingdom. It has a four door body style and is fitted with a large capacity diesel engine. It payload ranges from 2722 to 2808 lbs in dependence of the vehicles wheelbase. The Renault Trafic is highly praised for its reliability which is why it is the vehicle of choice of professional movers such as a London man and a van removal firm.

Iveco Daily

The Iveco Daily may not be the most common commercial vehicle that you will see on the streets but it has been in production for almost four decades. The van is presently in its sixth generation and can be found with either a 2.3 JTD or 3.0 JTD or CNG engine. There are also two transmission options: 6 speed manual and 6 speed semi-automatic. Since its introduction in 1978, an estimate of 2.7 million units of the vehicle have been sold worldwide. The Daily is famous for its good built and dependability and its maximum payload capacity of over 3000 lbs.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Mercedes-Benz is considered by many to be the best automotive company in the world which is why it is perfectly normal that it manufactures one of the finest commercial vehicles. The Sprinter dates back to 1995 and since 2006 has been in its second generation of manufacturing. The current body style of the vehicle was designed by Laurent Boulay. The van is being produced in Tiaret, Algeria and can be fitted with the following engines:

  • 1L I4 OM 646 CDI
  • 0L V6 OM 642 CDI
  • 5L V6 M272

It can also be found with three different types of transmissions: 6 speed manual, 6 speed automatic and 7 speed automatic. Studies show that since the mid-1990s almost three million units of the vehicle have been sold. The Sprinter’s smooth drive is so well-reputed that owners often convert it into a minivan for passenger use.

Toyota HiAce

Produced by one of the largest automakers in the world, the Toyota HiAce has been around since the late 1960s. The van is currently in its fight reincarnation and is known by different names throughout the globe. It is produced in several locations including Japan, Portugal, Thailand, The Philippines, Pakistan and Vietnam. The HiAce has two body styles: three doors and four door. It can be fitted with six different types of engines and three different types of transmissions, although the 6 speed automatic gearbox was made available in 2015. Over 6.5 million units of the van have been sold throughout the years which makes it one of the most sold light commercial vehicles in automobile history.

Other notable vans

Name Manufacturer Production period Sold Units
E-Series Ford 1961-2014 c. 8.2 million
Transporter Volkswagen 1950-Present c. 12 million
Ducato Fiat 1981-Present c. 2.8 million
Partner Peugeot 1996-Present c. 2.5 million
C15 Citroën 1984-2005 c. 1.2 million