The Mitsubishi L200 is around from some time now, but even since its inception the vehicle was considered a strong and reliable vehicle. Apart from its work horse character, the Mitsubishi L200 has also a pretty unconventional design which is a perfect combination between dynamism and practicality.
The vehicle is available in both chassis cab and pickup versions with single-, extended- and double-cab configurations. Worldwide, the L200 is highly appreciated and in UK is the best sold vehicle in its class.
The chassis cab version of the L200 leaves behind all the bells and whistles of the lifestyle models and offers a rugged and basic work horse able to get the heaviest jobs done without worrying about broking a nail or two.
The Isuzu Rodeo - or the D-Max on the Australian market - was built on the same platform with the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and Isuzu i-Series.
The Rodeo is the only pickup in Isuzu’s lineup as the manufacturer is especially known for its mid- and heavy-duty trucks.
The vehicle replaced the old TF pickup and comes with a pretty pleasant interior being less rugged than other pickups in its class. Thanks to its mixed personality, the Isuzu Rodeo can be used successfully for both harsh jobs and family necessities.
As most vehicles of its ilk, the Rodeo is available with 2WD or 4WD configurations. Yet despite Isuzu’s struggles to come up with a good product, the Rodeo is still not in the same league with its competitors from Nissan, Toyota or Mitsubishi which are currently the segment leaders.
The Volkswagen LT was sold between 1996 - 2006 and was replaced by the Crafter. This big panel van was based on the Mercedes Sprinter, but it didn’t get the same attention as its three pointed star sibling.
Though, the vehicle was fairly practical thanks to its big, bulky body and had a spacious and strong built interior.
The Volkswagen LT was available with various engine outputs that developed between 90 hp and 130 hp. Gross vehicle weights varied from 2.8 tonnes to 4.6 tonnes with a starting price of $ 25.300. There were also three wheelbases and two roof heights available.
The Movano it is Opel’s heavy duty weapon designed to fight on the big panel van battlefield. Even it wasn’t as advanced as the new generation, the old Movano was a practical work horse with a versatile nature which help it to be suited for a wide range of commercial applications.
The old Movano was sold between 1999 and 2003 but in 2001 the entire range of engines was replaced with more efficient common rail units. At that time the offer included 1.9 liter, 2.2 liter and 2.3 liter engines with gross vehicle weights ranging from 2.8 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes and payload capacities between 1,047kg and 1,705kg.
For a pretty long period of time, the old Sprinter was considered the best van on the market, but in its latest years of existence the German LCV was starting to show its age and some rivals caught up and managed to overtake it.
The previous sprinter was sold between 1995 – 1996 and has managed to conquer the world of big panel vans pretty fast, thanks to its superior technologies and the famous German reliability.
Even today, the used Sprinters hold their value well and you can pay a pretty big price for vehicle in decent condition.
Like the new model, the old Mercedes Sprinter was also offered in various shapes with gross vehicle weights ranging from 2.8 tonnes to 4.6 tonnes with three lengths and roof heights. Mercedes had always lead the way when it comes to modern technologies and the old Sprinter made no exception as it was the first van to come with standard ABS brakes (from 120 versions above). Moreover, since 2003 the ABS was offered as standard equipment on the entire Sprinter range and ESP was also added.
Mazda revealed the new generation of its iconic BT 50 model at the 2010 Australian International Motor Show in Sydney.
Compared to previous generation the new model received a radical makeover together with a bunch of technical upgrades to keep it in trend with today’s requirements.
The new model is available in single, extended and double cabs and features a pretty SUV like design with tasty fluid lines which give it a futuristic appearance.
The new Mazda BT 50 is offered with a choice of 2.2 and 3.2 DOHC diesel engines which develop between 147 and 200 hp.
The Mazda BT 50 2006 model was launched in the middle of very good market conditions. The interest for light duty trucks was at its peak, but the downside was that were many competitors in the game so Mazda’s BT 50 did managed to get only a small piece of the big cake.
While its exterior design didn’t have the power to take on more stylish competitors, Mazda had its own advantages and the biggest one was its competitive price tag ($18.800).
The 2006 Mazda BT 50 shared the same technologies and underpinnings with the old Ford Ranger, but unlike its sibling was a little cheaper and less well equipped. Power came from a 2.5 liter which developed 143 hp and 280 Nm of torque.
The Tata SFC is a highly versatile LCV built for light commercial applications. Designed as a pickup, the vehicle is available with GVWs (gross vehicle weights) between 3800 kg and 9050 kg.
In its home market the Tata SFC is very successful and it’s specially appreciated for its generous payload capacity, small fuel consumption and the low costs of ownership.
The Tata SFC is offered to a very competitive price ($10.200 starting price) and comes with a service interval of 20,000 kms and a 3 year warranty. The truck is available with a choice of three engines which develop 75 hp, 90 hp and 102 hp.
The Tata Ace Zip is a small LCV based on the Ace model, but it also uses components from the Nano. Powered by a 611cc water cooled engine, the Ace zip is by no means a sporty vehicle, but it receives high marks in the functionality department as thanks to its generous load area it can be used for a wide range of commercial applications. Resembling a conventional pick-up truck the small Tata Ace Zip has a payload capacity of up 600 kg. There is also a passenger version of the Zip and is named the Magic Iris.
The Tata Ace Zip is in the same class with models like the Daihatsu Hijet, DFSK Loadhopper and Piaggio Porter and comes with a warranty of 36000 km/ 12-month.
TheMercedes Benz Unimog is around for some time now, as it tackles the harshest working conditions since the Second World War. The Unimog is an iconic off roader which has built itself a very strong reputation being one of the most appreciated vehicles in its class.
The Unimog is the smaller brother of the Zetros and is offered in a wide range of versions with different engines and wheelbases. There are two Unimog families available the Unimog 300 - 500 and the Unimog 3000- 5000.
The Unimog 300, 400 and 500 range covers permissible gross vehicle weights from 7.5 t to 16 t, each model coming with a choice of two wheelbase lengths and two engine outputs.
The Unimog 300-500 are offered with a choice of four- and six-cylinder in-line engines from the OM 904 LA and OM 906 LA series.
Tata has started to be known worldwide after they’ve announced the production of the Nano which is the cheapest passenger car in the world. However, besides passenger cars the company is also building LCVs and trucks and some models are even sold globally.
The Tata Super Ace is a versatile LCV build for short distribution applications and is available with a practical chassis cab configuration. Launched in 2005 the Tata Ace was India’s first four-wheel mini truck. At that time the sub 1-tonne mini truck was a major step ahead for the company, as it received a very good feedback from the market.
The Iveco Daily is one of the most versatile LCVs from the market and besides the typical van and pickup versions, the model is also available in off road guise.
Thanks to its huge ground clearance (30 cm) and the capable 4x4 system, the Iveco Daily was engineered to be able to conquer the most difficult terrains regardless of what weight is carrying at the back.
Thanks to its utilitarian nature, the Iveco Daily 4x4 can be used in construction and infrastructure maintenance work sites or for special missions such as snow ploughs, fire fighting, emergency and civil protection vehicles.
The off road LCV is offered in short wheelbase (3,050 mm) and long wheelbase (3,400 mm) versions, and is also available as a crew cab. There are two gross vehicle weight versions available, namely the 3.5 t with a maximum load of 2,250 kg on the front axle and 2,800 kg on the rear axle; and 5.5 t with a maximum load 2,450 kg on the front axle and 3,700 kg on the rear axle.
In the latest years everybody has starting to talk more and more about the use of electrical vehicles on a daily basis. Until recently, the electric vehicles were designed only as small passenger cars, but thanks to the advance in technology, now we can also drive electrical vans or even trucks.
Aixam was among the first companies who focused on developing electrical vehicles and its lineup also includes the Mega Multitruck model which is a versatile light commercial vehicle that can deal with a wide range of applications.
Aixam’s Mega Multitruck was designed for those looking for a small and light truck than can serve for short delivery missions with minimum costs. The LCV is offered with both diesel and electric engines and is available in four different body styles with van, pick-up, dropside and chassis cab options.
The Toyota Hilux is one of the most rugged vehicles built by Toyota and it features a very versatile character. Thanks to its strong built quality, the Hilux has anything it needs to tackle the heaviest works without whining. The Hilux has a long history behind and it was especially appreciated for its bullet proof build quality and the famous Japanese reliability.
While the pickup truck’s segment is highly competitive, the Hilux has some aces hidden in its sleeve which help it to deal pretty well with its rivals. The vehicle is available with a choice of 2, 5 litre or 3.0 litre diesel engines witch develop 144 hp or 171 hp, respectively. The engines are married to manual or automatic transmissions depending on the model.
LDV isn’t known my many people but it’s a UK company specialized in manufacturing small commercial vehicles. While at the moment the company builds only the LDV Maxus LCV, in the past its lineup of products also included the Convoy which was discontinued in 2005.
The Convoy was never a huge success, but has helped the company to survive until 2008 when the production was stopped. Luckily the company was rescued in 2009 when the assets were sold by administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers to China Venture’s firm Eco Concept.
But while the vehicle was behind its competitors when it comes to build quality, comfort and power, the Convoy managed to win some adepts thanks to its generous payload capacity and the affordable price.
The market of mini trucks is pretty small and is filled with many Chinese models which don’t inspire too much confidence to buyers. Luckily, there are also other manufacturers who thought to take a stab at this segment, and one of them is Daihatsu.
Daihatsu’s experience in the mini LCV segment is pretty vast, as it started to built the first models since 1960. Thankfully, since then Daihatsu’s models were constantly upgraded and today, the most advanced small LCV in the company’s lineup is the Gran Max.
The Gran Max was launched in 2007 and is based on the old Hijet model which was received pretty well by the market. The new Gran Max has the same versatile character as its predecessor and is offered in three versions namely the van, minibus and pick up.
The Daihatsu Hijet shared the same design and underpinnings with the old generation Piaggio Porter. Unlike the Piaggio which was sold pretty poor, the Daihatsu received more attention from the buyers and it was sold in better numbers.
The vehicle is available in both panel van and chassis cab versions and despite its compact dimensions, it has a very flexible and versatile character which make ideal for a wide range of light commercial applications.
The vehicle’s payload capacity is ranging from 560 kg to 1120 kg and comes with two wheelbase lengths measuring 1810 mm and 2180 mm. The Daihatsu Hijet is powered by a 1.3 liter petrol engine which develops 64 hp and 100 nm of torque.
Today, there aren’t many mini vans around, as this segment is pretty poor represented. But despite the sluggish sales there are a few manufacturers who dare to venture in this realm.
Daihatsu plays a pretty important role in this segment as it designed two iconic models namely the Hijet and Extol. The Extol is placed above the Hijet in Daihatsu’s hierarchy as is powered by a stronger engine which develops 84hp.
The Daihatsu Extol mini LCV was available in both panel van and chassis cab versions. Due to its compact dimensions and the limited payload, the vehicle is aimed especially to small business owners such as florists, electricians or caterers. The Extol was built between 2003 and 2006 and competed against models like theSuzuki Carry and DFSK Loadhopper.
While Piaggio is mostly known for its three wheelers and scooters, the company also builds a small light commercial vehicle named the Piaggio. The Piaggio is a versatile micro-van that was engineered to go against models like the Suzuki Carry or DFSK Loadhopper and features a bulky design combined with a pretty spacious interior.
The small truck is available as a panel van, chassis cab, tipper, MPV, top-deck and pickup and is powered by a 1300 cc petrol engine which develops 65 hp. The Piaggio Porter has a payload capacity between 560 kg – 1120 kg and comes with two wheelbase lengths measuring 1810 mm and 2180 mm.
The Suzuki Carry is now out of production, but it was a pretty iconic vehicle produced between 1999 - 2005. The Carry occupied a segment of its own, as at its time there weren’t many micro-vans rolling on the UK’s streets.
The truck was offered in both van and chassis cab versions and was aimed at those looking for a commercial vehicle, with minimum costs of ownership which would also be able to carry some load at the back. The Suzuki Carry was engineered as a small working horse, designed without all the bells and whistles of its bigger siblings.
LDV is a small British company that currently builds only light commercial vehicles. The company had some hard times when it was hit by the recession and has struggled a long time to remain alive. Until recently all its models were also far behind the competition and the company’s future was heading towards a black hole.
Recently however, the story has changed and it seems like the company has finally a winner in its hands. While the new LDV Maxus still has its faults, it is by far the best LCV ever built by the company and has a huge potential to revive LDV from its ashes.
The LDV Maxus is available in a wide range of body versions including combi, van, minibus, chassis cab and van models.
Toyota has already proven its value when it comes to capable SUVs and off road vehicles. One of the off road icons of all times is the Land Cruiser which even since its inception had proved to be suited for a very wide range of arduous applications.
The Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series chassis cab is around for some time now, but despite its old age the vehicle still keeps up with the times and remains one of the most capable and reliable all road vehicles in its class.
The truck is sold mostly on the Australian market and is powered by Toyota’s intercooled V8 turbo diesel which is combined with a strong all wheel drive system.
JAC is a Chinese manufacturer that made a joint venture with Navistar International Corporation in 2010 to develop together new products and to share technologies.
The JAC light duty trucks are sold globally in three versions, being able to cope with a various range of applications thanks to their flexible character. The trucks are offered with GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) ratings ranging from 4.5 tonnes to 7.5 tonnes and there are five different wheel bases available which comprise of 2490 mm, 2800 mm, 3000 mm, 3308 mm and 3360 mm with single, one and a half and double seats.
The trucks feature a pretty rudimentary design, but they have capable towing abilities as they come with wide range of Cummins engines.