version of the 4x4 Land Cruiser powered by a 175hp 2.8-litre diesel married to a six-speed manual gearbox. Land Cruiser Utility Commercial is marketed in both short- and long-wheelbase versions with three and five doors respectively and load capacities of either 1.6m³ or 2.2m³. It can handle payloads of up to 756kg and its trailer-towing capacity goes up to a healthy three tonnes. Land Rover has dipped in and out of the 4x4 van market over the years and is about to dip back in again with the Discovery Commercial. This comes with a 1.9m³ cargo compartment that can transport over 800kg depending on which version you opt for. Power is delivered by either a 2.0-litre 240hp or a 3.0-litre 258hp diesel. Automatic transmission comes as standard. However, 4x4 pick-ups aren’t letting 4x4 vans have it all their own way. Ssangyong has recently released its new Musso double-cab pick-up. It is well-equipped, competitively-priced, and carries a pickup-sector-leading seven-year 150,000-mile warranty. While this is a move to be applauded and should help the Korean manufacturer become better-known in the UK, the devil is always in the detail where warranties are concerned. The seven-year package covers all the major mechanical components including wheel bearings, suspension joints and bushes, steering joints, and shock absorbers. It also covers the audio system. However, components that clearly wear such as clutch discs and brake friction materials are only covered for one year or 12,500 miles as Ssangyong says their life could be reduced by poor driving. This is actually a sensible approach to take, and the Musso is worth investigating. It is well-built, well-equipped, and competitivelypriced and Ssangyong is open to discussing fleet deals. Elsewhere, Volkswagen recently unveiled a top-of-the-range version of its Amarok pick-up with a V6 TDI diesel engine pumping out 258hp and up to 580Nm of torque. But Mercedes-Benz is determined to steal sales from Amarok with the launch of the upmarket and pricey X-Class. This is the first time the company has ventured into the purpose-
built pick-up sector. Sold solely as a diesel four-door five-seater 4x4 double-cab – double-cabs are making all the running in the UK pickup market at present – the X-Class comes with a 2.3-litre engine generating either 163hp or 190hp. Opt for the former and you get a six-speed manual gearbox. Choose the latter, and you can enjoy a seven-speed automatic box.
Electric vans Nobody has yet come up with a mainstream electric 4x4 pick-up but plenty of manufacturers are extolling the virtues of 4x2 electric vans designed for on-road use. Now available from Renault is the electric Kangoo Z.E 33, which has a longer range than the previous batterypowered Kangoo. It can now complete 168 miles between recharges, according to official New European Driving Cycle figures. Moving up the weight scale, Renault has been exhibiting the new battery-powered Master Z.E, which reputedly offers a real-world range of 74 miles between recharges. It will go on sale later this year. Not to be outdone, Chinese manufacturer LDV has been promoting electric versions of its line-up. The manufacturer is not neglecting diesel power, however. On its way next year is the new LDV V80 with a 2.0-litre engine good for up to 214hp. Also due out in 2019 is a battery-powered version of the latest incarnation of Mercedes-Benz's Sprinter. Restyled internally as well as externally, the newcomer features front-wheel-drive for the first time – its predecessors were either rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive, and both configurations remain available – and can be ordered with an optional nine-speed automatic gearbox. It is the first time an auto box with so many speeds has been offered in a light commercial. More and more panel van manufacturers are offering both frontand rear-wheel-drive variants in a bid to broaden the appeal of their products. Again with an electric variant in the pipeline, VW's latest Crafter is a good example, as is MAN's TGE, which is essentially a rebadged version of the Crafter. MAN is owned by VW, as is sister brand Scania, and this is the first time the truck manufacturer has ventured into the light commercial market.
Top: Ford has revived the three-door Fiesta Van. Bottom: The Mitsubishi Shogun Sport Commercial 4x4 is an option for councils that need to stay mobile in mud, snow, and ice.
September 2018 LAPV 35