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IVOTY - Honouring innovation in Light Commercial Vehicles for

25 years From viewing exiting graphic designs, to seeing clay models for the first time to inaugural drives in prototypes, the International Van of the Year Jury (IVOTY) is at the forefront of the Light Commercial Vehicle industry. IVOTY is a non-profit-network of independent Editors & Journalists from leading publications and web platforms, representing 25 countries across Europe & Russia. Each year they honour the best new Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) with the unique and prestigious title of International Van of the Year. What 25 years of IVOTY means: Two and half decades of testing, measuring and objective opinion. Also, collaborating with LCV manufacturers, offering expertise to improve the product and the sector in general. Always present, seeking new challenges, always looking for the best choice in Light Commercial Vehicles. International Van of the Year Award: There when it counts! More details on *Special thanks to all of the LCV brands featured for their ongoing support and with this special supplement. Here’s to the next 25 years! Jarlath Sweeney Chairman, IVOTY

Read about all the winners on the following pages

VW Transporter 4 (T4)

Nissan Sunny van

Intriguing and coincidental that either side of the 25 years of IVOTY that the Volkswagen Transporter has won the award. The T4 was the first winner and proved to be a reliable, durable workhorse with a long lifespan. It was the start of the Volkswagen to have its engine at the front.

Car derived vans were common in those days with a number of manufacturers in the marketplace. The Nissan Sunny provided an attractive alternative to the mainly European designs sold at the time. While the Sunny went on to become a popular family car, the van version was discontinued.

CitroĂŤn Jumper (Relay)/ Fiat Ducato/Peugeot Boxer

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter



Although there had been many collaborations between LCV manufacturers over the decades, the alliance between Fiat and PSA proved to be most successful in the large (3.5 tonnes) segment and continues on to this day. They are jointly produced in the Sevel factory in Italy.


When launched the Sprinter series covered the 2.5 to 4.6-tonne weight classes and available as a crewbus, panel van or dropside, and with a standard or high roof, with a crewcab and in three different wheelbases. It was fitted with the ABS braking system as standard in Germany and other European markets.

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Mercedes-Benz Vito Mercedes-Benz with Vito was the first brand to win the trophy for a second time. The Vito made its world debut in the Autumn of 1995. Its modern interior and roomy cabin was appreciated. For Mercedes-Benz to present a front wheel driven van in this segment was also a big news at the time. From the beginning, Vito was available with three engines, one petrol and two diesel variants.


Citroën Berlingo/ Peugeot Partner


For the second time the PSA Group collected the trophy. As the first generation of the by now well-known French twins, they set a new standard in the class with the full-integrated cabin and body. At the time most competitors had a box placed behind the ‘cut-off ’ driver’s cabin. The jury mentioned especially the driver comfort which gave a passenger car like feeling.

Renault Master

Opel (Vauxhall) Astravan

For the first time Renault tasted victory, and actually the French brand achieved the first one-two in the history of IVOTY, with its smaller Kangoo as the runner-up. This was the second generation Master, which was built on a completely new platform. In this generation, Renault improved the storage area inside the cabin. The power came from a 2.8 liter turbo-engine with intercooler.

As the last winner of the century, the Opel Astravan was the fourth generation of this vehicle. It was a conversion from the passenger car, which it shares its name. The jury remarked its great enhancements in driving comfort and sound levels, together with quality improvements. The victory was with only two points margin down to Nissan Cabstar E.


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Iveco Daily

Ford Transit

The city truck concept, with its open frame platform to support large vans and other body types from 2.8 tonnes to 6.5 tonnes GVW and from 7 to 17 cubic metres in volume, and above. Car-like comfort and handling, plus new HPT diesel engines matched any mission making the Daily S2000 one of the long lasting models of its age.

A worldwide team managed one of the most ambitious LCV project ever, with a wide range starting from front wheel- and rear wheel-drive variant, each with its own engine size. The two model families met on the crucial 3.5 tonnes GVW border and shared the sophisticated, yet easy to live in cab design that inaugurates some of the infotainment and connecting features we find in today’s models.

Renault Trafic/Opel Vivaro

Ford Transit Connect

The project X83 shared by Renault and General Motors led to the Renault Trafic and the Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro and later on to further models for other brands. Stylish, practical and great to drive, the design with jumbo roof proved to be competitive in the people carrier segment too.

A bridge between two segments, with a short wheelbase, normal roof body for the compact van business and a long wheelbase, raised roof variant for those who need more space without the size and the costs of a medium van. The Connect were the first of the Transit family to cross the Atlantic Ocean to approach the North American market.




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Volkswagen Transporter T5

Mercedes-Benz Vito

Not only a van, but also a range of models for leisure, shuttle and executive purposes, the fifth generation of this German icon remains true LCV, thanks to a wide choice of sizes up to 9.2 cubic metres, GVW up to 3.4 tonnes and a unique chassis cab variant. 4, 5 and even 6-cylinder TDI or petrol engines and a 4Motion all-wheel drive versions were offered.

The new generation of the compact Vito series started with a completely different setup. Instead of front wheel drive it was now rear wheel drive and a four-wheel drive version, was added. A much broader variety of variants were offered from an extra short to a high roof version and a so called ‘Mixto’ crew cab. Safety standards were high.

Fiat Doblò Cargo

Ford Transit

Profoundly revised, the next step in Doblò Corgo’s history came with a more stylish front design and also new interior trims. Most important was the line-up of new engines, especially innovative and efficient 1.3 & 1.6 litre MultiJet diesels with DPF. Also added was a LWB Maxi with long and a popular luxurious ‘Panorama’ Kombi.

The 6th generation of the van legend came up with revised front and interior design as well as new engine-line-up from the 2.2 litre common-rail-diesel up to powerful 3.2 litre 5-cylinder range topper. From the trend-setting choice between front and rear-wheel-drive, Ford added an all-wheel-drive version in 2007. Most of the production moved to Kocaeli plant in Turkey.




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Citroën Jumpy (Dispatch)/ Fiat Scudo/Peugeot Expert


Fiat Fiorino/Citroën Nemo/ Peugeot Bipper


Derived from a passenger van platform with single wheel suspension all around and an optional air suspension at the rear, the mid-sized van trio set a standard in terms of comfort, noise and driveability. The HDi diesel engines offered both a high level of smoothness and efficiency.

Opening a class for its own, the ultra-compact City-van Fiorino/Nemo/ Bipper from Fiat & PSA convinced the jury with its first class economy of space. In relation to their outside measurements being shorter than a small passenger car at 3.9 metres with a 2.5 m3 load department, that could easily be expanded by a folding seat, was unbeatable USP.

Nissan NV200

Fiat Doblò

First global van, based on car platform to combine relatively small exterior dimensions with large cargo space. Only vehicle of this size can carry two euro pallets. Nissan NV200 also introduced the first rear view camera in its class. Available in three types and with three engines, NV200 is also known as new New York and London taxi.

Second award for Doblò. Fiat’s second generation van introduced revolutionary independent bi-link rear suspension with best in class driving abilities. Also Doblò was first small van with a one tonne load capacity, and more than 5 cubic meter cargo space. Available with seven different versions and a first with chassis cab/platform type.


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Renault Kangoo Z.E.

Ford Transit Custom

First purposely build delivery van with electric propulsion in the world, built on the same production line along with conventional models. Kangoo Z.E. has the same cargo space volume and load capacity as its internal combustion counterparts. Available in two lengths with batteries installed in the floor facilitating a 170 km range.

First in the new generation of Ford vans, Transit Custom introduced a completely new platform with impressive driving abilities. Safety and comfort features were acquired from passenger vehicles. Largest cargo space in class with revolutionary opening in bulkhead which allows 3m cargo length in short version. First with retractable roof rails.

Ford Transit Connect

Iveco Daily

The Ford Transit Connect pulled off what only a few other LCV brands have achieved: winning the IVOTY award two years in a row. It proved the strength of the Transit philosophy. With the Transit Connect, Ford succeeded in building a light van with a strong accent on economics. An important contribution to the reduction of cost was made by new DuraTorq engines.

The Iveco Daily is a really heavy duty LCV, and its win this year, against a large and strong field of competitors, was a proof of its design and quality. The new Daily family included panel vans and chassis cabs with a broad choice of powertrains from diesel, natural gas, diesel/electric hybrid and electric. 4x4 versions were introduced in 2016.




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1 ARS 1992-2 0

In a very difficult period for Volkswagen AG, winning the IVOTY with the new Transporter T6 was an highly emotional experience for the company. Introducing Euro 6 and raising the standards of efficiency and the sustainability of transport with respect to the environment and safety of people, the T6 took a well-deserved win.


Volkswagen Transporter T6





The International Van of the Year Award


The International Van of the Year (IVOTY) is the most prestigious award in the Light Commercial Vehicle industry. The criteria for this award, presented to the van introduced into the market in the previous 12 months that has made the greatest contribution to road transport efficiency, is based on several important criteria, including technological innovation, driver comfort, safety, driveability, fuel economy, environmental footprint and total cost of ownership. Since 1992, the 24-strong IVOTY member panel is represented by editors and trade journalists from the top commercial vehicle magazines in each country across Europe plus Russia. From their combined titles, readership is estimated above 800,000. Each van jury member diligently assesses each product from attending manufacturers’ presentations and from conducting test-drives abroad and at home.

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25 anos de IVOTY  
25 anos de IVOTY