3 vans with top safety ratings

The van is a staple part of most business fleets. However, they tend to be designed for practicality more than, say, comfort, fuel efficiency or safety - at least that's the belief. 

Today, vans are created to sate the various appetites of fleet managers, including the all important safety rating. The latest news from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) is that three recent van models have excelled, passing crash tests with flying colours.

"For commercial buyers, these ratings open the door to a number of new vehicle choices."

ANCAP Chief Executive Officer James Goodwin said fleet managers have more choices than ever before, and the quality of some of the new vans on the market is helping them to make a commercially savvy decision.

"For commercial buyers, many of whom are now required by their employers to have a vehicle with a five-star ANCAP safety rating, these ratings open the door to a number of new vehicle choices," Mr Goodwin explained.

So, which vans are we talking about? Here's the rundown on three vehicles you may like to consider adding to your commercial fleet:

1) Mercedes-Benz V-Class

"Oh, Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes-Benz" was the lilting refrain from a popular old advert. Not too long ago, fleet managers might answer: "no, because they don't hold the same safety standards as other vans".

That's no longer a viable excuse with the new Mercedes-Benz V-Class van - a vehicle that produces 140 kilowatts of power and still maintains a fuel consumption of six litres of diesel per 100 kilometres.

It's also jam-packed with on-road safety technology, including parking assist, adaptive cruise control and crosswind adaptive systems, to name just a few. ANCAP's CEO had some good words to share about the new Mercedes-Benz models.

"Mercedes-Benz has taken the responsible action to work with ANCAP to improve safety and address the four-star result," Mr Goodwin began. "This is an encouraging outcome for safety and should be commended for working quickly to implement these important safety improvements."

2) Mercedes-Benz Valente

Sticking with the German brand, the Valente has been somewhat marketed as a family van, though it could be a great fleet option for carrying people or larger items in style. 

With a 2.2-litre, 120 kilowatt, four-cylinder diesel engine, it has enough power to carry eight people and their luggage around town. Doing so will only use 6.3 litres for every 100 kilometres of travel, Mercedes-Benz says, making worries about fleet fuel consumption a thing of the past.

Much like the V-Class, safety comes as standard in the Valente. The model includes a fatigue monitoring system, anti-lock braking, adaptive brakelights and a plethora of airbags to help keep your fleet drivers safe.

3) Ford Transit Custom

The Ford Transit is the van of choice for many a business. A history of success, a solid chassis and more interior space than some small houses (almost) makes this a popular sight on Australian roads.

A 2.2-litre TDCi diesel engine provides the grunt, while a hands-free phone and music system helps with driver safety - something that's particularly important for fleet managers who like to remain in contact with drivers.

It also proved its mettle in ANCAP's crash tests, earning that coveted five-star safety rating.

"The Transit is a popular choice for large and small commercial operators such as tradespeople or couriers," Mr Goodwin continued. "Transit drivers will now have the knowledge their van offers the highest level of safety."

Looking to make your fleet safer? Buying vans that will hold up well in a crash test is the first step, though you can make large strides with better fleet management. Whether it's through accident management, roadside assistance or improving your maintenance schedule, our fleet services will leave you and your drivers better off.

Contact Smartfleet today for help making your business a whole lot safer.