Advertorial : Defining the modern van

Reliant Supervan

When it comes to countries such as Britain, few vehicles have earned their place in our hearts more than the van; part standard vehicle and part transportation and storage vehicle, the van has fulfilled many roles for many people down the years.

Some traditional views of vans include The Only Fools and Horses van made famous by the antics of Del Boy and co, as well as the popular tabloid image of the infamous ‘white van man’. But while these stereotypes do exist, it is often easy to forget that modern vans are among some of the most innovative automotive products on the market today. They perhaps deserve the spotlight a little bit more than they currently do.

Modern Life, Many Uses

Newer van models are able to cope with modern demands far more efficiently than previous van models. Most modern vans can cater to both industrial use – such as transporting goods and tools – to also offering a certain level of efficient personal motoring capability too.  A prime example has to be the Mercedes-Benz Vito Dualiner; if you’ve ever seen one, the storage space and size should speak for itself. Yet it still has five seats, offering plenty of family-friendly uses, if need be. After all, who’s to say that a working man can’t have both a van and a family? Most of us do.

Not everyone has the money for two vehicles, so one solution needs to solve all the questions modern life can pose. Even the large side doors demonstrate this line of thought. They may look big for a family vehicle but, when you’re trying to load hardware and materials in and out, the larger access makes much more sense.


The modern driver also expects more from a vehicle. In the case of a van, this should come in customisation and flexibility. Again, the Vito Dualiner can be used as an example. Behind the back seats it boasts 4.5m3 of space. However, when you want or need more space, today’s van needs to offer more. Remove the rear seats, and the Vito Dualiner suddenly offers 7.4m3  of space.

This is the kind of challenge that modern vans solve. When seats are needed, they’re available but, when storage is more important, it can be sacrificed. For people working in industries, this makes such a van useful during the day, whilst the seats can be put back in for personal uses. This is just a quick look at the modern van and how it can fit into British life, but it hopefully highlights the newer innovations being made.

Keith Adams


  1. I have many happy memories of my Escort van, including telling my girlfriend of the time that her mother couldn’t possibly come out with us for a scenic drive. The next girlfriend suggested I should convert the van into a mobile bookshop – the lack of room for inspection of said books being the least of my concerns (I think I would have needed to emulate the famous Maestro van ad’, by tin-opening the roof to get some headroom). The next girlfriend was very disappointed when I sold the van and bought an Opel Manta.

  2. Something like the crew cab, as this advertorial mentions, is a compromise.

    There is often a bulkhead between the rear seats and the rear storage. Means long planks of wood can’t be loaded.

    Then, if you choose to take the seats out to load up the central section, the windows offer no security from prying eyes.

  3. Hmm, the Vito was terrible for driving if like me you are 6 foot 2,that is with a bulkhead mind you.

  4. Ah, happy memories of my Holden Gemini Van………
    The Holden cousin to the Chevette van.
    Big wheels,Weber carby with velvet & a matress in the back.
    Some good times- in the drivers seat & in the back!

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