Close But No Cigar

Vans and cars have very different purposes in the main, so while both have advantages there will always be some people suited to driving a car and fewer suited to driving a van. For everyone who is somewhere in the middle however, we have what we like to call the “inbetweeners” – cars which have some van-like qualities: close but no cigar.

If you are after a vehicle with more space, or are considering the purchase of a van, then it might be a good idea to look at some of the following models and assess how compatible you think they would be with your current lifestyle. Then this should provide the basis for a decision on whether one of these cars would be better for you than a small van.

Cadillac Escalade

One of the USA’s most renowned and recognisable vehicles, the Cadillac Escalade is a rare site on British roads for several reasons – the most obvious of these being it’s unrelenting desire to guzzle fuel like there’s no tomorrow. Our cousins west of the Atlantic needn’t worry too much about this as “gas” is infinitely cheaper than it is here in Europe. If you can afford to supply the Escalade’s 6 litre V8 engine however, you’ll find it to be a very useful model. The cabin is comfortable beyond belief and there is an ocean of space in the boot. A new one will set you back at least £64,000 so we’d strongly advise a check of the used Cadillac Escalade market.

Peugeot Bipper Tepee

Peugeot – a company already known for producing a wide variety of vans – actually have a range of cars with similar properties, the Tepee range. The most popular of the 3 models in the Tepee range, in the UK, is the Peugeot Bipper Tepee. If you’ve just been sweating over the price of the Escalade and thinking there’s no point reading any further then rejoice – the Bipper Tepee represents superb value for money, available new from less than £13,000. Its tall shape allows for most items to slot easily into the back which makes it an excellent vehicle for transporting goods, while there is enough room for all passengers to sit with acres of space.

Mercedes-Benz Viano

If there is not enough room in either the Escalade or the Bipper Tepee for your personal needs then fear not, we have Mercedes-Benz’s entry into the large MPV market – the Viano. It offers space for 6 passengers and is about the most van-looking car that you will find. From new you can get one for a little over £37,000, but second hand Mercedes Viano models represent a better buy in the long term – they are available with fairly low mileage from around £14,000. If the Viano is still too small for your needs than stop wasting your time – you definitely need a van!