Sales of vans sit at all-time highs on the back of online retail and home delivery, prompting crash tester ANCAP to sort the (claimed) wheat from chaff – specific to which driver-assist safety systems are fitted.

    The 2022 ANCAP Commercial Van Safety Comparison report supplants its last report into van safety, conducted with Euro NCAP, which the tester published in December 2020.

    The results detailed are not the same as ANCAP’s traditional reports that look at adult and child occupant passive protection, vulnerable road-user protection, and driver assist functions. Of the 16 vans in the report, just four have full ANCAP test reports available.

    This latest report builds on the original one with updated assessments of both the Mercedes-Benz Vito and Iveco Daily, due to spec upgrades introduced to market in the interim.

    This latest report also includes analysis of the newish-to-market LDV Deliver 9 and Hyundai Staria Load, providing an “up-to-date summary of collision avoidance specification and capability for a total of 16 commercial vans”.

    “This analysis provides added value to fleet and commercial van operators as it extends beyond ANCAP’s traditional star rating program to shine a light on the active safety performance of an important segment,” added ANCAP chief executive Carla Hoorweg.

    “Vans are a workplace. Their increased on-road exposure and frequent use in built-up urban areas means they interact with a large number of other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

    “It is essential that fleet and van operators are aware of the crash avoidance capabilities and active safety features fitted to their vehicles.

    “To help fleet, business and private consumers make informed purchasing decisions across this section of the market we’ve assessed the performance of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) available across a range of commercial vans.”

    Except where indicated, the vans tested as part of this comparison were laden to half their gross load carrying capacity, ANCAP added. However, in the fine print it states that neither the top-selling Toyota HiAce or the Staria Load were laden with any cargo.

    The safety comparison looked at:

    • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) car-to-car
    • AEB for pedestrians and cyclists
    • Lane-support systems, meaning departure warning and active lane-keeping aids
    • Speed assist systems, such as manual speed limiter or map/camera-based speed warning, which are often vital in urban surrounds where cruise control is less useful
    • Seatbelt monitors
    • Driver monitoring systems

    The performance of ADAS systems were tested regardless of whether the system is available as standard or optional. They’re rated from Good through to Poor, with Acceptable, Marginal and Weak scores in between.

    There’s no mention in the test result section of the report of blind-spot monitoring systems, although they’re analysed in regular ANCAP crash reports.

    Medium vans

    In the bigger-selling 2500kg to 3500kg gross vehicle mass (GVM) medium van class, the new Staria Load was the winner with an overall score of 90 per cent, rated ‘Platinum’. It scored the maximum ‘good’ ratings with green colour-coding in all six tested areas.

    Two vans scored Gold ratings, being the Toyota HiAce (77 per cent) and Mercedes-Benz Vito (61 per cent) – though ANCAP notes that the ongoing chip shortage means Vitos made after November 2021 may have different specs that could affect this assessment.

    A trio rated as Silver, next in the list, were the Ford Transit Custom (58 per cent), Volkswagen Transporter (55 per cent), and Peugeot Expert (44 per cent). Peugeot a few weeks ago axed side thorax airbags and adaptive cruise control from the Expert due to the semiconductor shortage.

    Bottom of the barrel were the (one star) Mitsubishi Express and its Renault Trafic twin, which scored a paltry 11 per cent overall. due to their lack of AEB and lane assist.

    Big vans

    In the 3501kg to 8000kg GVM large van class, the Ford Transit took the crown with a Gold rating and 63 per cent score.

    It edged out Silver-rated offerings, the top-selling Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (52 per cent) and Volkswagen Crafter (44 per cent). A score of 44 per cent for the third-place winner hardly bodes well for the rest.

    Bronze medallists were the Peugeot Boxer (33 per cent), Fiat Ducato (28 per cent), LDV Deliver 9 (27 per cent), and Iveco Daily (24 per cent). The wooden spoon went to Renault once again, with the Master scoring a paltry 6 per cent.

    You can read the more detailed ANCAP report here in full, for breakdowns of why each van performed the way it did.

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    MORE: ‘Confused’ ANCAP criticised for zero-star Mitsubishi Express rating
    MORE: Hyundai Staria and Staria Load receive five-star ANCAP safety rating

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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