ANCAP and Euro NCAP have put the active safety features fitted to vans in the spotlight – and the Toyota HiAce has come out on top.

    Toyota’s latest van comfortably topped the charts, ahead of the Ford Transit and Transit Custom. Hyundai’s ageing iLoad was the worst performer of the 15 vans tested.

    The HiAce also tops the VFACTS sales charts in Australia. With 7009 sold to date in 2020 excluding the related HiAce bus, its sales are more than double those of the Hyundai iLoad in second place.

    In Australia, even the base HiAce features autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with cyclist and pedestrian detection, as well as lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, a reversing camera with rear cross-traffic alert, and parking sensors.

    Commercial vehicles spend more time on the road than almost any other cars, but have been traditionally slower to adopt the latest active safety features than hatches, sedans, and SUVs.

    Vans also tend to have longer lifecycles, with less frequent updates and overhauls than passenger cars, making it critical the latest models have a full spread of available technologies when they launch.

    “COVID-related lockdowns across Australia and New Zealand have created a surge in demand for delivery services, and as a result, many areas have seen a rise in the number of commercial vans on the road,” said ANCAP Director for communications and advocacy, Rhianne Robson. 

    “Commercial vans generally operate with higher levels of exposure and hold a much longer economic lifespan due to their primary commercial-use and goods-carrying function, and this makes their active safety capability arguably even more critical than that of passenger cars.”

    To test the systems fitted to the latest vans available in Australia and Europe, ANCAP and Euro NCAP have adopted a four-tier rating system from Gold to Not Recommended.

    The following features were tested with 50 per cent of the vans’ maximum carrying capacity on board:

    • Autonomous emergency braking, car-to-car and pedestrian/cyclist
    • Lane-departure warning
    • Lane-keeping assist
    • Speed limit warning and limiters
    • Seatbelt reminders
    • Driver attention monitoring

    And the following vans were put through their paces:

    • Fiat Ducato
    • Ford Transit
    • Ford Transit Custom
    • Hyundai iLoad
    • Iveco Daily
    • Mercedes-Benz Vito
    • Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
    • Mitsubishi Express
    • Peugeot Expert
    • Peugeot Boxer
    • Renault Trafic
    • Renault Master
    • Toyota HiAce
    • Volkswagen Transporter
    • Volkswagen Crafter

    The results are below. Vehicles that didn’t score Gold, Silver, or Bronze were simply labelled Not Recommended.

    AEB carAEB ped.AEB bikeLane supportSpeed assistDriver monitorOverall
    Toyota HiAceGoodGoodGood AcceptableAcceptable AcceptableGold/77%
    Ford TransitAcceptableGoodGoodWeakGoodMarginalGold/63%
    Ford Transit CustomGood GoodMarginal WeakGoodMarginalSilver/58%
    Mercedes SprinterMarginalAcceptableGood WeakAcceptableGoodSilver/52%
    VW TransporterAcceptableN/A N/AGoodAcceptableMarginal Silver/50%
    VW CrafterMarginalN/AN/AGoodMarginalAcceptableSilver/44%
    Peugeot Expert AcceptableMarginalN/AWeakGoodMarginalSilver/44%
    Peugeot BoxerGoodN/AN/A WeakWeakMarginalBronze/33%
    Fiat DucatoAcceptableN/AN/AWeakWeakMarginalBronze/28%
    Mercedes VitoN/AN/AN/AWeakMarginalGoodBronze/23%
    Mitsubishi ExpressN/AN/AN/AN/A MarginalMarginal11%
    Renault TraficN/AN/AN/AN/AMarginalMarginal11%
    Renault MasterN/AN/AN/A Weak PoorMarginal6%
    Iveco Daily N/AN/A N/AWeakN/AMarginal6%
    Hyundai iLoad N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AMarginal5%

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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