So, you’ve concluded that you need the best crew cab van for family trips. Family travel needs a spacious and reliable vehicle to make everyone’s experience fun. It should have the perfect seating combination while allowing you some cargo space.
Truth be told though; going for crew cab vans requires you to be ready to sacrifice some carrying capability. But it outrightly compensates for it with more versatility to carry as many as twelve people. And if you have children, a spacious crew cab van will allow you to tag them along.
But choosing the best family van UK can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time needing a van. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at the crucial points to consider when looking to buy or hire a crew cab van. We’ll also recommend our best choices that make family trips luxurious, comfy, and enjoyable.
Choosing The Best Crew Cab Van for Family Trips
Remember when you first bought your family car? What were the main checkpoints that you were focusing on? It’s pretty much the same thing, only that with a crew can van, you got to extend your checklist a little.
So, let’s check out what you should be looking for when looking for the best crew van for family travel.
a) Seating capacity
How many people do you need to comfortably accommodate? Think of your family’s comfort, especially if planning long trips across the border. it won’t hurt to get one extra seat to create more room for multiple seating arrangements.
For instance, families of five will best be comfortable with 6-seater crew vans, giving one extra seat for flexibility. The extra seat can also be a life-saver should you choose to get an impromptu passenger. If possible, consider an even larger seating capacity van for future growth.
b) Versatility and interior space
How spacious is the crew cab van? What’s the interior layout and how versatile is it? Consider whether it offers enough headroom, legroom, and cargo space. If you had a small crew cab van in mind, think of all these space factors before sealing the deal. For instance, you may want to go for a 12-passenger van for family travel if carrying 8 to 12 people.
Crew cab vans with seating configuration flexibility allow you to adapt the space as per your needs.
c) Cargo space
When going on a trip with your loved ones, you want a crew cab van with sufficient space to carry luggage, strollers, bicycles, and sports equipment. So, check the crew cab van and ensure it offers ample cargo space. You might want to check the trunk size, foldable seat availability, and roof rails’ presence for extra storage space.
d) Safety features
Vans are primarily considered a goods vehicle but if they’re to be used for carrying passengers, safety has to be paramount. Thankfully, crew cab vans are built for carrying passengers and that means they’re equipped with all the safety features you can get in a car.
Still, you should consider additional safety features that you wouldn’t find in a regular goods van. These include airbags, stability control, anti-lock braking systems (ABS), rear-view camera, blind-spot monitoring, and lane monitoring system.
These safety features can help maximise safety while on the road and avoid unnecessary risks that can lead to accidents.
e) Child-friendly features
If planning to bring your little ones onboard a crew cab van, you wouldn’t want them predisposed to risks. Ensure that the best family van UK you’re going for has safety features like integrated child seat anchor points (ISOFIX). Also, you may consider whether storage compartments and rear window shades are available.
These features can maximise children’s comfort and safety during family road trips.
Accessibility is yet another important factor to look into when searching for the best crew cab van for family travel. Evaluate how easy is it for both kids and adults to get onboard and exit the van. Crew cab vans with wide-opening rear doors or sliding doors will make it more convenient to access the van. They also come in handy when dealing with strollers, car seats, among other bulky items.
g) Amenities and comfort
When travelling on long road trips, comfort and amenities that make the travel fun are essential. Climate control systems, adjustable seats, USB charging ports, and entertainment systems are just a few of the amenities that can improve the quality of rides.
h) Handling and manoeuvrability
Even if you were to go for the best small van with 5 seats, its size will still be bigger than a car. That should ring an alarm about handling and manoeuvrability. Luckily, crew cab vans are built to provide a smooth comfortable driving experience. Still, you’ll need to check several things.
Pay attention to the steering response, handling, and how easy it is to manoeuvre in different traffic situations. With a properly-designed suspension system and responsive steering, your driving experience will be more enjoyable.
i) Fuel efficiency
The best crew cab van for family travel should have better fuel efficiency so it doesn’t impact your trip budget. Most modern crew cab vans come with fuel-efficient engine technology plus hybrid options. You may also consider a diesel engine to achieve better mileage without affecting performance.
Other factors to look into that affect fuel efficiency include the weight and aerodynamics of the vehicle.
Top 10 Best Crew Cab Vans for Family Travel in the UK
Based on the demand from buyers looking for family-friendly vans, we have prepared a review of the best crew cab vans for family trips in the UK. Our pick factors the crucial things that a family would need in a vehicle while on a trip. These include cargo-carrying and seating capacity. Here are the top 10 crew cab vans you can consider.
1) Volkswagen Caravelle
Volkswagen Caravelle is the mother of all crew cab vans because of its superior comfortable and spacious interior. It’s one of the best 7-seater crew cab vans for a family of 5 to 7 people. Key points that make it worth considering include:
- sliding rear doors;
- highly flexible seating compatibility;
- multiple options for the 2.0-litre diesel engine;
- 4 ISOFIX child seat mountings;
- heavy 4×4 models weigh 2,495kg while the lightest model is 2,330kg;
- high driving position but with a height-adjustable seat and plenty of headroom;
- sufficient legroom with movable rear seats to create more cargo space;
- centre armrest for the 3-set rear bench.
- Three infotainment systems;
- 3-zone climate control for different row temperatures;
- rear parking camera.
2) Mercedes-Benz V-Class
If all you care about is luxury and class, you cannot go wrong with the Mercedes-Benz V-Class. But it also excels at providing ample passenger and cargo space. It offers a smooth ride, equipped with advanced safety features, and more. Here are features that make it a good choice for a crew cab van for family trips:
- up to 8 seating capacity;
- sleek free-standing infotainment display;
- 5 doors;
- 4 ISOFIX child seat fitting points;
- blind spot warning system;
- anti-lock braking system (ABS);
- lane-keeping assistance;
- powerful 2.0-litre diesel engine;
- 2-zone climate control and heated seats;
- gross weight of 3,100kg.
3) Vauxhall Vivaro Life
If looking for an electric crew cab van, Vauxhall Vivaro Life is a comfortable and spacious option. It can accommodate up to 9 passengers and comes in ‘combi-long’ and ‘combi-medium’ body shapes. Being fully electric, this crab crew van utilises 100kV DC of power and needs only 30 minutes to recharge its 50kWh battery to 80%.
Other excellent features of Vivaro Life that make it worth considering include:
- 9-seater and 8-seater options;
- three-point seat belts;
- 143 miles of driving between charges;
- 5 doors;
- 4 ISOFIX child seat fittings;
- 7-inch infotainment system and built-in satellite navigation system;
- Multiple e-driving assistance devices, including Driver Attention Alert system, Road sign reader, and Active Safety brake features.
4) Volkswagen Transporter 6.1 Kombi
VW T6.1 Kombi is an easily recognisable crew cab van due to its sharp front-end design featuring narrower headlights and large grill openings. It’s an ample, 6-seater crew van with a generous cargo compartment. The interior features durable upholstery, perfectly designed to suit daily use.
Here are a few reasons why VW T6.1 Kombi is the best crew cab van for family trips:
- 6-passenger capacity;
- Versatile seating combination with removable rear seats;
- 250-degree rear door opening feature;
- 3 cubic metres of cargo compartment;
- ISOFIX child seat fittings on all 3 back-row seats;
- Numerous storage options such as an upper glovebox, 2 cup holders, lower glovebox, and retractable ruler tray.
- Plenty of driver-assist features including Front Assist with City Emergency Braking, road sign reading system, Crosswind Assist, Lane Assist, and more.
- Equipped with VW We Connect infotainment to support emergency calls, vehicle health reports, parking positions, driving data, speeding alerts, and more.
5) Ford Tourneo Custom
This 9-seater crew cab van is a versatile option with excellent cargo space for family travel. Ford Tourneo Custom comes with EcoBoost Hybrid technology to cut down fuel consumption. It’s the best crew cab van for family trips outside the country.
Here are a few of the excellent features that make it a family-friendly crew cab van:
- 9-passenger capacity;
- 2 rear reclining seats with multiple configurations;
- Standard twin-sliding side doors;
- Standard twin-side loading doors;
- ISOFIX child seat fittings on 2nd and 3rd-row seats on select models;
- Powerful Ford EcoBlue 2.0-litre diesel engine;
- Anti-lock brake system (ABS);
- Numerous driver-assist technologies including a blind spot warning system, intelligent traffic sign reading speed assist, and cross-traffic alert system.
Our Best Crew Cab Van For Family Pick
If passenger and cargo carrying capacity is your top priority, a combi (kombi) van is ideal. The best small combi van for a family of five or less is the Volkswagen Transporter 6.1 Kombi. This van has a passenger capacity of six and offers a load volume ranging between 3.8 and 9.3 cubic metres.
Plus, its payload range of 938-1,206kg allows you to carry as much cargo as you need to make your family trip convenient. With the ISOFIX child seat fittings on three back-row seats, the van is the best for a family of five.
Summing It Up
When looking for the best crew cab van for family trips, the market has plenty of options that can make it hard to choose. But you can break down your options by considering child-safety features, comfort features, cargo capacity, accessibility, and fuel efficiency.
Factoring in features that make your family trips more enjoyable is also a nice way to find the best family van UK. Check the availability of climate control systems, infotainment systems, and driver-assist technologies.
If planning long road trips extending to other countries, you may choose hybrid crew cab vans such as Ford Tourneo Custom. Overall, the Volkswagen Transporter 6.1 Kombi offers every family-friendly feature you can ever need in a crew cab van.