Mercedes-Benz Sprinter most reliable model in FN50 rankings, while Ford takes manufacturer title

3rd November 2016 | Simon Harris, Author |

Ford has overtaken its main commercial vehicle rivals to top the FN50 rankings for the most reliable vans in 2016.

In a closely fought contest at the top of the table, Ford edged ahead of last year's winner Volkswagen, and Mercedes-Benz, to narrowly take first place, while Mercedes-Benz made up some ground on Volkswagen compared with last year.

But it wasn’t quite enough to unseat the best-performing model from last year, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which retains its place at the top, ahead of the Volkswagen Transporter.

The reliability survey asks FN50 leasing companies to rank their light commercial vehicles in order of the best-performing in terms of breakdowns and warranty claims, and allocate points, which are then collated to create these rankings.

Vauxhall’s Vivaro medium panel van takes third place behind its rival from Volkswagen, while the Ford Transit, which achieved third place in 2015, takes fourth.

The Volkswagen Caddy van takes fifth place in 2016, one lower than it reached last year, while the Ford Transit Custom rises from eighth to sixth this year.

A second showing from Mercedes-Benz, the Vito, is one place lower than in 2015, taking seventh, while the Ford Transit Connect rises from 12th to eighth, helping to consolidate Ford’s position at the top of the manufacturer overall rankings with three models in the top 10.

Mitsubishi’s L200 is the highest placed pick-up truck, albeit two places lower than it achieved in 2015, taking ninth, while the final position in the top 10 models is secured by the Peugeot Partner.

The sister van to the Partner, the Citroën Berlingo, is just outside the top 10 in 11th place, while the Citroën Relay large panel van is just behind in 12th position.

The Renault Trafic comes from outside the top 20 in 2015 to take 13th place in 2016, with the Toyota Hilux pick-up truck falling three places this year to 14th from 11th.

The Volkswagen Crafter takes 15th place in 2016 after achieving 10th last year, while the Iveco Daily gets a boost to 16th – four places up from 2015. The Nissan Navara is in 17th place, having failed to make the top 20 in last year’s survey.

The Renault Master is the second of three vans by the French manufacturer to make the top 20 in 18th place.

The final two places are taken by the Mercedes-Benz Citan and Renault Kangoo, both based around the same Renault design, but only the Kangoo made the top 20 last year.

Renault made a big improvement in the overall rankings for manufacturers, thanks to the performance of the Vivaro, taking fourth place in the table – three places higher than in 2015.

It pushes Vauxhall down one place, although the points scored by the Luton-based brand are almost the same as in 2015, showing good consistency.

Sixth and seventh places in the manufacturer rankings were taken by Citroën and Peugeot respectively, which both share vehicles and offer mainly cosmetic and specification changes to differentiate from each other.

Nissan is placed eighth, which is three places lower than in 2015, while Fiat has moved up to ninth place from 11th last year.

The final place in the top 10 for manufacturers is taken by Mitsubishi, whose commercial vehicle sales are almost entirely the L200 pick-up, although it also occupies a 4x4 niche based on its car models, including a plug-in hybrid Outlander van.

Toyota falls just outside the top 10 in 11th place, with Iveco maintaining its 12th position, although with a better points score than in 2016.

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