Friday Five: Least Efficient Vans

This week, given the current petrol-saving climate that we are in, we are looking at some of the very worst performing vans in terms of fuel efficiency. Whilst a lot of inefficient vehicles are high-end sports cars with the Veyron doing a paltry 10mpg (highway and urban combined), invariably most of these gas guzzlers are huge and American. Big doesn’t need to mean inefficient however, as the Nissan Urvan which is of a comparable size to the US mega vans does 43mpg. The vast majority of inefficient vehicles (13-18mpg) turned out to be pickup trucks or sports cars so were not included. Either way, they’re going to cost you a fortune in tax, commercial vehicle insurance and petrol.

5. 1992 The Mazda Bongo RS 22mpg

Not strictly fifth, but we had to find an entrant to the top five that wasn’t a Chevrolet, GMC or Ford. The 1992 Mazda had a tiny 2 litre engine and did an abysmal 22mpg. Thankfully Mazda have since seen sense and upgraded the vans to larger more efficient turbo-diesel v6 engines.

4. Chevrolet Express 1500 17mpg

The first of two Chevys in this list, the Express 1500 does 14mpg. Having a slightly smaller engine and build structure than its larger siblings the 2500 and 3500, the 1500 does not impress with its fuel consumption figures. It is huge though and can carry a 2306kg payload or you can convert it into a minivan. It’s got a 5.3 litre v8 engine which has a fair bit of grunt but really – is it needed?

3. Chevrolet Express 3500 Cargo 13mpg

The second Chevy in our list is the 1500’s bigger brother. It does a wallet emptying 11mpg but then again it is absolutely enormous. It’s got a huge 204 cubic feet of cargo space, can carry a massive 4147kg payload and can be customized into many different configurations. You’ll be hard pressed to buy one of these in the UK however.

2. GMC Savana 3500 13mpg

This GMC has the same chassis as the Express 3500 and there is very little difference between them apart from the badge. As they share the same engine however, they also share the same awful fuel consumption. This year there was a recall of certain 2003-2004 models (around 10,000) due to the fact that the fuelling line had corroded. The GMC has the same v8 6.0 litre engine as the Express 3500.

1. Ford E350 Wagon 13mpg


And the Ford wins it. Ford has catered to its American market with the E350 wagon. It’s iconic and you’ll probably recognize it from a lot of films as hasn’t change in appearance since 1992 and hadn’t changed its appearance for 17 years before that. It’s a very sturdy vehicle though and the 2011 model has a gross combined weight rating of 9979kg which is class leading. It’s v10 6.8 litre engine really is a thirsty beast though.



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