Road Test Blocks
Winter driving can be a bit of a challenge in the UK, but can you imagine what it is like to have to start your van when the temperature is -30C and below? Diesel freezes and engine oil that is too thick to pump, vans are almost useless in the harsh wilderness of Scandinavia. That is why each year Finnish magazine Auto Teknikka Ja Kuljetus and a bunch of journalists from across Europe put a selection of vans to the sword in the ice and snow of the Arctic Van Test – two gruelling weeks of extreme evaluation into northern Finland.
This year the test was split in two groups with medium-sized vans and larger 3.5-tonners. The mid-sized group of Ford Transit Custom, Mercedes-Benz Vito and Renault Trafic were joined by Fiat’s new Ducato, Vauxhall’s Movano and the Ford Transit at the start point in Mäntsälä, 60km north-east of Helsinki. Here the vehicles were prepared for their Arctic adventure and fitted with extreme winter tyres by Nokian, filled with Neste Oil and wired up with Driveco tracking systems. Then, loaded with test weights, the vans were weighed and measured to access the functionality of the cargo spaces.