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THE MAN FOR THE JOB (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

The MAN TGE is the large van you've probably never considered, but probably should. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 65

The MAN TGE appeals to savvy business buyers by offering all the attributes of the Volkswagen Crafter with an even better after-sales support package. The 2.0 TDI diesel engines are a strong point, there's a practical cargo bay, a wide range of body style choices and solid reliability. This is a contender that should take in its stride whatever your company can throw at it.

Backgroundword count: 175

By and large, LCV brands are passenger car manufacturers who've ventured into the car market. But commercial vehicle owners have very different needs to those of car buyers, so you can see the appeal to the business market of a manufacturing brand purely dedicated to goods vehicles. IVECO and Maxus already claim to meet this need but there's also a marque that aims to take the advantages of a commercial vehicle heritage to completely different level: MAN. MAN Truck and Bus is an established German truck maker that's part of the Volkswagen group, so it's not surprising that its van sector offering is based on a Volkswagen model, the Crafter large LCV. Very heavily based as it happens. Take away the badge work and you'd struggle to see any difference at all between a Crafter and the large LCV model we look at here, the MAN TGE. Yet there are a number of reasons why the TGE might actually be slightly better buy than its Wolfsburg cousin. And here we going to find out why.

Driving Experienceword count: 243

Once you settle into driving a large van like this, it's a very commanding experience. You sit high up in quite a car-like position thanks to the upright steering wheel, enjoying a supportive seat that's equipped with an armrest to prop a weary elbow on over longer trips. A pity then, that earlier Crafter engines tended to be relatively ponderous. The 2.0-litre TDI diesel unit is available in 102, 122 and 140PS outputs, plus there's a potent bi-turbo version putting out 177PS. All the engines will get you and your load where you need to be with deceptive speed. The smoothness and pulling power of this 2.0-litre unit is something that operators will notice in the first half a mile of use, even in the entry-level 102PS variant. Customers have a choice between front and rear wheel drive, plus 4WD, as well as the option of a manual or automatic gearbox. Trailers of up to 3.5 tonnes can be towed. Power arrives low in the rev range so that you don't have to row the thing along with the gear lever so much in town. On the open road, overtaking's easy too. It's the main reason why this vehicle has so much towing power too, all TGE models able to haul a braked trailer grossing at up to 2,000kgs. Further up the range, the differences with what went before are even greater, the top-flight twin-turbo 177PS BiTDI variant offering around 400Nm of torque.

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Category: Vans

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