What are they, one and a half of our days?


Photo by Vladimir Knyazev

and Sergey Ivanov

A truck, even a small one, is not some kind of frivolous car, which is chosen for the most part on the basis of “like - not like”. A different approach is needed here: thoroughness, attentive, harmful, choice - the commercial machine should work, generating profit, not loss. So, it’s not necessary to look at the appearance, but at the numbers, take into account literally all the little things. The magazine’s test team did this at the training ground for a whole week.

The object of attention was the most popular light delivery vans today with a gross weight of up to 3.5 tons, which fit into the domestic category “B”. The favors of small, medium and even somewhere large business were claimed: Gazelle GAZ-2705 ($ 3, 500), Ford Transit FT190 2, 5D ($ 23, 000), Mercedes Sprinter 312D ($ 35, 900), FIAT- Ducato Maxi 2.8D ”($ 21600), Citroen-Jumper 35L 2.5 TDi ($ 20570), Renault-Master T35 2.8TDi ($ 27000).

Detailed technical characteristics of the machines are given in the table. We only note that Citroen and FIAT are distinguished by engines and emblems, and we took the Gazelle in the most mass standard configuration as a reference point. We must admit, there was a fear that in the circle of such eminent rivals she would become a “whipping girl”, but in reality everything turned out to be not so simple. So, we evaluate (by a 5-point system) and compare.


Here, a professional driver spends a larger, and maybe the best part of his life, so we will be very picky.

GAZelle - 3.0. Spacious and wide cab, comfortable fit for the driver, the only one with an angle-adjustable steering column. The Spartan interior, the window handle makes 15.5 turns, different keys for ignition and doors, the floor gear lever makes it difficult to move around the cabin. A thin, uncomfortable steering wheel without power steering is rotated 6.7 turns from lock to lock (for other cars 3.5–4.5 turns), and the force on it is 17 kgf (for the rest 2.5–4.0 kgf).

FORD TRANSIT - 3.5. The closest cabin, but the lowest floor, the most “sharp”, the steering wheel is very inclined and convenient in thickness, four seat adjustments, very light windows - in general, almost a passenger compartment, and sit low. Gear lever on the floor, no headlight range control.

MERCEDES-SPRINTER - 4.5. A high doorway, an enormous cabin height (you can stand in full growth), a large range of longitudinal seat adjustment and height adjustment, a convenient platform for the left leg, many useful containers, a tool, a first-aid kit, an emergency lamp, etc. are rationally placed in the cabin. Deliberately utilitarian, “flat” design of the front panel, uncomfortable door handles, floor gear lever.

FIAT-DUKATO, CITROEN-JUMPER - 4.0. The wide doorway, the box lever is on the front panel console and does not interfere with the passage through the cab. Nice interior, the steering wheel is low, almost on the lap of a highly seated driver, a small ceiling height. Bare metal on the doors, pedals close to the seat, archaic three-lever shift paddles, the door handle is very low. Above the cabin, from the cargo compartment, there is a large luggage rack.

RENO-MASTER - 5.0. A convenient footboard, a very large doorway, the widest cabin, four seat adjustments, a convenient platform for the left leg, the gear lever is located between the seats and almost does not interfere with the passage, a somewhat simplified interior, the steering wheel is located quite high. Above the cabin there is a capacious luggage niche with access from the cargo compartment.


If we climbed into the cabin, let’s estimate how much it would take to look at the world. We note immediately that only three cars had an internal rear-view mirror and, accordingly, windows in the internal partition and rear doors. They are also found in the rest, but, alas, not in our particular case, so we will ignore this parameter to equalize the chances. But the glazing line declining in front of the doors of the front-wheel drive will definitely be taken into account.

GAZelle - 4.0. Thin front struts, limited side-to-side down and through the right mirror.

FORD TRANSIT - 3.5. Everything would be nice, there are even additional spherical mirrors with luxurious viewing sectors, but everything spoils the small vertical viewing angle through the windshield, only 33 ° - you can’t see asphalt “under your feet” or a traffic light above your head.

MERCEDES-SPRINTER - 5.0. The only car without visibility flaws. Located at a five-meter height, a traffic light, not “bowing”, can be seen from 7 m - a record figure.

FIAT-DUKATO, CITROEN-JUMPER - 3.5. The main feature is the very high landing of the driver. Hence the best view down and the worst up. In addition, wide front struts and an impressive in size unobtainable area behind the car.

RENO-MASTER - 4, 5. The most even indicators without obvious advantages and disadvantages, additional spherical mirrors.


We figured out how the driver will feel. Now let's see what the loader will say.

GAZelle - 3.0. In an unexpectedly wide, but low body, you can’t straighten up, wide arches above the gable wheels, “bare” metal floor, large loading height, uncomfortable fixation of the rear doors.

FORD TRANSIT - 3.5. The most cramped body without any inside trim, a large loading height. It is only encouraging that there is a serial modification with a high roof, to which, for the sake of objectivity, we attributed our assessment.

MERCEDES-SPRINTER - 4.0. In terms of bodywork, the best of the rear-wheel drive: you can stand at full height, the rear doors swing open 180 and 270 ° with reliable fixation, the walls are closed with panels, and there is an “emery” coating on the floor. At the same time, the distance between the wheel arches is small and the floor level is quite high, although loading is facilitated by a wide footboard.

FIAT-DUKATO, CITROEN-JUMPER - 4.5. The huge distance between the arches, wide side door, bulky body, high ceiling, average loading height, bare metal floor.

RENO-MASTER - 4, 5. A record high body volume and the lowest, rubber-coated floor. The rear doors swing open at 180 and 270 °, but the walls are not protected by anything, and the wheel arches are quite voluminous.


By this term, we mean, on the one hand, maneuverability, and on the other, the ability to break through to the warehouse and from it through the obstacles encountered on any road, such as curbs, ditches, sewer manholes, significant and not very defects in the road surface, dirt, ice, snow, hurricanes (cross out unnecessary). To do this, we first climbed all the machines with a tape measure, and then forced them to slip to smoke on a slippery basalt surface, measuring traction depending on the load.

GAZelle - 5.0. It is wider than others, which is not very good in the flea market, however, it is the most maneuverable and has the best parameters for “geometric cross-country ability” - you can fearlessly “ride” it through any borders. In addition, she found excellent traction without a load and a record high with a load.

FORD TRANSIT - 2.5. The most compact, but clumsy, the front bumper hangs very low. Without load on a slippery surface, it will "sit" in any hole.

MERCEDES-SPRINTER - 4.0. Confident "good" with good maneuverability. The insufficient load on the drive axle is partly offset by a differential lock.

FIAT-DUKATO, CITROEN-JUMPER - 5.0. The largest ground clearance, high bumpers and, incidentally, the largest wheels. Excellent traction regardless of load.

RENO-MASTER - 3.5. In geometry, the obvious outsider with the dachshund habits is long and set very low. Slowness - reckoning for a large wheelbase and body capacity. Traction performance is one of the best.


Having skidded fairly, all the cars got out onto the dynamometer road and let's rush along it. And we began to measure and calculate this whole thing.

GAZelle - 3.0. Although the ancient “402nd” engine has almost diesel characteristics, it is still not a diesel engine, which should stand under the hood of a full truck. The most sluggish on the road, ineffective brakes. A good run-out is due to the relatively low roof and narrow, rigid tires.

FORD TRANSIT - 3.5. The most low-power and almost the most slow-moving - the only one could not move with the load to a 16 percent rise, but it slows down not bad.

MERCEDES-SPRINTER - 4.0. In terms of dynamic qualities, one of the leaders, without load, carries the load and the only one starts moving with it at a 30 percent rise. However, overheating and loss of brake efficiency in a series of brakes were alerted. As a result, the first test inhibition turned out to be absolutely the best, the second - absolutely the worst, and the final result - average. Perhaps this is an accident, but an “unknown pattern” is not ruled out.

FIAT-DUKATO - 4.0. Average values ​​in all exercises without bursts, but also without failures.

CITROEN-JUMPER - 4, 5. Very good performance. In dynamics - right behind the leader: boost does its job.

RENO-MASTER - 5.0. The leader is a powerful motor and excellent dynamics.


Our trucks not only drive, but also make noise in different ways. And the driver has to listen to this “concert” all day.

GAZelle - 3.0. The most “vociferous” - the faster, the louder.

FORD TRANSIT - 4.5. Quiet on the go, loud in the parking lot. Minimal effect of driving mode on noise level.

MERCEDES-SPRINTER - 5.0. The quietest, in almost all modes.

FIAT-DUKATO - 3.5. The quietest idling and noisy average diesel engine.

CITROEN-JUMPER - 4.0. According to the noise spectrum, the “runner" - with increasing speed, the noise increases very slightly.

RENO-MASTER - 4, 5. A quiet motor, aerodynamic noise appear only at high speeds, which is not so important for a delivery van.


Jokes aside, gentlemen, we are talking about your wallet, more precisely, the speed of its "weight loss". All the cars for several hours with load and without tedious and uninteresting “sawed” along the suburban and city cycles, exactly following the “legends”: 15 seconds “sucks”, acceleration to 30 km / h, braking to 10 km / h, again acceleration, rolling, braking and so on until the drivers frenzy.

GAZelle - 2.0. Easier to shoot than to feed.

FORD TRANSIT, FIAT-DUKATO - 4.0. Atmospheric pre-chamber diesels are not noticeable efficiency. But fuel is inexpensive.

MERCEDES-SPRINTER - 4.5. The motor is very perfect (boost, intercooler, direct injection), but you have to pay for the power with a slightly increased consumption.

CITROEN-JUMPER, RENO-MASTER - 5.0. The motors are as perfect as the Mercedes, but a little weaker, and the transmission is not so bulky and “eats” less fuel.


From time to time, the machine has to be serviced, and this requires, as you know, time and, again, money.

GAZelle - 4.0. The incredible (in comparison with rivals) low cost of spare parts is largely “eaten up” by the low mileage between maintenance, the inconvenient location of service points (oil dipstick, clutch reservoir) and the need to constantly eliminate some “ailments”.

FORD TRANSIT - 3.0. Expensive spare parts and service, with a little frost it is difficult to start, the battery is only “Zhiguli” placed, however, service points under the hood are easily reachable, and the network of service stations is wide.

MERCEDES-SPRINTER - 4.5. Quite expensive parts and service, but you will rarely have to visit it - the maintenance intervals are simply huge. The battery will even enter the tank.

FIAT-DUKATO - 3.5. A large mileage between maintenance, cheap service, but getting under the hood to the battery or to something else when you need to top up something is the whole problem.

CITROEN-JUMPER - 3.0. Turbo charge - shorter maintenance intervals and an even more uncomfortable maintenance compartment.

RENO-MASTER - 4.0. Expensive service, inexpensive parts, moderate maintenance intervals, convenient layout of the engine compartment, a huge battery shelf.


Exposing the absolute average score, we take into account the cost of cars, that is, how much the buyer pays for each point the machine scores.

"GAZelle" GAZ-2705 - 3.4; $ 1035 / point Extremely cheap car for a poor country. Manages to pay off before it crumbles.

FORD-TRANSIT FT190 2.5D - 3.5; $ 6, 571 / point Not cheap and not angry.

MERCEDES-SPRINTER 312D - 4.4; $ 8090 / point Roads like Stone Bridge, but just as solid.

FIAT-DUKATO Maxi 2.8D - 4.0; $ 5400 / point Good and relatively inexpensive.

"CITROEN-JUMPER 35L 2, 5TDi" - 4, 2; $ 4912 / point Pragmatist choice: very good working qualities for little money.

"Renault MASTER T35 2, 8TDi" - 4, 5; $ 6, 000 / point Maximum value at a reasonable price.

In conclusion, we note that the buyer often has its own specific requirements. For example, for someone who is going to carry a heavy, but compact cargo, a voluminous body is not needed, and someone who will ride only on asphalt can neglect cross-country ability. In these cases, try yourself to enter the weighting coefficients of one or another test “exercise”. Nervous, impulsive natures, in addition, can take into account the index of personal sympathy, which, like love, is evil …

The editors thank for the provided cars of the company "Alan", "Panavto", "Avtoevrogrupp", "ARM-Auto". Detailed information about the sale is in the section “Dealer Prices”.

GAZelle GAZ-2705

The Gazelle light truck family, with a gross weight of up to 3.5 tons, has been produced since 1994. Chassis, flatbed trucks, panel or all-metal (9 mz) vans are manufactured with single-row, three-seater or two-row, seven-seater cabs. There are dump trucks, four-wheel drive modification, buses for 8-12 people. The release of models with a high roof. The cars are equipped with 2.4 liter petrol engines (ZMZ-402, 90 and 100 liters. From.), 2.3 liters (ZMZ-406, 110 liters. From.) And 2.9 liters (UMP-4215.10, 105 liters. . with.), and by order and 2.1-liter turbodiesel (GAZ-560 under the license "Steyr", 95 hp.). The more compact Sable does not formally belong to the Gazelle family, but is largely unified with it and significantly expands the range.


Available since 1986, modernized in 1994. It is made in Great Britain, Belgium, Portugal, Poland, Turkey and Belarus. The “transit” family is offered in six load capacities FT80, FT100, FT120, FT150, FT190, FT230, with a gross weight of 2.3 to 4.0 tons, with low, medium and high (HD) roofs, 2835 and 3570 wheelbases ( L) mm, with one- or two-row cabins in chassis options, an on-board truck, a panel or all-metal (6.0–10.0 mz) van and even a truck tractor, as well as buses with 6–15 seats. Engines - four versions of a diesel engine of 2.5 liters (atmospheric - 70 or 76 liters. From., Supercharged - 85 or 100 liters. From.) And gasoline 2.0 liters (114 liters. From.), Gearboxes - five-speed mechanical, and for a diesel engine of 85 liters. with. A four-speed automatic is also provided.


Appeared in 1995 and then won the title "Van of the Year". Available with standard and high roofs, wheelbases of 3000, 3550 and 4025 mm, gross weight of 2.6; 2.8; 3.6; 4.6 tons, with one- and two-row cabins in the chassis options, an onboard truck, a panel or all-metal (7.0–13.4 mz) van. The passenger capacity of the bus is up to 19 people. Engines - diesel 2.3 liters (79 hp), 2.9 liters (turbocharged, 102 or 122 hp) and gasoline 2.3 liters (143 hp); gearbox - a five-speed manual or optional four-step "automatic". There is an electric car, a modification with gas equipment and all-wheel drive for heavy traffic conditions. Similar to the Sprinter, the Volkswagen LT model differs only in the design of the front.


Structurally similar to the Citroën-Jumper and Peugeot Boxer models, forming with them the same family that won the title of 1994 Wagon. It has been produced since 1993 at the SEVEL factory in Italy with low, standard and high roofs, wheelbases of 2850, 3200, 3700 mm, with a gross weight of 2.8; 3.2; 3.5 t (“10”, “14”, “Maxi”), with one- and two-row cabs in the chassis options, a flatbed truck - panel or all-metal (7.5–12.0 mz) van, as well as a bus with a capacity of up to 15 people. Engines - atmospheric or turbocharged diesel 1.9 l (69 or 90 hp), 2.8 liter (87 or 115 and 122 hp), as well as gasoline 2.0 liter (109 hp) . Along with the standard front-wheel drive, there is an all-wheel drive modification.


Front-wheel drive "Van of 1994". It is produced in Italy with low, medium and high roofs (“standard”, H, S), wheelbases of 2850, 3200 and 3700 mm (C, L, M), with a gross weight of 2.7; 3.1; 3.5 t (“27”, “31”, “35”). Executions - a chassis (including without a cab), an on-board truck, a panel or all-metal (7.5–12.0 mz) van with one- and two-row cabins. The passenger capacity of the bus is up to 15 people. Engines - atmospheric or turbocharged diesel engines of 1.9 liters (69 or 92 liters. From.), 2.4 liters (86 or 107 liters. From.) And gasoline 2.3 liters (143 liters. From.). It is produced at the SEVEL factory, where the Peugeot-Boxer and FIAT-Ducato of the same type are also made.