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Livery and Shuttle Vehicles

The 2021 GMC Yukon XL Denali. PHOTO General Motors

When you’ve got people to move, look at these choices.

Livery and shuttle services need vehicles designed specifically to move a lot of people in spacious comfort.

We’ve rounded up a list of commercial vans in the segment, along with some mainstream and luxury three-row SUVs popular with fleets.

In line with consumer models, many commercial vehicles are adding high-tech driver-assist and safety features, such as adaptive cruise control, emergency front braking, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring.

Connectivity has also become a key differentiator for automakers. Passengers will appreciate a generous number of phone charging ports. And while an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot will require a subscription, it could be good business sense to advertise it if it’s available in your fleet vehicles.

Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban/GMC Yukon and Yukon XL

These are all-new for 2021, including a new interior, improved available 4WD system, and available four-corner air suspension.

The makeover gives the Tahoe and Yukon more third-row legroom and extra cargo volume over the 2020 model. The longer Suburban and Yukon XL have similar passenger space but more cargo room.

Three engines are available including a diesel, while the gasoline engines feature fuel-saving cylinder deactivation technology.

These are all-new for 2021, including a new interior, improved available 4WD system, and available four-corner air suspension. PHOTO General Motors

The Specs:
  • 5.3-litre V8 (355 hp, 383 lb-ft torque)
  • 6.2-litre V8 (420 hp, 460 lb-ft torque) /
  • 3.0-litre I6 turbodiesel (277 hp, 460 lb-ft torque)
  • Maximum occupants: 9
Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV

Based on the Tahoe/Suburban, the Escalade and longer Escalade ESV are all-new for 2021, including more space for third-row passengers and luggage in the regular-length model.

The two available engines are gas and diesel, and AWD is standard. New technologies include a curved organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen for the instrument cluster, infotainment screen, and control panel. A 36-speaker sound system and 12.6-inch rear entertainment screens are available.

The 2021 Escalade diesel is the perfect combination of luxury, efficiency and capability with 460 pound-feet of torque. PHOTO General Motors

The Specs:
  • 6.2-litre V8 (420 hp, 460 lb-ft torque)
  • 3.0-litre I6 turbodiesel (277 hp, 460 lb-ft torque)
  • Maximum occupants: 8
Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana

Both the Express and Savana come in 2500 configurations in regular wheelbase, and 3500 in regular and extended wheelbase. The Express is also available as a cutaway for a custom body; it comes in three wheelbase lengths in 3500 configurations, and two in 4500.

All use a V6 or V8, and van models further add a four-cylinder turbodiesel. Standard or available features on the vans include 12- or 15-passenger seating, rear-passenger air conditioning, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

Both the Express and Savana come in 2500 configurations in regular wheelbase, and 3500 in regular and extended wheelbase. PHOTO General Motors

The Specs:
  • 4.3-litre V6 (276 hp, 298 lb-ft torque)
  • 6.6-litre V8 (401 hp, 464 lb-ft torque)
  • 2.8-litre I4 turbodiesel (181 hp, 369 lb-ft torque)
  • Maximum occupants: 15
Ford Expedition

Ford’s largest sport utility is unchanged for 2021, except for minor tweaks to features availability.

It comes as the Expedition or long-wheelbase Expedition Max. Both have the same legroom in all three rows of seats, but the Expedition Max has more cargo volume behind the third row.

All trim levels use a turbocharged V6 engine (which Ford calls EcoBoost) with a ten-speed automatic transmission, and all are four-wheel drive. Standard features include automatic tri-zone climate control with the rear auxiliary unit, 4G Wi-Fi modem, power-folding third-row seats, emergency front braking, and blind-spot monitoring.

All trim levels use a turbocharged V6 engine (which Ford calls EcoBoost) with a ten-speed automatic transmission, and all are four-wheel drive. PHOTO Ford Motor Company

The Specs:
  • 3.5-litre turbocharged V6 (375 hp, 470 lb-ft torque)
  • Maximum occupants: 8
Lincoln Navigator

Based on the Ford Expedition, the Navigator uses a more powerful version of its turbocharged V6 engine, and 4×4 is standard. It comes as the Navigator Reserve, or as the long-wheelbase Reserve L, both with the same passenger space but with more cargo capacity on the longer version.

Standard features include power running boards, first- and second-row illuminated belt buckles, panoramic sunroof, power-adjustable pedals, a hands-free power liftgate, head-up display, navigation, and power-folding second-and third-row seats.

Based on the Ford Expedition, the Navigator uses a more powerful version of its turbocharged V6 engine, and 4×4 is standard. PHOTO Ford Motor Company

The Specs:
  • 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 (450 hp, 510 lb-ft torque)
  • Maximum occupants: 8
Ford E-Series

The E-Series (Econoline) van was discontinued after the Transit moved in, but it’s still available as a cutaway (and as a stripped chassis) for adding a custom body such as a shuttle bus.

For 2021, new options include flex-fuel capability, a speed limiter, and a backup alarm.

The cutaway is available as the E-350 with single or dual rear wheels, and E-450 with dual rear wheels. All use a 7.3-litre V8, either as a “premium” engine (in name only; it takes regular-grade fuel) or a lower-powered “economy” version. Standard features include front air conditioning, fleet telematics modem, Bluetooth-capable stereo, and 16-inch wheels.

The 2021 E-Series Bus, new options include flex-fuel capability, a speed limiter, and a backup alarm. PHOTO Ford Motor Company

The Specs:
  • 7.3-litre V8 Premium (350 hp, 468 lb-ft torque)
  • 7.3-litre V8 Economy (300 hp, 425 lb-ft torque)
Ford Transit

The Transit moves unchanged into 2021, other than minor tweaks to its features and options list. It comes with a choice of naturally aspirated or turbocharged V6 engines. Configurations are a low or medium roof in regular or long-wheelbase; and a high roof in the long or extended body.

All-wheel drive can be added to all vans. Cutaway and cab-chassis versions are also available.
Standard or optional safety features include blind-spot monitoring, emergency front braking, lane-keeping assist, and active parking assist.

New features for the best-selling Ford Transit family include an available all-wheel drive for improved traction; new 10-speed automatic transmission; available power-sliding doors and the all-new crew cab model. PHOTO Ford Motor Company

The Specs:
  • 3.5-litre V6 (275 hp, 262 lb-ft torque)
  • 3.5-litre turbocharged V6 (310 hp, 400 lb-ft torque)
  • Maximum occupants: 15
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

For 2021, the Sprinter brings back its four-cylinder diesel engine, alongside its V6 diesel. The passenger van comes in 2500 configuration, with a high roof and with a 144- or 170-inch wheelbase.

The shorter-wheelbase model can be optioned with a four-wheel drive. A cab chassis is also available for a custom body.

Standard features include fabric seats and a quick-locking seat-rail system; options include automatic climate control, a power sliding door, and a 360-degree camera.

The passenger van comes in a single 126-inch wheelbase length and with a turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine. PHOTO Daimler AG

The Specs:
  • 2.0-litre I4 turbodiesel (161 hp, 266 lb-ft torque)
  • 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel (188 hp, 325 lb-ft torque)
  • Maximum occupants: 15
Mercedes-Benz Metris

The Metris is the only midsize commercial van on the market. For 2021, it gets refreshed styling, enhanced driver assistance systems including active brake assist and adaptive cruise control, and a new nine-speed automatic transmission.

The passenger van comes in a single 126-inch wheelbase length and with a turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine.

Available options include a power sliding door, blind-spot monitoring, backup alarm, navigation, and high-performance air conditioning.

For 2021, the Sprinter brings back its four-cylinder diesel engine, alongside its V6 diesel. PHOTO Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

The Specs:
  • 2.0-litre turbocharged I4 (208 hp, 258 lb-ft torque)
  • Maximum occupants: 8

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