VW vans are great, T4, T5, Caddy. Got a T4 myself and love it, but you pay a premium for them though.
Ford / Fiat vans are cheaper, but not such a good reputation.
People say good things about the Vauxhall Vivaro and the Renault and Nissan versions.
If you do go down the Van route you will pay a premium to insure it as a van, unless it's a camper. Also you will be restricted on speed limits on dual carriageway and national speed limits.
Probably cheaper to get an estate car, Passat / Octavia.
What about an MPV, something like a VW Sharan?