Ford Fiesta Van review

Category: Car-based van

One of just two car-based commercial vehicles, the Fiesta Van stands out for being terrific to drive and having a high-quality interior. However, buyers should weigh up whether its load space and payload are sufficient

Ford Fiesta Van side
  • Ford Fiesta Van side
  • Ford Fiesta Van on street
  • Ford Fiesta Van interior with screen
  • Ford Fiesta Van boot open load space
  • Ford Fiesta Van boot opening
  • Ford Fiesta Van side
  • Ford Fiesta Van on street
  • Ford Fiesta Van interior with screen
  • Ford Fiesta Van boot open load space
  • Ford Fiesta Van boot opening
What Car?’s Fiesta Van deals


What Car? says...

The Ford Fiesta is the UK’s undisputed best-selling car, but in small van form its star has waned in recent years.  Once a staple of the telecoms industry, the boiler repair man and the local florist, the Ford Fiesta Van was usurped by larger rivals to the point that, in 2018, it very nearly petered out of existence.

Ironically, Ford’s own Transit Courier is probably the Fiesta Van’s biggest problem, as it is a far more accomplished commercial vehicle, with better loadspace and payload capacities. The Fiesta, in contrast, is really a glorified car-without-seats.

However, no sooner had Ford declared it was going to end production of the Fiesta Van than Vauxhall did the same, with the Corsavan. Suddenly, with the market open to itself, Ford did a U-turn and launched a new model in 2018. Today, the Transit Courier and Renault Zoe Van are its only real rivals.

Available as the Fiesta Van or the Fiesta Sport Van, the line-up is a binary choice, and made even more straightforward because 90% of buyers opt to disregard the regular Fiesta Van and choose the Sport, primarily for its ST-Line body kit looks and grippy sports seats.

Power comes from a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, with the older 1.5-litre Duratorq petrol engine having now been dropped. The 1.0-litre  is another variant of the excellent three-cylinder EcoBoost engine found in the car line-up, and more recently has been joined by a mHEV model.

This mild-hybrid model adds a low capacity battery to the powertrain to improve economy by shutting down the engine sooner and firing it back to life quicker when you stop. However, don’t expect huge economy gains: think of it as an advanced stop-start system rather than a juicy burst of electricity.

Regular models are available with either a 94bhp output or 123bhp option, while the mHEV version is only available with 123bhp.

The Fiesta Van can transport up to 1m3 in its rear loadspace and has a payload capacity of 515kg.

Read more: How we test vans


There’s lots to recommend about the Ford Fiesta Van and Ford Fiesta Sport Van. They offer comfort, a great driving experience and a high-quality interior with loads of goodies as standard. There’s one obvious drawback, though, and that’s that it is only half the van the Transit Courier is. If you need a hatchback van to carry around a few small lightweight items, then the Fiesta Van should be your choice. But if you need a small van which can be more flexible then look to the larger Courier.

  • Excellent interior
  • Fun to drive
  • Great fuel economy
  • Not a real van
  • Short on cabin storage
  • Few engine or trim options

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

There’s no doubting that the turbocharged 1.0-litre engine in the Fiesta is a great little motor for a car, but the needs of a commercial vehicle are different. For that reason the Fiesta Van is poorer without the diesel engine option, as the higher torque and less rev-hungry engine made moving the fully laden Fiesta easier, quieter and more economical.

In contrast, the peppy little petrol requires a great deal more use of the accelerator and you find yourself in the upper reaches of the rev-range more frequently just to keep the the power and torque in their sweet spot. Of the two power options, the more powerful 123bhp unit would be our recommendation, as the 94bhp van feels a little underwhelming. The new mHEV model makes little noticeable difference to the overall performance, but does shave 7g/km of CO2 from the 99g/km emissions of the regular 123bhp van.

Ford Fiesta Van image
Skip the showroom and find out more online

The need to keep the little three-cylinder engine running fast does add to a sense of fun behind the wheel, though; bad news for the fuel consumption, but great for your entertainment and boosted by the fact that the Fiesta is one of the finest riding and handling vans available, thanks in large part to its road car roots.

The steering is nimble and perfectly balanced, while the ride is the perfectly balanced between being firm enough to control the body under load but soft enough to remain on the right side of comfortable. However, be aware that the Sport Van gets upgraded suspension, which can feel a touch bouncy if it is unladen. 

Ford Fiesta Van on street


The interior layout, fit and finish

There’s not much to choose from when it comes to how you’d like for Fiesta Van The basic van gets a modest list of standard equipment, including automatic headlights, electric windows, electric heated mirrors and manual air-conditioning. An eight-inch touchscreen, which provides the infotainment via Ford’s SYNC 3 system, is now standard too, and includes DAB radio, Bluetooth and satellite-navigation.

The majority of upgrades for the Fiesta Sport Van trim are cosmetic and applied to the exterior. These include body kits for the front and rear bumpers as well as side skirts and a chrome exhaust tip, plus 17in alloys and LED headlights. On the inside the Sport also gets a smattering of more attractive details,  including a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel, sport seats, sport pedals and an aluminium gear knob. There’s also keyless start and an alarm system.

However, neither trim gets Android Auto or Apple CarPlay included, with these joined on the options list by heated seats and steering wheel, parking sensors and a reversing camera.

The Fiesta Van is a comfortable car to both drive and be a passenger in, with an interior that feels spacious considering its relative size. Storage is limited, but you’ll find that plenty of items end up in the two central cupholders in the transmission tunnel area and in the storage area ahead of the gear stick. It’s not immensely practical, but it is of a higher quality than you will find in other commercial vehicles thanks to its car roots.

Ford Fiesta Van interior with screen

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Once upon a time the Fiesta was a very small car, but at just over 4m in length it’s no longer the petite little hatchback it once was. Total length is 4065mm, a good proportion of which is forward of the windscreen pillar, for crash protection reasons.

The interior is large but not overly generous and the rear loadspace is best described as modest. The length in the rear is 1283mm, with 1281mm at the widest part making it almost a perfect square. Maximum height is 923mm.

This all sounds fairly generous, however, it’s worth remembering that the boot hatch is considerably smaller than the space inside, with an opening height of just 613mm and opening width of 948mm. There’s also just 984mm between the wheel arches. That means the Fiesta Van is capable of taking a total load volume of just 0.96m3.

If that sounds small, it is worth noting that it is considerably better than the Renault Zoe, which manages just half the volume and a 387kg payload. For comparison, the Ford Transit Courier has a payload allowance of 660kg and a maximum load volume of 2.3m3. 

The Fiesta Van’s rear is separated from the cabin by a half-height bulkhead with upper mesh section and there are four load lashing points.

Ford Fiesta Van boot open load space

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The Fiesta Van is exceptionally economical. Official figures under the WLTP test regime rate the 123bhp engine a good for 54.3mpg, while both the 94bhp and mHEV variants return 55.4mpg.

When it comes to safety, the Fiesta Van was the first vehicle in its class to get an active braking system to prevent low speed collisions. Ford’s Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection emergency braking system also improve the active safety measures, while Adaptive Cruise Control, a speed limiter function, and a Blind Spot Information System are joined by Traffic Sign Recognition. There’s also Active Park Assist - an impressive self-parking function - and Cross Traffic Alert to warn of oncoming vehicles as you back out of a space.

While there’s few choices to be made, our advice would be to go for the 123bhp Fiesta Sport Van; the mHEV unit bumps the price up by more than £1000 with little in the way of a return on fuel economy – just 1.1mpg officially, to be precise.

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About the author

George Barrow is one of the leading van and truck reviewers, and is the UK’s only representative on the prestigious International Van of the Year jury. He has written about vans and commercial vehicles for the past 15 years, and can be found in titles including The Sun and What Van?, alongside What Car?.

Barrow is well regarded in the commercial vehicle industry, securing access to the latest models – and the people who made them – long before other titles.

Ford Fiesta Van boot opening