Ford Transit Nugget review

Category: Camper van

Section: Performance & drive

Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 rear cornering
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 front left cornering
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 rear cornering
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 interior dashboard
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 interior rear seats
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 interior infotainment
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 right tracking
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 left static rear door open
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 interior front seats
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 interior bed
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 interior under-seat storage
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 interior kitchen
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 rear door open
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 front left cornering
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 rear cornering
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 interior dashboard
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 interior rear seats
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 interior infotainment
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 right tracking
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 left static rear door open
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 interior front seats
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 interior bed
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 interior under-seat storage
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 interior kitchen
  • Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 rear door open
What Car?’s Transit Nugget deals

Performance & drive

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

All Ford Transit Custom Nuggets are powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine, but there’s a choice of two power outputs. Opening the range is the EcoBlue 130 with 128bhp, which is only available with a six-speed manual gearbox that proves pleasant in use. Ford doesn’t provide a 0-62mph time, but let’s just say you’ll be changing down from sixth to fifth to get up particularly steep hills on the motorway.

If you’re the kind of camper who's always mindful of the crockery in the cupboards, we’d say the entry-level engine is sufficient. If you’ve replaced your china with plastic to avoid breakages when cornering, the EcoBlue 185 offers more than ample performance for spirited driving (as far as mobile homes go).

The optional six-speed automatic gearbox shifts smoothly, if slowly, and is rather hesitant in its responses. It’s less jerky than the California’s 'box, but the Marco Polo has the most silken and responsive automatic in this class.

The Nugget is softer sprung than the stiff California, but still twangs over particularly nasty ruts and bumps, and fidgets over even smooth-looking surfaces. Undulating roads highlight rather loose body control that is liable to make weak-stomached passengers feel rather queasy. We’d point you towards the Marco Polo as the best for comfort while retaining reasonable controls.

Well-weighted and precise steering helps make it easy to guide the Nugget around bends, although there’s far more lean than its nearest rivals, and it feels more raggedy when pushed than both. If tidy handling is important to you, you need a California.

The Nugget’s diesel engines sound a little coarse when worked hard (although not quite as rowdy as a California’s) but are quiet at a cruise. That hush highlights a bit of wind whistle around the big mirrors and over the roof, as well as some road roar from the tyres, but you’ll experience similar in the California. The Marco Polo is the best of the three for peace and quiet.

Ford Transit Custom Nugget 2021 rear cornering