Van and Commercial Vehicle Awards 2024: Best Medium Van
The Ford Transit Custom has been a staple of UK van sales charts for years, and this new version should continue that success – it's great to drive, practical and offers drivers lots of choice...
Ford Transit Custom
Priced from £32,350 (Excl. VAT) Fuel economy 34mpg CO2 emissions 178g/km Load space 5.8-6-8.3m3 Payload 1100-1350kg Power 108-167bhp Torque 228-286lb ft
Musicians often struggle with their ‘difficult second album’, but that has been no such problem with the new second-generation Ford Transit Custom, which we consider to be a real smash hit. And when the previous incarnation was already the UK’s best-selling van, it seems likely that the new Transit Custom will top the charts once again.
And so it should, such is its depth of talent in each and every area, the most important of which is, of course, its ability to carry cargo. Now, rival van manufacturers will probably point out that the latest Custom actually has less load capacity than its predecessor, with loadspace in the short-wheelbase L1 version dropping from 6.0m3 to 5.8m3, while the long-wheelbase L2 van remains the same at 6.8m3.
What those rival manufacturers won’t tell you, though, is that these figures are still as good – or better – than those quoted for their own offerings, and thanks to some clever design touches, the cargo compartment is now more usable than ever. These include a lower load floor, a built-in side step, and the largest side door opening in the class.
There’s an impressive amount of space and storage up front, too, and the dashboard-mounted gearlever and parking brake result in a flat floor and increased knee space for whoever finds themselves in the middle seat, making life considerably more comfortable.
Where the passenger compartment really impresses, though, is in how civilised it feels. A swish-looking 13.0in infotainment screen is standard across the range, along with an 8.0in digital driver’s display and Amazon Alexa voice control, while the impressive materials and modern design give the interior a pleasantly upmarket feel.
Of course, Ford vans are renowned for how good they are to drive, and the latest Transit Custom will do that reputation no harm whatsoever. New independent rear suspension helps provide an even more settled ride, making it the comfiest option in the clas, while the steering feels lighter, quicker and more precise than before.
Exterior noises are also well isolated, and while a six-speed manual gearbox is standard, an optional eight-speed automatic improves refinement further still. The 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine – available in four outputs ranging from 108bhp to 168bhp – delivers fuel efficiency gains of up to 6% compared with the previous model, while plug-in hybrid and fully electric versions will also be available in the near future.
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