In association with Vansdirect
Van of the Year 2021: Medium Van - Best to Drive
The Ford Transit Custom isn't just enjoyable to drive, it also makes you feel confident and comfortable whatever type of road you are tackling...
WINNER: Medium Van - Best to Drive
Ford Transit Custom
Priced from £18,190 MPG 32.1-91.7mpg CO2 emissions 70-176g/km Load space 5.7-8.3m3 Payload 686-1460kg Power 103-183bhp Torque 228-306lb ft
It scarcely matters whether it is bedecked in the bold ‘go-faster’ stripes of the Sportvan variant or is wearing the green leaf of an Econetic badge; the Ford Transit Custom delivers a rousing drive whichever version you’re in.
That’s thanks to its direct steering and strong body control, plus a range of engines that all deliver; whether you’re using all of the 182bhp of the fastest model or the 53.3mpg fuel economy of the most efficient one, the Transit Custom rewards you with strong, smooth progress. In fact, so competent are the new 2.0-litre engines that they have elevated the Transit Custom to not just the best medium-sized van to drive but quite possibly the best van of any kind.
There are trade-offs to this handling prowess, but they are minor: while the steering is as accurate as a hatchback’s, the ride is firm, but not ferocious.
All of this is perfectly complemented by the environment in which you sit. Ford, and the Transit Custom in particular, has evolved an interior design that gives you both comfort and practicality. There’s excellent, ergonomic seating, quality materials and a multitude of places to put your things. Crucial details elevate the interior above those of rivals and make the driving experience all the more pleasurable whether you’re zipping between jobs in a city or on a country road or piling on the miles on a motorway.
Yes, the quartet of the Citroën Dispatch, Peugeot Expert, Toyota Proace and Vauxhall Vivaro push it close for comfort, while the Transporter has always been an enjoyable van to drive, but the Transit Custom offers the best all-round solution.
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here