Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Ford Transit Euro5: Test Drive Review
Cookies on Businesscar

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Business Car website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookies at any time

BusinessCar magazine website email Awards mobile

The start point for the best source of fleet information

Ford Transit Euro5: Test Drive Review

Date: 03 October 2011   |   Author:

Category: Medium van
Price (excl VAT): £19,045
Key rival: VW?Transporter

On the surface the only changes seem to be a silver grille and the engine power appearing on a blue rather than red badge on the back - but don't be fooled, the new Transit is much more than it seems.

Which is probably just as well because the price of the UK's dominant van is going up by around £800 as Ford meets the European Commission's more stringent emissions regulations coming into force for LCVs at the end of 2011.

The need to fit expensive particulate filters and other tweaks designed to bring down NOx and other local air pollutants explain the rise, but Ford has taken the opportunity to instigate a number of changes to make inroads into a vehicle operator's costs.

The new, more efficient, Duratorq 2.2 TDCi diesel replaces the previous 2.2 and 2.4 diesels, and comes in 100, 125 and 140hp iterations for both front- and rear-wheel drive, and also in 155hp for the rear-driven alternative.

As well as increased service intervals, up from 15,000 to 20,000 miles, Ford is increasing its focus on reducing fuel economy with not one but two models under the low-emissions Econetic badging.

At the recent launch event for the Euro5 diesels we sampled the SWB Econetic model. Following on from the first, pre-Euro5 Transit Econetic, the Euro5 range has a short-wheelbase 280 optimised for efficiency. Claimed to be 8.5% more efficient than the previous Econetic, that already claimed an 11% gain on the standard model, Ford is now quoting 178g/km - dropping to 173g/km with the optional 62mph speed limiter - and an official fuel consumption figure of 43.5mpg.

Before we're even out of the car park it's obvious that Ford has made a big step forward regarding refinement. The complete annihilation of diesel clatter is impressive, thanks in part to increased noise suppression, as well as a series of small developments including a lowered compression ratio that allows increased power, greater efficiency and reduced noise. It's also evident on the move, primarily at cruising speed, although engine noise is still prevalent under acceleration.

The new gearbox - six-speeds is now standard for all Transits - provides the car-like shift Ford promises, while the efficiency boost of taller top-end gears is noticeable without being a hindrance at higher speed. The Econetic features the 70mph speed limiter that gently kicks into action almost unnoticeably when you reach the motorway speed limit, while the Eco Pack - stop/start system and speed limiter - fitted as standard to the Econetic models, will be an option across the rest of the Transit range.

The external changes of silver grille and blue badge rather than red are designed to give the Euro5 Transit a residual value boost by making the new more efficient vehicles easily identified as used models a couple of years from now. The other indicator for UK vehicles, while not on the early-build models available to test, will be daytime running lights. Options added for 2012 include hill launch assist, a rear parking camera and an audio upgrade featuring DAB digital radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

The Econetic 280 SWB is the peak of Ford's across-the-board efficiency improvements for the Euro5 Transit, making the vehicle a more sensible ownership proposition than ever before. The refinement improvement and reduced fuel costs will appeal to driver and owner respectively, and represent a successful revision for Ford. Just remember how much fuel you're saving when you take in the average £800 price rise for the new model.

Ford?Transit FT280 SWB Econetic EuroV
Price (ex VAT)£19,045
Price range (ex VAT)£17,405-£30,370
Insurance groupgroup 5
Warranty3yrs/100,000 mls
Service intervals1yr/20,000mls
Load length2582mm
Load width (min/max)1390mm/1762mm
Load bay height1430mm
Gross payload1097kg
Load volume6.5cu/m
Engine size/power2198cc/100hp
On saleSeptember 2011
Combined fuel
VerdictThe king of the
LCV market is
better than ever


The king of the LCV market is better than ever