Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Ford Transit Custom: 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 Custom: Test Drive Review

Date: 22 October 2012   |   Author: James Dallas

Category: Medium van
Price: £21,245
Key rival: Volkswagen Transporter

By describing the levels of quality bestowed upon its new Transit Custom as 'car-like', Ford is drawing attention to the new generation of the medium-sized van having bags of style and sophistication to go with the functionality and practicality.

The Custom is the new medium-sized?Transit, with a new, differently-styled 2t version following later. We drove the single cab, short-wheelbase FT270 Limited with 125hp, which is likely to be the best-selling version of the 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi engine used across the range. The drivetrain is also available with power outputs of 100hp and 155hp. All Transit Customs and Custom Torneos (the passenger version) are front-wheel drive and have a six-speed manual transmission.

In the cab, the uplift in quality is immediately apparent. The black and grey plastics blend in with the seats and are of high quality. The controls are indeed reminiscent of a car but the surprise is that they would not be out of place in one at the prestige end of the market. Other features include a centre seat back that folds down to form a table replete with cup and pen holders and capable of supporting a laptop, while in front of the bulkhead and beneath the dual passenger seat is a concealed stowage area that can hold larger items such as toolboxes. The space is accessed by flipping forward the seat cushion, or through a load-through hatch in the bulkhead.

Electrically adjustable wing mirrors with a wide-angle section provide a good rear view, which is aided by the provision of an optional window in the full metal bulkhead behind the cabin. A panoramic, steeply raked windscreen, together with an upright driving position affords excellent vision to the front.

The 125hp engine and six-speed manual is smooth, crisp and responsive. With a half-load of 425kg on board - payload is disappointing versus rivals - the ride quality is of a high standard and interior noise levels are very well suppressed. There is ample power to attempt sensible overtaking manoeuvres with confidence, although this may not be the case with the 100hp version.

The Custom handles well around town, on motorways and on winding country roads where it resists wallowing and negotiates corners with a commendable lack of fuss.

A discreet green arrow on the instrument panel lets you know when to change gear to minimise fuel consumption, and the van is fitted with auto stop/start as standard. This can be switched on and off with an 'eco' button on the dashboard. Other features include cruise control and a speed limiter as well as front and rear parking sensors. The van we tested was fitted with the sophisticated ICE infotainment system and satnav that Ford also uses in the Focus and Fiesta.

Ford claims the Transit Custom offers the lowest running costs in the medium van sector with longest-in-class service intervals of two years/30,000 miles and a 12-year anti-perforation warranty designed to minimise the overall cost of ownership.

With official combined cycle fuel consumption of 42.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 178g/km forecast for the UK model, Ford calculates an environmental improvement of up to 8% compared to the current model.

Other notable standard kit taken from the car range include the standard Sync voice-activated system, which enables mobile phones and music players to be connected and operated by spoken instructions, plus Lane Keeping Alert and Auto High Beam.

In successfully combining style - the Custom is far sportier in appearance than previous Transits - and functionality The Transit Custom has raised the bar in the medium van sector.

Ford Transit Custom SWB FT270 Limited
Price (ex VAT)£21,245
Price range (ex VAT)£17,495-£25,245
Insurance grouptba
Warranty 3yrs/100,000mls
Service intervals30,000mls
Load length2555mm
Load width (min/max)1390mm/1775mm
Load bay height1406mm
Gross payload871kg
Load volume6.0m3
Engine size/power2.2-litre/125hp
On sale November 2012
Combined fuel economy42.2mpg
CO2 78g/km
VerdictThe Transit Custom
successfully marries
style and functionality


The Transit Custom successfully marries style and functionality