When recession strikes the murder rate falls, but theft rises steeply say criminologists. That’s why it is even more vital than it has been in the past for operators to ensure that their vans are protected against criminals.
While there are lots of aftermarket protects available that will help you raise your defences and plenty of common sense steps you can take to make your vehicle a harder target, it helps if your pride and joy has a good basic level of security built into it to begin with. Ford’s Transit does and that’s the reason why it has scooped What Van?’s panel van Security Award of the Year once again.
While much of the talk about security understandably centres on immobilisers and alarms, good-quality locks matter too. Transit features shielded door locks with strengthened mountings and a lock-in-latch arrangement. This clever set-up means that are no rods and cables linking the latches and locks, which means that the thief has nothing to manipulate. Deadlocks are a key feature of the remote central double-locking system. If the doors haven’t been shut and locked properly an alert sounds and they are all locked automatically when you drive away.
If you want to open the bonnet you have to have the ignition key to hand. It’s a praiseworthy anti-theft measure and it’s surprising that other light commercial manufacturers haven’t adopted it.
Configurable unlocking is a useful option and well worth considering. It allows the driver to choose which doors to unlock, and in which order, when selected buttons are pressed on the remote key fob.
Still with locks, Transit is fitted with what Ford refers to as a ‘torque slip’ anti-theft steering wheel. Wrench it with all the force you can muster in order to break the steering column lock and all you’ll do is render the wheel completely useless.
All Transits come with a Ford Safeguard Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS) engine immobiliser certified to Thatcham Category 2. Thatcham is shorthand for the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre which happens to be based in the Berkshire town of the same name.
Unglazed rear doors and a full-height steel bulkhead allow Transit owners to enjoy a reasonably secure cargo area. VIN-protected audio units, a visible Vehicle Identification Number and a lockable fuel filler point are all provided too. It’s also worth noting that a Thatcham Category 1 alarm is available. It includes an interior scanner and its own battery back-up should a criminal try to disconnect the vehicle’s own battery.
Ford’s Transit Connect boasts many of the security features of the classic Transit; a key reason why it has driven off with our light van Security Award of the Year.
Its defences include shielded door locks with strengthened mountings and the lock-in-latch system employed by its bigger stablemate. Ford’s Safeguard Passive Anti-Theft System immobiliser is fitted too in an anti-theft package that also includes a bonnet release operated by the ignition key, central/double locking, a visible Vehicle Identification Number and a locking fuel cap.
Remote keyless entry with rolling codes is fitted to almost all models and the options list includes a choice of bulkheads and a perimeter alarm.