Ford has revealed the first facelift of its Transit Custom, which will go on sale at the start of next year, with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) derivative to follow in 2019.

The manufacturer has introduced a new Econetic variant of it’s Dagenham-built Ecoblue 2.0-litre diesel engine to the short-wheelbase 105hp drivetrain, which emits an official 148g/km CO2 and achieves 49.6mpg – a 6% improvement on the most efficient model in the current line-up.

The front-end now sports a new three-bar grille and a revamped cabin gets SYNC 3 or MyFord Dock connectivity options. Ford claimed the addition of its Intelligent Speed Limiter breaks new ground in the LCV sector and allows automatic adjustment of maximum speed to remain within legal limits via the Traffic Sign Recognition system.

“Transit Custom has been a runaway success since it was introduced, and this new version raises the game once more,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe.

Ford launched the Transit Custom in 2012 and the well-received model quickly became the UK’s most popular van, with more than 50,000 units sold last year. It became the first van to be crowned What Van?’s LCV of the Year for two consecutive years – 2013 and 2014.

The facelifted Custom continues to come in two roof heights, two wheelbases, with gross vehicle weights ranging from 2.6 to 3.4-tonnes and with payloads up to 1,450kg. Bodystyles comprise panel van, kombi and double-cab-in-van.

Ford said top of the range models would feature new signature LED daytime running lights and HID Xenon headlamps.

Inside a new instrument panel is based on that of the latest Fiesta passenger car, the brand said. It claimed the instrument panel offers 25 litres of storage, including three open bins on its upper surface with space for clipboards or mobile devices, and glove box stowage capable of storing A4 files in the lower closed compartment.

A foldout cup holder beneath the gear lever has been added to the cup holders and two-litre bottle holders at each end of the instrument panel. The door panels house three stowage spaces and a new grab handle has been integrated into the door trim.

Ford has also introduced to the Custom its Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert, which warns drivers reversing out of a parking space of vehicles about to cross behind them.