When it broke cover in the third quarter of 2012, it was apparent the Ford Transit Custom was destined to raise the bar in the medium van sector.

By badging its one-tonne Transit the Custom, Ford signaled its intention to make a clear distinction between the mid-sized and large vans that dominate the UK market.

The Custom brings unprecedented style to the segment and offers a refined, engaging driving experience.

It boasts a class-leading, “car-like”, interior with quality and equipment unmatched in the CV sector and introduces practical innovations such as a retractable roof rack and a load through hatch in the bulkhead to enable the van to carry long pipes and ladders.

Powered by a 2.2-litre diesel engine with power outputs of 100, 125 and 155hp, Ford claims the 100hp Econetic version will deliver best-in-class efficiency and early reports indicate the Transit Custom’s residual values will lead the field too.

Predictably, the Custom also scooped the top prize in the Medium Van category and Ford also collected the top gong in the pick-up sector for its sophisticated and tough new Ranger.

Elsewhere, the Vauxhall Corsavan retained pole position in the Small Van category, the Fiat Doblo and Vauxhall Combo shared the Light Van prize – by dint of sharing the same DNA, the Iveco Daily kept hold of its Large Van Award and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter captured the 4×4 prize.

The three-pointed star brand also won again in the Safety category, Vauxhall picked up the Green Award for its Ecoflex range of vans and the Innovation Award went to Emerald Automotive for the development of its range extended electric vehicle prototype, which is coming to market in 2014.

The Editor’s Choice prize went to the eagerly anticipated Mini Clubvan.