Ford’s decision to bring back its Fiesta Van after a brief period of absence prompted dancing in the streets – well, we were happy about it anyway.
The brand displayed a new Fiesta Van at the 2018 CV Show just a year after withdrawing the model. At the time a spokesman told What Van? the market dynamic had changed since Ford decided to drop the Fiesta Van in April 2017. He said there was now increased demand from urban operators for small, economical vans with a choice of fuels.
Based on the latest Fiesta passenger car, which the manufacturer launched in 2017, the van is powered by the 125hp 1.0-litre petrol EcoBoost engine and is also available with the 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine with 120hp.
It has a payload of 500kg and a load volume of 1.0m3 compared to the 660kg and 2.4m3 capacities of the Transit Courier, the admittedly more practical compact van Ford had believed would fill the Fiesta Van’s small but quick and nimble feet.
The icing on the cake of the new line-up is the Fiesta Sport Van that's driven here.
On top of already generous standard equipment, our van came with Ford’s Sync 3 communications and entertainment system with an 8.0in colour touchscreen as a £380 addition (all prices exclude VAT).
It also sported the brand’s new FordPass Connect on-board modem technology, which provides wi-fi connectivity for up to 10 devices for a tidy £200. It can supply vehicle health alerts to advise when a service is required or give updates on fuel levels or tyre pressures as well as providing a vehicle locator to enable drivers to find their vans in busy car parks.
A rear spoiler costing £144 was fitted, which will appeal to the boy racers among the LCV-driving fraternity, as will the inclusion of 18in alloy wheels (£380 a set) to replace the 16in standard fitments. A more practical consideration is the supply of a 14in steel spare wheel.
LED headlights and rear lights were thrown in for an extra £528.
Sports suspension, sports seats, stainless steel sports foot pedals, a four-way adjustable driver’s seat and rake- and reach-adjustable steering all hit the sweet spot for the driver and it’s reassuring to know that a full-sized bulkhead – lower half steel, upper half mesh – is protecting the back of your head from loose, flying objects in the load area if you succumb to the considerable temptation to zip about. Manual aircon and a quick-clear heated windscreen should ensure the interior atmosphere doesn’t get too steamy.
Safety features include lane-keeping assist, a tyre pressure monitoring system, and driver and passenger airbags, and it should be noted that an EcoSelect option is included as is an adjustable speed limiter.
Oddly, though, our van did not come with rear parking sensors, which would be handy for city missions, but it’s small and dextrous enough to make parking a doddle anyway.
In case you were wondering, performance and handling is excellent. The 120hp 1.5 TDCi engine, which comes with stop/start, is spirited and lively, the six-speed manual gearbox is slick and precise, and the steering is sharp and well-weighted. The leather-trimmed, flat-bottomed steering wheel looks the part too.
Ford Fiesta Sport Van 1.5L TDCi Start/Stop 6-Speed Manual
Price (ex VAT) £16,971
Price range (ex VAT) £15,971-£16,971
Insurance group 3E
Service intervals 1yr/10,000mls
Load length 1,283mm
Load width (min/max) 984/1,281mm
Load bay height 613mm
Gross payload 511kg
Load volume 1.0m3
Engine size/power 1,498cc/120hp
Combined fuel economy 64.2mpg
This is a welcome comeback for this agile and urban-friendly little load-lugger from Ford.