The Custom DCiV offers versatility and keeps the cabin occupants well protected from what’s in the back.
For operators whose priority is to carry a driver, a co-driver and a bulky, space-consuming load, then a crew van is not likely to be their best bet. But for those who require seating for a work team, a decent payload and a serviceable cargo space for tools and equipment, then a model such as the Transit Custom DCiV (double-cab in van) could tick all the boxes.
And when it’s in Sport trim, the business owner gets an added dash of panache to make their van stand out from the crowd.
Crew vans can also be ideal as dual-purpose vehicles for owner-drivers or SMEs, for example. They are ideal for putting in a working shift during the week and carrying the family at weekends.
It’s worth pointing out that for tax purposes, UK owners may need to convince HMRC that their crew vans are used predominantly as working vehicles, particularly if their payloads fall below 1.0t, or they may be classed as passenger cars rather than light commercial vehicles and thus be liable for VAT.
My Custom Sport has a decent payload of 904kg combined with a compact load cube of 3.5m3. This falls short of the hefty 1,143kg payload and 4.3m3 cargo bay of my recently departed Volkswagen Transporter Kombi – but unlike the Kombi, the Ford van comes with a full-height solid bulkhead, which means you can fill the load bed to its limit without worrying that objects breaking free under heavy braking will fly into the cabin and endanger its occupants. Nothing should come loose anyway if operators make use of the six steel tie-down loops to secure cargo in place.
The load area’s interior is well protected from minor damage by a rubber floor lining, wheel arch covers and wood panelling extending halfway up the walls and covering the inside of the tailgate, which is branded as a ‘liftgate’ by Ford and installed on my Custom Sport as a £240 (excluding VAT) option.
By way of further load-carrying comparison, the Vauxhall Vivaro L1H1 Edition double-cab, which is also available from fellow PSA Group brands badged as a Citroen Dispatch or Peugeot Expert, offers a payload of 1,308kg with a load volume of 3.2m3.
Rear seat passengers in the Custom Sport DCiV can gain access to their berths via sliding doors on both sides of the van, which is by no means a given on crew vans, many of which
only provide a near-side door.
The bulkhead and opaque liftgate mean the driver has to rely on the van’s wing mirrors when on the move, but thankfully these are of a good size and include a wide-view section to improve vision and make it easier to spot cyclists who might be lurking to either side of the vehicle.
Report card: Load carrying – 3/5
A sturdy bulkhead protects the cabin, but payload and load volume are competitive rather than class leading
Ford Transit Custom Sport DCiV
Official combined fuel economy 38.2mpg
Our average consumption 24.0mpg
Price range (ex VAT) £23,040-£43,925
Service intervals 25,000mls
Load length 1,577mm
Load width (min/max) 1,351/1,775mm
Load bay height 1,406mm
Gross payload 904kg
Load volume 3.5m3
Engine size/power 1,997cc/185hp
Gearbox 6-spd auto