Ford Transit Custom long-term test – Latest Report

Date: Tuesday, April 6, 2021   |   Author: James Dallas

The Custom DCiV offers versatility and keeps the cabin occupants well protected from what’s in the back.

2nd Report

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.

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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 £35,177

Price range (ex VAT) £23,040-£43,925

Warranty 3yrs/100,000mls

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

CO2 195g/km

 



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