With the UK’s roads opening up again, I have been making up for lost time by continuing to put more miles on the Custom Sport’s odometer.
Long overdue missions have included carting furniture, a new barbecue and myriad other household equipment across the country and ferrying an assortment of goods to charity shops following a clear out.
All of this has been easily and safely stashed away in the self-contained load box and secured with stretchy straps lashed to the six tie-down rings.
The cargo area is well protected with ply-lining on the side walls and tailgate (liftgate as Ford calls it), rubber-lined floor and scratch-resistant wheel arch covers.
The big tailgate also provides welcome shelter when loading up in the rain and an LED load compartment light makes things easier when working after dark. A 12v power socket is also installed in the load area as a £58 addition (all prices exclude VAT).
Taking longer journeys has allowed me to appreciate that in the Custom Sport’s cabin, Ford has designed a comfortable, well laid out and stylish environment to spend time in.
In the first facelift of the Transit Custom in 2018 Ford, to its credit, responded to customers’ criticisms that the interior needed additional storage and a more user-friendly dashboard.
The instrument panel alone now offers 25 litres of storage, including three open bins on its upper surface with space for clipboards or mobile devices, and lockable glovebox stowage capable of storing A4 files in the lower closed compartment. There are also cup holders and bottle holders at each end of the instrument panel.
The door panels now house three stowage spaces and a grab handle has been integrated into the passenger-side door trim – but, curiously, the driver gets a storage box for spectacles in the equivalent spot.
Creature comforts include heated driver and outboard passenger seats plus effective air conditioning.
The three rear seats offer plenty of head, shoulder and leg room. Clips allow passengers to push open the rear side windows, which here have window blinds added as a £72 extra.
On the irritating side, the pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection that comes as part of the otherwise excellent adaptive cruise control package can get a little hysterical and bleep alarmingly when no danger is imminent. Likewise, the front and rear distance sensors tend to go off unnecessarily when driving along narrow country lanes.
Report card: Cabin – 4/5
A comfortable environment with ample storage facilities.
Ford Transit Custom Sport DCiV
Official combined fuel economy 38.2mpg
Our average consumption 31.3mpg
Price range (ex VAT) £23,040-£43,925
Price (ex VAT) £35,177
Service intervals 25,000mls
Load length 1,577mm
Load width (min/max) 1,351/1,775mm
Load bay height 1,406mm
Load volume 3.5m3
Gross payload 904kg
Engine size/power 1,997cc/185hp
Gearbox 6-spd auto