After a few months on the What Van? fleet our little Ford crew van is revealing its foibles and James Dallas is missing his creature comforts
Now that we have been living with our compact Ford Transit Courier Kombi for around a quarter of a year we are getting to know its strengths and weaknesses in a wide range of driving conditions and loading applications.
The little van is most regularly used as a passenger carrying vehicle with the load space restricted to the 1.0m3 space behind the second row of seats.
This has proven to offer more than enough room for a medium-sized dog to travel in comfort and is also perfectly adequate to swallow the weekly supermarket shop and kids’ park paraphernalia such as scooters and footballs, although getting the bikes in requires the rear seats to be flattened to enlarge the load space to 1.9m3.
Curiously though, loading the cargo box is not helped by the fact that the twin rear doors only open to 90 degrees and do not swing through to180 degrees.
As with most of Ford’s LCVs the Courier’s handling is at least a match for anything else on the market, it’s as agile as most small cars on winding country roads and ideal for negotiating London’s tight and narrow streets, although the 75hp engine does feel a little underpowered and often requires changing down from third to second gear at moderate urban speeds. The Courier’s compact dimensions also mean it is a doddle to park, even without parking sensors, which are not available with our Base specification audio system but would otherwise cost £150.
But Ford’s decision to only make the Kombi available in Base trim is a disappointment. Operators would be well advised to fork out the extra £600 to step up to Trend, not least for the eight-way adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support that would make long stints behind the wheel more relaxing than with our four-way adjustable seat, which just goes backwards and forwards and has an adjustable backrest.
Other gripes with varying power to irritate include the close proximity of the handbrake to the cup holder, making it very easy to plunge your fist into your cup of coffee when setting off, the lack of cruise control on long journeys and, most seriously during the occasional summer heatwaves, the absence of air-conditioning. These last two are paid for options on all Courier models – costing £150 and £400 excluding VAT, respectively.
Ford Transit Courier Kombi Base
Official combined consumption 68.9mpg
Our average consumption 46.3mpg
Price (ex VAT) £12.513