The What Van? Road Test: Ford Fiesta Sportvan (2018)

Date: Monday, July 15, 2019   |   Author: Steve Banner

 Fiestarear 3-4_ff


The Sportvan is covered by a three-year/60,000-mile warranty with roadside assistance provided for the first year on an unlimited-mileage basis. Nor is there a mileage limit on the year-long paint warranty.

The package is not overly generous, but redeems itself somewhat with a 12-year/unlimited-mileage anti-perforation corrosion warranty. Service intervals are set at one-year/10,000 miles, which is on the short side for a modern diesel LCV.

The official combined fuel economy figure is 64.2mpg.

At 54.7mpg, according to the onboard computer, we averaged significantly less, travelling lightly laden along a mix of motorways, A- and B-roads and including a crawl around Bristol city centre. We did it all on a still, dry, warm day.

A gearshift indicator light encourages you to change to the most economical gear and stop/start (which can be switched off) helps fuel efficiency too, especially in urban areas.

Smart regenerative charging ensures that the battery is only recharged when it needs it, saving energy again.

There is another way in which the Fiesta Van can help cut diesel usage: Press the ‘EcoSelect’ button and you reduce peak power and torque, thereby reducing diesel consumption further.

We found that using it diminishes on-the-road performance by an estimated 5% to 10%, which should be liveable with in most cases.

In addition, the Active Grille Shutter keeps a shutter open to cool the engine at low speeds, but closes it at higher speeds.

That makes the vehicle more aerodynamic, thus saving fuel. A steel spare wheel is provided and the Ford Fiesta Van is also equipped with an EasyFuel cap-less refuelling system.

Ford Fiesta Sportvan 1.5TDCi 120hp

Price (ex VAT)     £16,495
Price range (ex VAT)     £13,245-£16,495
Gross payload     511kg
Load length      1,283mm
Load width (min/max)    984/1,281mm
Load bay height      923mm
Load volume    0.96m3
Loading height      724mm
Rear door aperture    948 x 613mm
Gross vehicle weight     1,665kg
Braked trailer towing weight      1,100kg
Residual value     21.3%
Cost per mile     34.7p
Engine size/power     1499cc, 120hp @ 3,600rpm
Torque      270Nm @ 1,750-2,500rpm
Gearbox     6-spd
Fuel economy      64.2mpg
Fuel tank     40 litres
CO2      111g/km
Warranty     3yrs/60,000mls
Service intervals     1yr/10,000mls
Insurance group      29E
Price as tested    £18,355

* after 4yrs/80,000mls; Source: KwikCarcost

Options fitted

Race Red paint finish      £150
18in Rock Metallic machined alloys with 205/40R18 tyres    £400
Large rear spoiler    £150
FordPass Connect modem    £210
Ford Sync 3 package    £400
LED headlights and rear lights    £550


Fiat Fiorino Cargo
Price (ex VAT) £12,595-£15,495
Load volume 2.5m3
Gross payload 610-660kg
Engines 75hp 1.4 petrol, 80hp, 95hp 1.3 diesel  

Verdict: Compact and fuel-efficient with a high degree of manoeuvrability, the Fiorino Cargo is tailor-made for Britain’s urban streets. It’s no slouch in the countryside either, with the Adventure guaranteed to keep you rolling in moderately slippery conditions thanks to mods such as a raised suspension and the Traction+ electronic diff lock.

Ford Transit Courier
Price (ex VAT) £12,695-£15,970
Load volume 2.3m3
Gross payload 534-600kg
Engines 100hp 1.0 petrol, 75hp,100hp 1.5 diesel

Verdict: The fact we are putting up another Ford product as a rival to the Fiesta Van serves only to underline the lack of choice in this sector of the market. Not that this should be taken as a criticism of the Transit Courier. What Van?’s Small Van of the Year for 2019 offers impressive handling, a decent ride, a precise gear change and respectable fuel economy.

Mercedes-Benz Citan
Price (ex VAT)£15,400
Load volume 2.4m3
Gross payload 370kg
Engines 90hp 1.5 diesel

Verdict: While the Mercedes-Benz Citan is a close cousin of Renault’s Kangoo, the Kangoo line-up no longer contains a model as small as the Compact. The load cube is respectable for a light commercial of its size, but the payload capacity is modest, and Renault dropped the Kangoo equivalent because it found there was insufficient demand.

The Final Verdict



 Styling kit and alloy wheels make it stand out in the high street.



Comfortable and roomier than you might expect.



Firm, and you feel all those potholes.



 To a decent standard apart from the tyre noise.

Load area


  Not a van you buy for cargo space or payload capacity.



  Hugely impressive on both fronts.



Well-matched, with the gearbox delivering a precise change.

Standard equipment


Plenty of kit, but might need reversing sensors.

Operating costs


 Warranty and service intervals could be more generous.

What Van? subjective rating


More practical vans are around, but few offer quite so much fun.

The Overall Rating = 77/100


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