The What Van? Road Test: Ford Transit Courier Sport

Date: Friday, December 13, 2019   |   Author: Steve Banner


Courier Rear 3-4


The Transit Courier is protected by a three-year/100,000-mile warranty with service intervals set at one year/10,000 miles for our diesel. 

Some operators may view that as too short a gap between workshop visits.

That is not the case, however, if a van is constantly submitted to the rigours of urban traffic, and bounced up over kerbs every day of the week.

Fuel economy? We averaged around 60mpg on a mixture of routes, lightly laden – slightly short of the official combined figure of 62.8mpg, but not so far adrift as to cause us concern.

Auto stop-start was not installed, but is available as an option. Regenerative braking is fitted to all models, however.

Ford’s Easy Fuel system means you don’t have to worry about losing the fuel filler cap and is designed to ensure you don’t fill up with the wrong fuel.

Rubbing strips are fitted to help protect the vehicle’s black-striped sides and are finished in the same colour as the body.

So are the door handles and front and rear bumpers, and both bumpers are accompanied by a skid plate.

It’s good to see a full-size spare wheel rather than an (at times frankly useless) inflator and sealer.

Ford Transit Courier Sport 1.5TDCi EcoBlue 100hp

Price (ex VAT)    £16,120
Price range (ex VAT)     £12,845-£16,120
Gross payload     556kg
Load volume     2.3m3
Load length     1,620mm
Load width (min/max)     1,012/1,488mm
Load bay height     1,244mm
Loading height     564mm
Rear door aperture     1,104x1,100mm
Side door aperture    453x1,044mm
Gross vehicle weight     1,810kg
Trailer towing weight      485kg
Residual value     20.9%*
Cost per mile      34.2p*
Engine size/power    1,499cc, 100hp @ 3,750rpm
Torque     215Nm @ 1750-2500rpm
Gearbox     6-spd
Fuel economy     62.8mpg
Fuel tank     47 litres
CO2      117g/km
Warranty     3yrs/100,000mls
Service intervals     1yr/10,000mls
Insurance group     28A
Price as tested      £17,290

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

Options Fitted

LED load area light     £40
Quickclear heated windscreen with heated washer jets      £100
Black roof rails     £150
Heated seats    £350
Navigation pack    £530


Fiat Professional Fiorino Cargo
Price (ex VAT) £12,595-£16,275
Load volume    2.5m3
Gross payload    610-660kg
Engines     77hp 1.4 petrol,  80hp, 95hp 1.3 diesel

Verdict: A compact, frugal and highly manoeuvrable load-shifter, the Fiorino Cargo is tailor-made for Britain’s urban jungle. It is equally at home on rural roads, with the Adventure model capable of keeping you moving in slippery conditions thanks to features such as an electronic diff lock and raised suspension.

Ford Fiesta Van
Price (ex VAT) £13,245-£16,145
Load volume     0.96m3
Gross payload    508-530kg
Engines     85hp 1.1 petrol, 125hp 1.0 petrol, 85hp, 120hp 1.5 diesel

Verdict: Citing another Ford model as a rival to Transit Courier even though it’s smaller underlines the breadth of the brand’s range, and the lack of compacts from other makers. With a small load area and  modest payload, the Fiesta Van isn’t hugely practical, but spend five minutes in the Sport Van model and you’ll forgive it any shortcomings.

Mercedes-Benz Citan 109CDI Compact
Price (ex VAT) £15,400
Load volume    2.4m3
Gross payload 370kg
Engines 90hp 1.5 diesel

Verdict: While the Citan is closely related to Renault’s Kangoo, the Kangoo range has not included a model as small as the Compact for several years. Renault dropped the Kangoo equivalent because it found there was insufficient demand. Payload capacity is woeful, although the load cube is respectable for a van of this size.

The Final Verdict



Clever package combines driveability, good looks and practicality.



Comfortable seats and plenty of storage space.



Needs to be better-damped, but without harming the handling.



In-cab noise needs turning down; pedal vibration was concerning.

Load area


Plenty of tie-down points, but needs to be better-protected.



Former is exemplary; latter okay for short-/medium-haul work.



Well-matched, and the gearbox offers a smooth, quick change.

Standard equipment


Mostly all there, but reversing sensors need to be part of the deal.

Operating costs


Mpg is to be applauded and Ford badge spells strong residuals.

What Van? subjective rating


A sporty, fun package that remains a practical working tool.

Overall Rating 79/100


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