The What Van? Road Test: Ford Transit (2019)

Date: Monday, July 13, 2020   |   Author: Steve Banner



Service intervals are set at two years/25,000 miles with a one-year/10,000-mile interim inspection recommended – a wise precaution given the different ways in which LCVs are used. A parcel company’s duty cycle, for example, differs significantly from that of a carpet fitter.

The Transit is covered by a three-year/100,000-mile warranty.

Fuel economy? We achieved a steady 40mpg, just shy of the official combined figure, and would probably have done a lot better had we remembered to press the Eco button.

Side rubbing strips plus protection for the wheel arches helped defend the Transit against minor bumps and bangs. Build quality was good overall, although the tatty bits of foil that shrouded some of the wiring under the bonnet caused us to raise an eyebrow.

Our Transit was not equipped with a spare wheel, alas. Instead, it had a tyre inflator stowed under the driver’s seat – which is not a whole lot of use if you drop one of your wheels into a deep pothole and end up with a badly gashed sidewall.

Ford Transit Limited 350 L3 H2 2.0L EcoBlue 185hp RWD

Price (ex VAT) £36,900

Price range (ex VAT) £26,235-£38,600

Gross payload 1,332kg

Load volume 11.0m3

Load length 3,494mm

Load width (min/max) 1,392/1,784mm

Load bay height 1,786mm

Loading height 608mm

Rear door aperture 1,565x1,648mm

Side door aperture 1,300x16,00mm

Gross vehicle weight 3,500kg

Braked trailer towing weight 2,800kg

Residual value 20.5%

Cost per mile 67.1p

Engine size/power 1996cc, 185hp @ 3,500rpm

Torque 415Nm @ 17,50-2.750rpm

Gearbox 6-spd

Fuel economy 41.5mpg (combined)

Fuel tank 70 litres

CO2 177g/km

Warranty 3yrs/100,000mls

Service intervals 2yrs/25,000mls

Insurance group 49A

Price as tested £37,550

Options fitted

Metallic paint £650


Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Price (ex VAT) £26,120-£53,210

Load volume 7.8-17.0m3

Gross payload 804-2,547kg

Engines 114hp, 143hp, 163hp 2.1 diesel, 190hp 3.0 diesel

Verdict: Businesses who view safety and connectivity as their priorities should head straight for the Sprinter. Noted for being able to endure hard graft, it is available with front-, rear-, or four-wheel drive, and an electric model is in the pipeline. Check out its automatic transmissions: a seven-speeder is available on rear-wheel drive variants while a nine-speeder can be specified on its front-wheel drive stablemates.

Peugeot Boxer

Price (ex VAT) £24,735-£34,630

Load volume 8.0-17.0m3

Gross payload 725-1,570kg

Engines 120hp, 140hp 2.2 diesel

Verdict: With the Transit hogging so much of the light commercial limelight, the Boxer has always been somewhat underrated. That is a pity because it is both capable and well-equipped. It was revised not long ago with a new engine and trim changes, developments it shares with its Citroen Relay close cousin. Sharing the same basic design, Fiat Professional’s Ducato has been revised too, and all three models are worth a look.

Volkswagen Crafter

Price (ex VAT) £25,790-£43,170

Load volume 9.3-17.5m3

Gross payload 735-2,573kg

Engines 102hp, 122hp, 140hp, 177hp 2.0 diesel

Verdict: Operators seeking a well put-together LCV with the accent on safety as well as durability should take a look at the Crafter. Its front assist with city emergency braking package is a potential life-saver. A battery-powered e-Crafter is on its way, and don’t forget the Crafter is also marketed by MAN as the TGE. A key reason for opting for the TGE is the ability of the MAN network to provide truck-style 24/7 support.

The Final Verdict



 Practical, well put-together, and ticks almost all the boxes. 



 Well-equipped, with lots of storage space and comfortable seating.  



 Better than what is on offer from many of the Transit’s rivals. 



 Good, aside from minor issues with engine and suspension noise.   

Load area 


 Beefy bulkhead, but rear door pillars should have grab-handles.  



 Both are to a an impressively high standard.



 Well-matched, with Ford’s slick gear change worthy of applause

Standard equipment 


 Limited trim gives you almost all the goodies you need.  

Operating costs 


 Respectable fuel economy and a sensible warranty.

What Van? subjective rating 


 Yet another praiseworthy package from Ford. 

Overall Rating = 79/100



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