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

Date: Monday, April 6, 2020

 Rt Cab

Interior and equipment

Our test van was equipped with a Sync 3 communications and entertainment package with a DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and an 8in colour touchscreen. Featuring AppLink, which enables smartphone apps to be accessed, Sync 3 can be integrated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and voice commands can be used to control certain functions.

Emergency Assist is installed, which means that help will be summoned promptly if there is an accident.

Also provided are two USB sockets and two 12V power points.

Other useful facilities in the three-seater cab include a trip computer, a Quickclear heated windscreen, cruise control with an adjustable speed limiter, electric windows, and power-foldable and electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors with a lower wide-angle section. Reversing sensors should minimise the risk of damage or injuries to passing pedestrians when backing up, and are combined with front parking sensors.

Storage facilities include four shelves of varying sizes on top of the dashboard and a roomy lockable glove box with a shelf above it. You will find three bins with different capacities in each of the doors plus a moulding that can accommodate a big bottle of water.

Look up and you will see a shelf for your sunglasses positioned just above the windscreen.

A bottle holder and a decent-sized cup-holder sit at either end of the fascia, and a flip-down cup-holder is built into the moulding that houses the gear lever.

The moulding does not restrict the legroom of whoever occupies the middle seat. The centre section of the seat’s back folds downwards and turns into a desk complete with two cup-holders, a tray for your pens, and an elasticated band to keep paperwork in place.

Under-seat storage space is at a premium, alas, due to the presence of the aforementioned 48V battery. Its presence also makes any provision of a load-through facility – a flap in the bottom of the bulkhead that allows you to push the end of extra-long items under the seats – problematic.

The driver’s seat, which boasts an inboard armrest, and the leather-trimmed steering wheel are both height-adjustable. The latter is reach-adjustable too, and plays host to the radio’s remote controls.

Disc brakes are fitted all round and the Custom has electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency brake assist, electronic stability control and roll stability control. Other onboard electronic safety devices include traction control, which can be switched off, and side wind stabilisation. It is designed to stop the Custom being blown into an adjacent lane on the motorway if it is hit by a crosswind.

Bear in mind that a variety of safety packages are available as optional extras. They include lane-keeping alert and pre-collision assist, which warns if you are in imminent danger of having an accident.

Worth considering too is traffic-sign recognition with adjustable speed-limiter. It identifies the limit on whichever road the van is travelling down, and restricts its speed accordingly.

Front fog lights are standard on Trend derivatives along with LED daytime running lights, automatic headlights and rain-sensing windscreen wipers with a clap-hands action.

A driver’s airbag is fitted as standard. You pay extra for one to protect the passengers.

Turning to the suspension, independent MacPherson struts with variable-rate coil springs plus an anti-roll bar are installed at the front, while leaf springs help support the rear. Gas-pressurised shock absorbers are fitted all-round.

Decorated with plastic trims, our demonstrator’s 16-inch steel wheels were shod with 215/65 R16C Goodyear EfficientGrip tyres.

Turning circle? Wall to wall it’s 12.2m, shrinking to 11.6m kerb to kerb.

The side rubbing strips are finished to match the body’s overall paint finish, as are the mirror casings, front bumper, and the rear bumper’s end-caps.


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