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

Date: Monday, April 6, 2020


Rt Rear


The Custom MHEV’s fuel consumption is lower than that of its conventional diesel equivalent, but not dramatically so.

Ford quotes an official combined WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) figure of up to 53.3mpg compared with 47.1mpg for the standard 130hp model.

We were achieving around 50mpg, but that was without switching to Eco Mode. Doing so alters the van’s torque setting and rate of acceleration among other functions. Such systems typically cut a vehicle’s fuel consumption by around 10%.

The Custom is protected by a three-year/100,000-mile warranty, while service intervals are set at two years/25,000 miles. An annual safety inspection is recommended.

The Custom is without doubt well-built. All the doors shut with a satisfying clunk and the van’s overall fit and finish is to a high standard.

Options fitted

Metallic paint  (£650)

Ford Transit Custom Trend 320 L1H1 2.0 EcoBlue 130hp mHEV

Price (ex VAT)    £28,050
Price range (ex VAT)     £23,040-£43,600
Gross payload     1,239kg
Load volume    6.0m3
Load length     2,554mm
Load width (min/max)     1,351/1,775mm
Load bay height     1,406mm
Loading height     564mm
Rear door aperture     1,404 x 1,347mm
Side door aperture    1,030 x 1,324mm
Gross vehicle weight    3,200kg
Braked trailer towing weight     2,500kg
Residual value       20.4%*
Cost per mile      51.2p*
Engine size/power    1,995cc, 130hp @  3,500pm
Torque     360Nm @ 1,500-2,000rpm
Gearbox     6-spd
Fuel economy    53.3 mpg
Fuel tank     70 litres
CO2      141g/km
Warranty     3yrs/100,000mls
Service intervals     2yrs/25,000 mls
Insurance group     40A
Price as tested      £28,700

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


Peugeot Expert
Price (ex VAT)  £21,975-£32,960
Load volume     4.6-6.1m3
Gross payload    960-1,469kg
Engines     100hp 1.5 diesel, 120hp, 148hp, 174hp 2.0 diesel

Verdict: A respectable warranty, sensible service intervals and acceptable fuel economy help make the Expert worthy of further investigation, and equipment levels should keep most drivers happy. The Expert is also marketed through Citroen dealers under the Dispatch banner, through Vauxhall dealers as the Vivaro, and through Toyota dealers as the Proace. 

Renault Trafic
Price (ex VAT) £22,800-£30,050
Load volume     5.2-8.6m3
Gross payload    1,036-1,255kg
Engines    120hp, 145hp, 170hp diesel

Verdict: Recently revamped, with new engines and the Efficient Dual Clutch gearbox offered for the first time, the Trafic features some sensible ideas, but is short on some of the more sophisticated safety devices seen on some of its rivals. Worth a look, but lacks the Ford Transit Custom’s solid appeal. Same model is sold by Nissan as the NV300 and by Fiat as the Talento.

VW Transporter
Price (ex VAT) £21,635-£36,915
Load volume     5.8-9.3m3
Gross payload  718-1274kg
Engines  90hp, 110hp, 150hp, 199hp diesel

Verdict: If you are looking for rock-solid residual values plus build quality to die for then the Transporter should be close to the top of your list. Safety standards are high, and the arrival of the T6.1 version is helping to keep the model fresh. Interior and exterior styling are on the dull side, however. Watch out for the electric e-Transporter due soon.

The Final Verdict



Mild hybrid tech brings economy benefits.



Well-equipped and comfortable. 



Better than direct rivals, especially when the vehicle is unladen.



Noise levels are well-suppressed and nothing creaks or rattles.

Load area


Easy to access, it has a low loading height and tough-look bulkhead. 



Both among the best we’ve ever encountered in a van of this size.



Well-matched, with Ford offering a precise, high-quality gear-change.

Standard equipment


Basics are there, but more goodies wouldn’t go amiss.

Operating costs


Respectable mpg, sensible warranty/servicing, and healthy RVs. 

What Van? subjective rating


Impressive mHEV costs more, but mpg benefits may be worth it.


View The WhatVan Digital Edition