FORD transit Custom
Apart from my already stated bias toward the Ford, because it has a properly spelt name, I do have to admit to being rather impressed with the little Transit when it first lobbed onto the Australian market.
In fact, I’m more perplexed Ford doesn’t sell more of them. The Transit name was once a huge presence on the Aussie LCV market, yet in sales terms these days it’s not exactly setting the world on fire.
The Transit Custom uses a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine that makes 92kW (123hp) and a decent 350Nm from 1450rpm. Like its other European competitor the Trafic, the Ford is only available in six-speed manual form. And like the Renault, the Transit is also front-wheel drive.
Our SWB Custom had 5.95 cubic metres of room in the back and could carry a payload of 1032kg. It will also tow a maximum braked trailer load of 2,500kg.
The Transit is available with only one sliding door on the left, and is equipped with barn doors at the back. There’s enough room for an Aussie pallet between the wheel arches, but as with the competition, not through the side door.
The Ford comes with a pretty decent array of standard kit, including six airbags, the full suite of electronic stability gizmos to stop you crashing, and trailer sway control. Again, to stop you crashing your trailer.
Our test vehicle was fitted with the $1500
City Pack, which adds parking sensors and a reverse camera to the parcel carter. Another nifty standard feature is the flip up roof racks, which are rated to 130kg.
And like the Renault, there’s also a flip up flap in the cargo bay bulkhead to allow long items to be loaded though into the storage bin under the passenger seat. This means that long skinny objects up to 3.0m long can be poked through the bulkhead.
On stepping into the Transit, you are greeted by an interior that will be familiar to anyone who has sat in a new Ford vehicle. Controls and layout are all Ford global family, and have a car-like feel to the layout.
The Transit also uses Ford’s Sync multi-media
system, which will also call 000 in the advent of a severe accident. A lidded storage tray with 12V outlet sits above the analogue instrument cluster.
A handy cup holder sits beside it within easy reach, and a good-sized bottle holder sits off to right of the steering column. The middle seat also flips down into quite a usable console. There’s lots of smart, usable storage in the Transit.
The 2.2-litre turbo diesel has the lowest power output of all the vans in this comparison, yet driving them all back-to-back, you’d be hard pressed to notice it. Peak torque comes on tap at a relatively low 1450-2000rpm, which has the little Ford pulling quite well from a standstill loaded or empty. The six-speed manual has an easy shift that is light in the hand.
On the open road or around town, the Transit is a very pleasant little vehicle to drive. The Duratorq engine is a smooth and reasonably quiet powerplant that delivers grunt in a smooth, usable way. In fact, the Transit is really quite a zippy little number.
The Ford Transit Custom has a list price of $37,490, add another $1500 for the City Pack. The Transit is also covered by Ford’s 3-year, 100,000km warranty.
The Duratorq engine is a smooth and reasonably quiet powerplant that delivers grunt in a smooth, usable way.
1. Room for nearly 6 cubic metres inside
2. The Transit interior is very car-like and has plenty of storage.