22 November 2018 · Vehicle Reviews
Review: 2018+ Ford Transit Custom
When looking for a work van you cannot get around the new Ford Transit Custom.
It comes in so many variants there's always one to suit your needs.
The new Ford Transit Custom is a good-looking van. Its lines are sharp, it has a modern appearances and sleek line. The days where you wouldn’t want to be seen in your work van are definitely over if you drive this one. At first sight you might not notice the small, but handy features. Once you start using the Transit Custom for its intended purposes though, these suddenly make life a lot easier. More about this later.
Perhaps you think there's very little interesting to say about a work van. They should be able to carry a load, have big doors and preferably drive well. But imagine spending your whole day in this vehicle, every day of the week. It's almost like your home away from home, your office, lunchroom and meeting room in one. Understandably you want a work van that has a comfortable seat, the latest technology, handles well and makes your job easier instead of harder. That's where the new Ford Transit Custom comes in. It ticks all these boxes and many more, plus you can get in it in form you desire.
Starting, stopping, driving in all possible conditions, hours on end, highway, city, you name it. That’s the life of a work van. Luckily the Transit Custom makes this life pretty easy. First of all because of its fuel efficient (7.2L/100km) 2.0-litre EcoBlue turbodiesel that produces 96kW and 385Nm of torque that has no trouble setting the van in motion. Even when loaded up it feels light and combined with the 6-speed automatic transmission (a manual is also available) you don’t have to worry about not making your delivery on time. Equally impressive is the tight turning circle of just 10.9 metre, because you can expect to be making a lot of u-turns when driving for work
The Transit Custom makes driving a van almost a car-like driving experience, with its handling, steering and braking no longer sluggish but tight and sharp. Because of its truck-sized door mirrors with wide-view lenses in combination with a very clear and massive windscreen the view from the Transit Custom is impressive. You definitely won’t miss an address because you didn’t see the mailbox, unless it’s hidden on purpose. Add to this view the standard rear-view camera and you can almost say you’ve got a 360-degree view around the van.
It’s inside the cabin of the Transit Custom where you want to be. Completely redesigned you right away notice how smart it is and how Ford has taken into account that the driver needs to spends hours in it working. There are three levels of storage pockets which will fit all your paperwork and big (a very important aspect) bottles. Then there are fold-out cup holders near the gearshift for your coffee, very handy. There is not shortage of 12-volt power sockets and USB-plugs either, even fitting one above the steering wheel for easy access.
No small glove box in the Transit Custom either; it’s A4-sized. Fold the mid-console down and you’ll have a work desk that fits a laptop and contains two cup holders, a pen holder en an elastic strap to make sure documents don’t start flying through the cabin. Around back, accessible through the loading area, you’ll find even more storage under the passenger seat. Safe and sound.
The new foam seat cushioning is comfortable and with the latest connectivity features from Ford’s SYNC 3 that include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and DAB+ digital radio – operated through an 8.0-inch touchscreen – there is no reason to leave your seat anymore. Plus sat nav now comes standard. The Transit Custom earns a five-star ANCAP rating with six air-bags all around.
The base price of the Transit Custom is $43,790, but then the list of options start. To cater to everybody’s needs Ford gives you the option for an optional single lift-date rear door for example, or glazed dial-side loading doors. You get 100 paint options and a trio of roof racks that lie flat when not in use for free, but have to pay extra for 16-inch alloys. Which options you pick really depend on what you’ll need the Transit Custom for, but we definitely recommend to opt-in for the Technology Pack for $1600, which will get you 10 active safety features including AEB, pedestrian detection, active cruise-control and blind-spot monitoring. Daytime running lights and front fog lamps are now standard however.
The new Ford Transit Custom is a versatile work van in which you want to be seen. Its looks far supersede that of an ordinary load carrier, with its driving abilities closely mimicking those of a passenger vehicle. The same goes for comfort inside, with plenty of storage space, cup holders and the latest technology. Perhaps its payload of 958kg isn’t the highest in its range, but for most small business owners it will be more than enough. With all the available options it will serve anybody’s purpose, making the Transit Custom a real contender in the work van market.