FORD TRANSIT REVIEW
The self-proclaimed Backbone of Britain, Fords Transit has been a staple van for over 50 years, and is now in its sixth generation.
The All New Transit, as it has been dubbed, proclaims to be an overall improvement on the successful Mark V. As Fords largest van, Ford say it offers more space and technology over its predecessor whilst being more economical and powerful as well. Looks wise, it certainly wins out. Employing Fords Kinetic design not only is it less box like at the front to look at (more emulating the Sprinter/Crafter) but more aerodynamic too.
Whilst all this marketing gumpf is great for product launches the most important things are more like how does it drive, what chassis and layout options are available, what is its payload and volume like and how much does it cost.
Getting straight to the point and often the most important consideration for many of our customers is its Payload. On this Fords marketing gumpf is rather more silent.
There is a reason for this¦. The Payload Capacity on the All New Transit is simply woeful.Having been amongst the best in class with its Mark 5, the Mark 6 is down there with the worst with a maximum of 1491kg.To make things worse, in the initial marketing materials Ford stated certain payload figures which ultimately were factually incorrect with unsuspecting drivers ending up overloaded on the weigh bridge when they should have been ok.
This issue was unfortunately encountered by one of our very own customers and after much digging around the payload capacity on a L2H3 turned out to be around 150kg less than advertised and notably worse than the equivalent Mark 5.
Having got that out of the way, when it comes to the drive there are improvements over the Mark 5 with the Cabin being a nicer place to be with the levels of technology being far more car like with Fords SYNC system for example. It is also more comfortable than the Mark 5, making long days in the cab a little less of a chore. Overall it feels familiar, mainly because it feels more like the inside of a Ford car rather than a van, which is a pleasant surprise.
Spec wise you get modern day essentials such as Bluetooth Hands Free, Electric Windows and metal bulkhead as standard. The Trend (the vehicle on test) adds the aforementioned Ford SYNC system, leather trimmed steering wheel and gear knob, Cruise Control with Speed Limiter, and Rear Parking Sensors are all present, however creature comforts such as Air Conditioning and Sat Nav still remain a cost option.
On the engine side of things, there is a good range employing the strong 2.2TDCi power plant throughout offering between 100 and 155hp as Front Wheel Drive, Rear Wheel Drive or All Wheel Drive (with exception for 100hp engine which probably couldnt efficiently handle it).
Chassis wise, there is a great deal of choice. With the Medium (L2), Long (L3) and Extra Long (L4) on offer as a standard Panel Van, Double-Cab-in-Van, Minibus and Chassis Cab (adding an L5 Jumbo option too), there certainly is a size (between 2.9 and 4.2m) to suit all needs.
This brings us on to cost. Sitting pretty, in the middle of the market between the premium vans in the form of the Mercedes Sprinter and VW Crafter partnership and the Citroen Relay, Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer triumvirate the Ford is unique in that is shares nothing with anyone else (except the heavyweight Iveco Daily which is a Ford Brand anyway). With an OTR price which varies from £21,145 (exc VAT) to £29,595 (exc VAT) without any options compared to the £15,288 start price of the Relay and the Sprinter starting at £21,390 (exc VAT) going up to a dizzying £35,030 (exc VAT) the Fords pricing fits in well with its brand identification.
To lease, the Ford is much of a muchness and also fits neatly in the middle (along side the Renault Master and Vauxhall Movano) with the likes of the Relay coming in cheaper and the Sprinter coming in more expensive.
Often it is the case though that whilst price is important, payload and size tend to be even more important and with the bottom of the class payload of the Transit, as opposed to the similarly priced Movano (with class leading payload) or cheaper Relay with superior payload as well, the All New Transit just doesnt add up.