Ford Transit Custom [DCIV] Review
Until fairly recently, Ford did not have an offering to compete with the likes of the Citroen Dispatch or Vauxhall Vivaro, however they sought to address this gap in their range with the launch of their Transit Custom.Essentially designed, like its peers, to meet the needs to small/medium sized contractors who didnt need a full size van, but also big enough to take a couple of pallets or a decent amount of tools/equipment, the Transit Custom fits the bill nicely.
A key feature in this area of the market is individuality and the thirst for a sports van. Something that you happily go to work in but when used at the weekend as a family vehicle feels a little less utilitarian. The Transit Custom, in its name. hints at its ability to meet the varied needs in this sector with the added bonus of the 3 rear seats in the Double Cab In Van (DCIV) Limited on test.
Available as a standard panel van, or as a DCIV, the Custom is available as an L1 (SWB with up to 2.5m load length) and L2 (LWB with up to 2.9m load length) and 2 roof height offerings, predictably H1, and H2 giving you nearly 1.8m standing room this is a decent size van which can certainly hold its own against the Vivaro.
Looks wise, the Transit Custom is a clear winner. This is mainly due to the recent release of the Custom whilst its competitors are now growing a little long in the tooth on the design side (whilst still not ugly for a van). On the inside, the Custom is also a relatively pleasant place to be. The Limited model (tested) looks very car-like but with the space benefits of a van including the twin passenger bench seat. Specification wise, the Limited is well appointed. On the outside looks are improved with body coloured bumpers etc. 16³ Alloy Wheels, Electric & Folding Body Coloured Door Mirrors and Rear Privacy Glass (on the DCIV tested). Inside, the Transit Custom Limited comes with Bluetooth Hands Free, Auto Lights & Wipers, Fords SYNC system with DAB, Cruise Control with Speed Limiter, Heated Windscreen, Heated Front Seats, and Air Conditioning all as standard.
The Sport adds 1/2 Leather Upholstery, Rear View Camera, and Lane Keeping Alert with Driver Alert. With a spec like this, and in the DCIV configuration it definitely feels more like a large car/suv rather than a van with extra seats.
Across the board, the Transit Custom sports the popular 2.2TDCi engine with outputs of 100, 125, or 155hp. The 125hp variant on test felt powerful enough, however for those wanting a more car like drive the 155hp would be preferable.
Moving towards the business end of the Transit Custom it has a maximum payload of 1436kg, only a little less than the bloated full size Transit we reviewed here which is impressive. With between 6cu.m and 8.3cu.m volume as a standard panel van giving you between 2.4 and 2.8m load length and between 3.5cu.m and 4.3cu.m as a DCIV (with between 1.55 and 1.85m load length) again it is in par with its peers.
Overall the Ford Transit Custom, in contrast to its larger Transit sibling, is a strong contender and at the top of its class in this sector. Price wise, starting at £18,000 (exc VAT) and with contract hire prices as low as under £300+VAT/month on a standard 3+35 / 10,000 mpa contract, which makes it worth serious consideration.
Key Info for the Transit Custom Range:
Payload: Max 1436kg
Load Volume: 3.5cu.m – 4.3cu.m
Load Length (at mid height): 2.4m to 2.85m
Load Length (DCIV): 1.55m to 1.85m
Load Height: 1.4m to 1.77m
Load Width (between wheel arches): 1.39m
Vehicle Length: 4.93m to 5.34m