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    Ford Transit Custom 2021 review: Sport 320L LWB DCiV GVM test


    Daily driver score

    3.9/5

    Tradies score

    3.9/5
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    The Ford Transit Custom Sport 320L double cab in van (DCiV) has a load space, but also a total of five seats inside (two upfront and three in the second row).

    But how does it perform with a decent load onboard? Read on.

    Read more about the Ford Transit Custom

     

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    Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?

    Our test vehicle, a 2019.75 MY Ford Transit Custom Sport 320L* DCiV, has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder EcoBlue turbo-diesel engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and is front-wheel drive. (* ‘320’ stands for the van’s 3200kg gross vehicle mass, and the ‘L’ denotes long wheelbase.)

    As standard this van has a manufacturer suggested retail price of $53,390, but its price as tested is $54,590 because it has a rear lift gate ($550) rather than standard 180-degree-opening barn doors, and prestige paint (agate black metallic, $650).

    The test vehicle’s agate black metallic exterior is a $650 prestige paint option. The test vehicle’s agate black metallic exterior is a $650 prestige paint option.

    It has an 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, AEB (with pedestrian detection), blind spot monitoring system, adaptive cruise control, a reversing camera, lane keeping assist with lane departure warning, FordPass Connect, and more.

    The test vehicle’s agate black metallic exterior is a $650 prestige paint option, and this van also has those rather distinctive racing stripes and 17-inch alloy wheels with a steel spare.

    The 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. The 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

    Is there anything interesting about its design?

    It’s a van so it looks suitably van-like, but under the ‘Custom’ and ‘Sport’ designation combination it means that this commercial vehicle looks extra cool. 

    Its design is also more in keeping with ideas of contemporary #vanlife – plenty of style, plenty of substance – rather than adhering to any preconceived notion of what a old-school working van should be like. Confused? Think about it and then get back to me as soon as you have your ‘a-ha!’* moment. (* Not the band.)

    Under the ‘Custom’ and ‘Sport’ designation combination it means that this commercial vehicle looks extra cool. Under the ‘Custom’ and ‘Sport’ designation combination it means that this commercial vehicle looks extra cool.

    What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?

    This van has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine – producing 136kW at 3500rpm and 405Nm at 1500-2000rpm – and a six-speed automatic transmission. 

    It is front-wheel drive.

    How practical is the space inside?

    This is a work van so its interior is well suited to work-day life: upfront in the cabin, surfaces are durable (eg tough plastic dash, partial leather seat trim, rubber floor mats etc), storage spaces are abundant (including glovebox, dash-top shelves, cupholders, plus hidey-holes for all of your work-related bits and pieces), and it’s a comfortable area for driver, front-seat passenger and back-seat passengers even though those in the back aren’t afforded much in the way of luxury living, in terms of charge points etc.

    The rear cargo area is well equipped with a load-area LED light, six tie-down points, and wood-lined interior walls and doors.

    • The interior is well suited to work-day life. The interior is well suited to work-day life.
    • It’s a comfortable area for driver, front-seat passenger and back-seat passengers. It’s a comfortable area for driver, front-seat passenger and back-seat passengers.
    • The rear cargo area is well equipped with a load-area LED light, six tie-down points, and wood-lined interior walls and doors. The rear cargo area is well equipped with a load-area LED light, six tie-down points, and wood-lined interior walls and doors.

    What's it like as a daily driver?

    I spent plenty of time in this van without a load, and it’s very comfortable – with a driver-friendly interior, well-sorted ride and handling, and nice, smooth acceleration.

    The suspension – a traditional rear leaf spring set-up – is of note here because it does a really good job of keeping everything settled and composed – and that's always a nice surprise in a light commercial van.

    I spent plenty of time in this van without a load, and it’s very comfortable. I spent plenty of time in this van without a load, and it’s very comfortable.

    There is very little bounce, wobble or skipping that you might notice in other unladen work vans, but the brakes do tend to be a bit grabby and there is some torque steer at times.

    All driver-assist tech is generally nonintrusive and this van has a 13m turning circle.

    What's it like for tradie use?

    The load space is a listed 3.5 cubic metre area, with specific dimensions of 1944mm (length, up to bulkhead), 1775mm (width), 1392mm (width between wheel arches), and 1406mm (height, from load floor to roof). The load-in height is 536mm.

    In terms of load capacities, this variant has a listed maximum payload of 969kg, a braked towing capacity of 1800kg and a GVM (gross vehicle mass) of 3200kg. Note: when you’re carrying a load and/or towing, always keep well within your vehicle’s load capacities to make sure you stay safe and legal.

    As mentioned earlier, our test vehicle has a lift-gate rear door, rather than the standard twin 180-degree-opening rear barn doors, so instead of using a forklift, I opted instead to hand-load 808kg of goods* into this van to avoid any potential forklift-into-door collision that might otherwise occur and to see how it would handle a decent load onboard. (* 80 boxes, each weighing 10.1kg. My cameraman/photographer assisted me in this endeavour – thanks Sam!)

    This variant has a listed maximum payload of 969kg, a braked towing capacity of 1800kg and a GVM of 3200kg. This variant has a listed maximum payload of 969kg, a braked towing capacity of 1800kg and a GVM of 3200kg.

    With the load in, spread out evenly across the load space, the rear leaf springs compressed dropped 40mm and the front suspension compressed 10mm.

    Our mixed drive loop included suburban streets, rough coastal bitumen roads, and a small stretch on the highway.

    The good news is that all of the elements that make the Ford Transit such a nice work vehicle to drive when it’s unladen carry over to when it’s loaded with 808kg.

    The 2.0-litre diesel engine and six-speed auto transmission are generally a nice combination and work really well, never hunting for the correct gear, even when tackling long gradual inclines.

    Our test vehicle has a lift-gate rear door, rather than the standard twin 180-degree-opening rear barn doors. Our test vehicle has a lift-gate rear door, rather than the standard twin 180-degree-opening rear barn doors.

    Engine braking is at times somewhat compromised but that only ever happened on steeper downhill sections, and that’s not a huge surprise because this is a smaller capacity engine. 

    This van is a very easy work vehicle to get used to and to spend long hours in – and that's crucial in order to fulfil its role as a mobile office. The cabin is comfortable and well equipped, and the load space is roomy and versatile enough to cope with a variety of loads. 

    Don’t forget: there is a flip-up/down integrated roof rack with a 130kg capacity, but remember if you load that, whatever that burden weighs eats into your 969kg payload.

    This van is a very easy work vehicle to get used to. This van is a very easy work vehicle to get used to.

    How much fuel does it consume?

    This van has an official fuel-consumption of 7.3L/100km (on a combined cycle).

    Our driver display was showing 8.2L/100km, but our actual fuel-consumption figure on test – which take into account our loaded loop – was 8.4L/100km.

    This van has a 72-litre fuel tank and a 21-litre AdBlue tank.

    What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

    The Ford Transit Custom Sport has a five-star ANCAP safety rating from testing in 2012.

    It has six airbags (driver, front passenger, front side curtain and front side seat) as well as driver-assist tech including AEB (with pedestrian detection), blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, traction control, tyre pressure monitoring, side wind stabilisation, trailer sway control and more.

    The Ford Transit Custom Sport has a five-star ANCAP safety rating from testing in 2012. The Ford Transit Custom Sport has a five-star ANCAP safety rating from testing in 2012.

    What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?

    This Ford Transit has a five-year / unlimited kilometre warranty.

    Maintenance is scheduled every 12 months or 30,000km and for the first four years or 120,000 kilometres a standard scheduled service is capped at $399 per visit.

    This Ford Transit has a five-year / unlimited kilometre warranty. This Ford Transit has a five-year / unlimited kilometre warranty.

    Pricing & SpecsInsurance Quote

    The Ford Transit Custom won our TradieGuide Car of the Year award in 2019 and for good reason: it’s functional, comfortable, and convenient for drivers, passengers and, in a broader sense, businesses. 

    In terms of usage as a daily driver, it is very impressive and, when it comes to load-carrying abilities, it passes with flying colours as well. 

    And, in double-cab guise, the Ford Transit really does have an extra element of versatility to its people and load-carrying ability.

    $53,490

    Based on new car retail price

    VIEW PRICING & SPECS

    Daily driver score

    3.9/5

    Tradies score

    3.9/5
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    Price Guide

    $53,490

    Based on new car retail price

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    Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.