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    Ford Transit Custom 2022 review: Sport 320L LWB DCiV towing test


    Daily driver score

    3.9/5

    Tradies score

    3.9/5

    This is the Ford Transit Custom Sport 320L double cab in van (DCiV).

    As well as its load space, this van has a total of five seats in its cabin, so it has cargo- and passenger-carrying capability.

    But how does it perform towing an almost 1800kg cherry picker? Read on.

    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).

    This van has 17-inch alloy wheels with a steel spare. This van has 17-inch alloy wheels with a steel spare.

    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, and FordPass Connect.

    This van has 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?

    There’s no getting past the fact that this is a van, but it’s a pretty well-dressed one.

    The racing stripes and overall sporty look make this Ford Transit Custom Sport at least look more fun to drive and own than most of the other work vans around, even if it may not be.

    There’s no getting past the fact that this is a van, but it’s a pretty well-dressed one. There’s no getting past the fact that this is a van, but it’s a pretty well-dressed one.

    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.

    This is a reliably predictable van to drive – that’s a good thing – and it doesn’t lean too heavily into any Sport aspirations either, this is a van afterall, though it does make for an overall comfortable driving experience.

    How practical is the space inside?

    The interior is well suited to work and life. Upfront in the cabin, surfaces are durable (including tough plastic dash, partial-leather seat trim, rubber floor mats), storage spaces are abundant (including glovebox, dash-top shelves, cupholders, plus hidey-holes for all of your 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.

    Speaking of charge points: there are two USB ports and three 12V sockets in the cabin.

    The interior is well suited to work and life. The interior is well suited to work and life.

    Our test vehicle is fitted with the standard sliding door on the left-hand side, sliding door on the right-hand side, and optional single-lift tailgate, not the variant’s standard 180-degree opening rear twin barn doors with window.

    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 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). Load-in height at the rear is 536mm.

    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?

    As mentioned, this long-wheel base double cabin van really is quite predictable, but in a positive sense; it's consistently even-handed in overall driveability. 

    As with any vehicle review aimed at gauging the test subject’s efficacy at a specific task – in this case, towing – I still spend plenty of time in this van without any sort of load, and this DCiV is 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 good job of keeping everything settled and composed – and that's always a nice surprise in a light commercial van.

    This long-wheel base double cabin van is consistently even-handed in overall driveability.  This long-wheel base double cabin van is consistently even-handed in overall driveability. 

    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.

    Also in its favour is the fact its driver-assist tech is generally nonintrusive.

    The DCiV has a 13m turning circle, which is not insignificant, and requires focus from the driver when manoeuvring it through busy industrial-area streets and positioning it for loading/unloading or hitching/unhitching a trailer.

    What's it like for tradie use?

    The good news is that all of the elements that make this van such a surprisingly comfortable daily driver when it’s unladen are carried over to when you are towing something as substantial as a near-1800kg cherry picker.

    But, before we get to the driving/towing bit, let’s first check out some cold hard measurements.

    The load space is a listed 3.5 cubic metre area (4.4 cu.m load volume), with official dimensions of 1944mm (length, from rear door to bulkhead), 1775mm (width), 1392mm (width between wheel arches), and 1406mm (height, from load floor to roof). The load-in height is 536mm.

    This variant has a listed maximum payload of 969kg, a braked towing capacity of 1800kg, and a GCM (gross combined mass) of 5240kg. GVM (gross vehicle mass) is 3200kg but the van had no load onboard during the towing portion of this test other than me, some tools and vehicle-recovery gear. 

    By the way, I don’t want to sound like anyone’s dad but – remember – when you’re hauling a load and/or towing, always keep well under your vehicle’s official load capacities and that will ensure you’ll be legal and, more importantly, safer when you’re on the move.

    For this test, we towed a 1765kg cherry picker over a 100km drive loop that includes suburban and highway driving, with plenty of hills thrown into the mix for good measure. 

    You’d be hard-pressed to guess that it was tickling its towing limit as it’s safe and secure, even through plenty of twisty roads. You’d be hard-pressed to guess that it was tickling its towing limit as it’s safe and secure, even through plenty of twisty roads.

    So, taking into account this DCiV’s 2231kg kerb weight plus about 130kg onboard (me, tools, recovery gear) and the cherry-picker’s 1765kg, our 4126kg total was still well under this van’s 5240kg GCM.

    So, how did it do?

    It was generally very stable under load. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to guess that it was tickling its towing limit as it’s safe and secure, even through plenty of twisty roads.

    It’s no doubt helped by a long wheelbase and low centre of gravity. Minimal fore / aft movement of the towed load was one of the more obvious examples of this van’s general composure.

    Steering is fine and nicely weighted and the engine is more than up to the task. The six-speed transmission is well-calibrated and on point with cluey shifts, but for even more driver input you can use a toggle on the shifter for manual shifting.

    The engine’s lively responsiveness counts against it at times, and the front wheels spin a bit under throttle from a standing start, even with conservative pressure.

    Rear visibility, however, is a bit ordinary. Rear visibility, however, is a bit ordinary.

    Also, that small capacity engine means engine braking is compromised and can become quite harsh on downhill sections.

    As noted earlier, the suspension – rear leaf springs – works really well, helping to keep everything well under control.

    Having towed this cherry picker back to back with the DCiV’s van short-wheelbase stablemate, this van feels marginally more pinned down than the other one.

    Rear visibility, however, is a bit ordinary; we removed the centre headrest in the back row so I could see, via the rear-view mirror, back through the bulkhead window and through the admittedly big window in the rear single-lift tailgate. What can I say? I like keeping an eye on things everywhere. The wing mirrors each have a wide-angled lens section that somewhat improve driver vision to the rear.

    Otherwise, this DCiV version of the Ford Transit Custom Sport is a great total package, combining high levels of functionality, ergonomics and convenience.

    How much fuel does it consume?

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

    Our actual fuel-consumption figures were 7.6L/100km for the non-towing loop, and 11.3L/100km for the towing loop.

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

    What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?

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

    A five-year / unlimited kilometre warranty applies to this van.

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

    The Ford Transit has garnered a rock-solid reputation as a work vehicle through the years because it consistently strikes an impressive balance between being a highly functional work van and something that’s not diabolical to use as a daily driver. 

    And the Custom Sport 320L DCiV is a fine example of the range’s strengths: a nice combination of functionality, ergonomics and comfort. 

    It doesn’t hurt either that, in double-cab guise, it’s a very competent towing vehicle.

    Daily driver score

    3.9/5

    Tradies score

    3.9/5
    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.