Ford Transit Custom logo

Ford Transit Custom

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2012
      Body type
      Van
      Fuel type
      Diesel, PHEV
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Justifiably the UK’s favourite van”

Best bits

  • Refined and quiet on the move
  • Offers a plug-in hybrid model
  • Brilliant cabin

Not so great

  • Transit Customs are a common sight, meaning your business won’t stand out if you turn up in one
  • Air conditioning not standard until higher trim levels
  • Weak headlights

Read by

Ford Transit Custom frontright exterior

Overall verdict

Ford Transit Custom front interior

On the inside

Ford Transit Custom exterior leftside

Driving

Ford Transit Custom bootspace open

How much does it cost to run

Ford Transit Custom side exterior

Prices, versions and specification

Overall Verdict

"The Ford Transit Custom is a regular feature at the top of the UK best-seller charts and with good reason – it is an excellent medium van that is practical, cheap to run and great to drive."

Ford Transit Custom frontright exterior

There is also a wide selection of different versions available to choose from, so there is a high chance that the Transit Custom will have what you are looking for in a van. With different heights, long and short wheelbase versions, single, crew and kombi cabs it has pretty much every base covered. There’s even a campervan version with beds for four.


The standard-length panel van model is 4.97m long while the longer models are 5.34m, with the tallest and longest providing up to 8.3 cubic metres of interior load space. With the optional load-through bulkhead you can slide longer items – ladders, pipes, planks etc – of up to 3.4m in length.


The interior space is one of the best in the class width-wise, too, with enough room for 8x4 foot boards to be loaded flat to the floor. The gross vehicle weights range from 2.6 to 3.4 tonnes, so all models can be driven on a standard licence. Payloads go up to a decent 1450kg.


The double cab models will be able to take up to five, while there is also a minibus version that works out as a more affordable method of carrying nine people than the Tourneo Custom.


Inside the front part of the cabin, the Transit Custom provides the perfect working environment, with a fantastic level of interior quality and plentiful storage such as big door bins and coat hooks – something that isn’t too common in the medium-van sector. 


The most recent update to the Transit Custom came in 2018, when the interior was thoroughly revised. Firmer, more comfortable seats, the latest infotainment system and updated technology brought the Ford up to date.


This tech included systems such as lane assist, adaptive cruise control and the must-have cross-traffic alert system that warns the driver of approaching vehicles when they are reversing out of a parking space or driveway. Other safety kit, including crosswind stability and adaptive cruise control, is also available


One of the Transit Custom’s strongest suits is its on-road ability, with the strong 2.0-litre diesel engines providing a refined and economical driving experience. Older models, from before 2017, came with a 2.2-litre diesel engine that was equally strong and still economical despite its larger size. The other addition in the 2017 update was a six-speed automatic gearbox. The overall refinement was tweaked to bring the noise on the move down, while the vibration through the steering wheel pedals is at a minimum.


The Transit Custom has a model that is unique in its class, in the form of a plug-in hybrid. In fact, it is the only plug-in hybrid, or PHEV, van on sale and it pairs a 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol engine with a battery-powered motor. This provides 35-miles of electric-only driving and the same payload as the diesel-powered model.

Is the Ford Transit Custom right for you?

The chances are that the Ford Transit Custom is the right van for you, if only because there are so many versions that it is likely to have the sort of thing that you are after in its range. 


But variety of range aside, the Transit Custom is hard to beat in many areas. Chief among these is how it drives. Vans are not bought for how enjoyable they are to drive, but it is a real bonus that the Transit Custom is refined and comfortable on the move. 


With even the short wheelbase able to take three Euro pallets, and a load-through hatch allowing you to take longer items, it is practical too. It’s hard to think of a big question that the Transit Custom doesn’t answer.

What's the best Ford Transit Custom model/engine to choose?

The model that makes the most sense in the Transit Custom line up is the Trend, which sits one up from the basic Leader model. Leader isn’t the sparsely equipped working vehicle of old, with DAB radio and USB inputs, an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat and the load-through hatch, but Trend adds kit that will potentially save money as well as enhance comfort.


The front and rear parking sensors will help cut down expensive bumps, cruise control can help reduce potential speeding fines while the lockable glovebox keeps items in the cabin out of sight and secure.


The Quickclear windscreen will be a bonus in winter while the Sync3 infotainment system is a real boost too. It’s just a shame it doesn’t come with air conditioning.


The engines are all strong but it is the 130PS version that makes the most all round sense. 

What other cars are similar to the Ford Transit Custom?

With so many Transit Customs sold you might be forgiven for thinking it was the only option in its class, but all the major manufacturers have an alternative if you are not keen on going down the Ford route.


The Citroen Dispatch, Peugeot Expert, Toyota Proace and Vauxhall Vivaro are the most common rivals, with all four essentially slightly rebadged versions of each other. The Renault Trafic and Fiat Talento are likewise different and are the alternatives to consider if you want a high-roofed version – the Citroen/Peugeot/Toyota/Vauxhall quartet are only available in one height.


The Volkswagen Transporter is the one to look at if you want a slightly posher cabin, while the current version of the Mercedes Vito doesn’t quite offer the levels of luxury that its premium badge promises.

Learn more

Ford Transit Custom front interior

On the inside

Ford Transit Custom exterior leftside

Driving

Ford Transit Custom bootspace open

How much does it cost to run

Ford Transit Custom side exterior

Prices, versions and specification