Ford Transit Custom - What's changed?
Ford has redesigned the Transit Custom, introducing a new grille and revamped interior. But what exactly has changed in the new model, arriving in 2018?
More than 2,200 new parts have been used to redesign the Transit Custom, but the powertrain remains the same. The EcoBlue range of engines were introduced into the Transit Custom range in 2016, bringing with it Euro-6 compliance and SCR technology. The new model retains the same 2-litre engine and carries over power outputs of 103hp, 127hp and 167hp. Six-speed automatic and manual transmissions are available, along with a more fuel-efficient Econetic version based on the 103hp short-wheelbase Transit Custom. CO2 is reduced thanks to low rolling resistance tyres, Ford’s Acceleration Control system, a fixed 62mph speed limiter and automatic stop and start. As a result, Econetic models emit just 148g/km of CO2 and the most efficient van has a claimed 49.6mpg fuel economy – a 6% improvement over the most efficient current vehicle.
Weight and dimensions
Overall dimensions remain almost unchanged, with front and rear overhangs just a few millimetres larger than the current model. Importantly, internal space remains the same to allow customers to transfer racking or other built-in systems. GVW will range from 2.6 tonnes to 3.4 tonnes with maximum payloads of up to 1,450kg, and there will be panel van, double-cab and Kombi versions. Load volumes vary from 6m3 in the smallest vans to 8.3m3 in the largest panel van models.
Ford has replaced the split grille from the first generation Transit Custom with a larger three-bar centrepiece, more closely aligned to the appearance of the 2-tonne large Transit van. A redesigned lower bumper section gives the Transit Custom a more purposeful and sportier look, while the bonnet lines have been subtly changed and the wings reshaped to accommodate a new headlight design. New front fog lights are joined by LED daytime running lights within the headlight cluster. There are new, reshaped door mirrors and a range of new alloy wheel designs. Three new colours are added to the range with Orange Glow, Diffused Silver and Metallic Blue now available.
Connectivity has been upgraded with the introduction of Sync 3. Updates include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, while the 8in touchscreen is now pinch-and swipe-enabled. Voice commands have been improved, and the interface for audio, phone and navigation controls has been simplified. Safety equipment is also greatly improved, with a new intelligent speed limiter now introduced that automatically adjusts the maximum speed to the legal limit. The technology found on Ford passenger cars is a first for the LCV sector, and is complemented by the addition of a new blindspot system. Cross Traffic alert uses rear parking sensors to warn of a vehicle crossing behind the reversing van. By calculating the closing speed of the oncoming vehicle, it informs drivers of a potential hazard. An updated version of Pre-Collision Assist now features Pedestrian Detection within the headlamp beam to reduce the risk of hitting people at night.
On the inside, the Transit Custom cabin has been radically changed. The once sloping centre console is now more upright, with a screen taking centre stage in higher-spec models – vans without a touchscreen get the MyFord Dock to enable drivers to mount and charge their smartphone or navigation system. Ford said the instrument panel was influenced by smart devices and tablets with a car-like ambience and commercial vehicle functionality. What that means is a more premium appearance to the materials and greater storage options. New stowage bins include two new large open areas on top of the dash, rather than previously closed compartments, and two new smaller trays in the central dash area. There is up to 25 litres of storage available throughout the cab. Seating has also been changed and new materials used to increase durability.