Road Test Blocks
Passenger car comfort and equipment
A lack of storage
Ecoboost engine's fuel consumption
The Ford Courier name was abandoned in the early part of the millennium when the appetite for small vans began to wane. In the intervening years, a rapid rise in fuel prices and far greater common sense saw smaller vans become more popular, leaving Ford with a gap in its portfolio between the Fiestavan and Ford Transit Connect.
With the revamp of the entire Transit van range, the Courier name has returned, allowing Ford to compete in the microvan segment once again and challenge Fiat, Peugeot and Citroën with their joint-venture Fiorino, Bipper and Nemo models, as well as provide an alternative to car-derived vans like the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa.
Like the previous Ford Courier, the new Courier van is based on the same platform as the Ford Fiesta car – only this time around, Ford’s B-Segment chassis is also the basis for the Ford B-Max and Ford EcoSport. It’s part of Ford’s global strategy that sees greater component sharing and wider use between cars and CVs. Ultimately what that means for Courier owners is a better finished product, one that is tried and tested in passenger cars, and a van that is no longer the poor relation.
The small van sector is expected to be one of the boom areas of the van market, so it is no surprise that Ford has chosen to launch the Courier with a Transit badge and wrestle some market share away from the likes of Fiat, Peugeot and Citroën.
With a choice of three engines, and the promise of some excellent fuel economy figures, the Courier blends small van practicalities with car-derived van economics in the same footprint. While there may be a lack of options when it comes to body types, the van that Ford has produced provides a compelling argument with high-volume and payload capacities.
Comfortable and entertaining on the road, the Courier is arguably more of a refined package than any of the larger Transit vans in the range. Although it doesn’t have the space of its siblings, it is also practical as a mobile office.
Supported by a strong warranty, and a expanding dedicated CV network, the Courier is streets ahead of the competition in the sector. Say it quietly, it may also be the best van in the Transit range.