Ford Transit Custom (2013 – 2024) Review

Ford Transit Custom (2013 – 2024) At A Glance


+Impressively refined and upmarket, strong 2.2 and 2.0 diesel engines, short and long wheelbase versions available, five star Euro NCAP rating.

-Legroom for front passengers can be a little tight, cabin storage is limited on early models.

The Ford Transit Custom is one of the UK's best-selling vans and it doesn't take long behind the wheel to understand the universal appeal. All are good to drive, cheap to run and capable of shifting payloads in excess of 1.4 tonnes. There is also a wide choice of bodystyles, with short and long wheelbases offered alongside single, crew and kombi cabs. In short, it's the van for all trades. 

The original Transit accounted for almost one in five of all new vans sold and was considered by many to be the level by which all other vans were judged. In 2013 Ford split the Transit line-up, with the standard one tonne model being renamed Transit Custom while the bigger two tonne models remain Transit.

Interior quality is a big step up from anything in its class, with lots of trade-friendly cubby storage points and pockets. You also get large door bins that can hold large water bottles and coat hooks - something that's lacking in many mid size vans. 

The Transit Custom is comfortable on the road too, with a forgiving ride that's supple enough to fool you into thinking that you're in a large car, rather than a commercial vehicle. The 2.2 TDCi engine is refined and returns meaningful performance too. This is one van it's a pleasure to spend time in.

In 2017 Ford replaced the trusty old 2.2 TDCi with the 2.0 EcoBlue diesel engine. A six-speed automatic gearbox was also added to the range, for the first time to further improve refinement economy. 

The Transit Custom was given a significant update in 2018, with a new cabin and higher levels of semi-autonomous tech. The interior was given firmer and more comfortable seats, while lane assist and adaptive cruise control enabled the van to automatically control its speed on the motorway and warn the driver if swayed out of its lane. The must-have option, however, is the cross traffic alert system which uses sensors to warn the driver of approaching traffic when reversing out of a parking space or driveway. 

Standard and long wheelbase models are available, the former of which has an overall length of 4.97 metres and the latter 5.34 metres. The largest versions will provide 8.3 cubic metres of load space. Fit the optional load-through bulkhead hatch and the van will carry pipes, ladders and planks of wood measuring up to 3.4 metres. 

The space between the wheel arches is one of the best for a van of this size, allowing for 8x4 foot boards to be loaded flat to the floor. There are double cab versions available and a useful kombi minibus variant which can carry nine people. It's a good alternative to the more expensive Ford Tourneo Custom.

The Transit Custom is excellent value, compared to its German rivals. It's streets ahead of the competition in every aspect and is easily the most car-like of mid size panel van you can buy, both in terms of driving and refinement. Yet it remains as practical and cheap to run as ever making it quite simply the best van you can buy.

Long Term Test - Transit Custom Sport

Used Buying Guide - Ford Transit Custom

The Ford Transit Connect is an impressive, practical van that’s good to drive and look at. It's also a great used buy and there are no shortage of affordable and well kept examples on the market. We tell you what to look out for when buying second hand.

Read the buying guide here >>

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Ask Honest John

Does the Ford Transit Custom have problems with dual mass flywheel?

"Does the Ford Transit Custom have problems with dual mass flywheel. If so at what mileage? "
The Ford Transit in manual transmission form has been fitted with a dual mass flywheel since the early 2000s, but it's not a major known failure point on the vans. Generally a DMF will last the life of the clutch at the very least - around 100,000 miles depending on how it has been driven. Clutch and DMF replacement on the Ford Transit is generally less expensive than on passenger cars as well as access is far easier. The labour time for the job books at 3-4 hours, so at an industry average rate of £80 an hour (independent) banks on £360 + VAT plus parts - around £700 in total to do the job if needed.
Answered by Craig Cheetham

Is a used Ford Transit Custom a reliable buy?

"I am looking at a 2016 Ford Transit Custom, however I have read terrible reviews of this year’s model. The model I am looking at is a limited black 2.0 TDCi 130ps with 80000 miles on the clock. I am aiming to use it as my only vehicle, replacing my car and campervan to cut down costs. Annual mileage will be about 5000 miles.I am a 70 year old woman and live on a small pension, so cannot afford any costly problems. Would you recommend this vehicle, or do you suggest I steer clear of it?"
There are a few known issues with cambelt failure on "wet belt" engines on this model (without seeing the VIN plate we can't tell you if it is a wet belt engine or not) but otherwise reliability is good. The issue is that sometimes the belt fails before Ford's recommended seven-year/144,000 mile replacement. Given the age and mileage of the van you're looking at we'd either insist on a new cambelt before sale or alternatively, if it's a private sale, factor in a cambelt replacement cost of circa £750 into the price you offer for the van. Otherwise the Ford Transit Custom is a great van to drive with plenty of affordable parts and repair options.
Answered by Craig Cheetham

Is the Ford Transit Custom a good choice to convert to a camper?

"I am looking to buy a van to renovate so that our family can go on adventures. I have found a Transit Custom with 85k miles, LWB, 2.0 Euro 6 engine. I rang the seller and asked for more details. He shared that last year, Ford replaced the engine, turbo, and injectors because the wet timing belt failed. Should I be nervous about this, or should I see it as a huge blessing? Are the 2.0 litre euro 6 engines good?"
The "wet belt" is a known issue with the Euro 6 Transit Custom with Ford recommending it being changed every 10 years or 144,000 miles. A number of examples have seen failure before this mileage and a lot of independent garages recommend changing them sooner - at six years or 96,000 miles. As this one has had the belt replaced and associated repairs carried out then it's arguably a safer bet than a van that hasn't so this is generally a positive thing - just be sure to keep on top of belt changes in the future and replace it before the manufacturer-recommended interval if you value peace of mind.
Answered by Craig Cheetham

My Transit Custom has DPF issues but the garage can't find a fix, what can I do?

"I have a 2016 Transit Custom that is having repeated DPF issues. The garage clean the filter, and reset the code, but within 50 miles the van says the filter is at its limit again. This has happened three times now, and I obviously want a more permanent solution. The garage advertise themselves as Transit specialists, so I don't know what to do next. I do mixed urban/motorway driving, but even if I was only doing short trips surely it shouldn't block up so quickly?"
DPF issues can have many causes, but a filter that has been cleaned and code cleared should not be clogging up again within 50 miles unless there is another issue present. It may be that a fault elsewhere in the engine or exhaust system is preventing the DPF from regenerating, which would cause it to block more quickly. If the vehicle has not had a full service recently this is a sensible first step as oil quality can affect the operation of some diesels with DPFs, but you may also wish to consider trying a different Transit or diesel specialist - you can search for one on the Honest John Good Garage Guide here:
Answered by David Ross
More Questions

What does a Ford Transit Custom (2013 – 2024) cost?