Ford Transit Custom (2013–)
Impressive five-star Euro NCAP crash rating is head and shoulders above the competition. The trio of the Citroen Dispatch, Fiat Scudo and Peugeot Expert were awarded three stars while the Renault Trafic (the same van as the Nissan Primastar and Vauxhall Vivaro) received just two stars.
Incredibly refined and quiet on the move - easily the most upmarket van on the market. The high quality interior echoes the Ford Focus with the a similar layout.
The only SWB van in the class that can carry three Euro pallets while the clever through-load hatch lets you carry longer items like pipes or ladders.
The Kombi minibus versions are a good - and cheaper - alternative to the Ford Tourneo Custom.
Slightly cramped legroom for passengers while middle seat is especially tight due to where the gear lever is situated.
The top of the dash isn't flat and there are no clips or places to put paperwork or clipboards which is frustrating if you're in and out of the van all day.
The Transit Custom is susceptible to rusting rear hinges, but it's easy to fix with regular checks and a spray-on rust inhibitor.
That 2.0-litre engine seems to be having some teething issues, there are reports of noisy idler pulleys, and adjustment needed to the belt tensioner. All this should be undertaken by Ford under warranty.
7-12-2013: Eight week old Transit destroyed by fire after repairs by dealer to a wiring fault. The dealer had panelled the interior of the van and had screwed through the wiring harness. So this was entirely the fault of the dealer, not a fault with the van.
22-6-2016: 2013-2016 Transit Custom LWB crew cab vans with fully enclosed load bays and top hinged hatchback rear doors have no interior handles for the rear doors, meaning people can be trapped inside the load area. (Side hinged barn doors do have handles.)
8-5-2018: Report of 2.2-litre diesel engine of 2013 Ford Ranger (same engine as Transit) seizing due to oil pump failure.
20-8-2018: Report of a cracked piston on a 2013 Transit Custom with the 2.2-litre diesel engine at 50,000 miles. Dealer and Ford Customer Services refuse to contrite to repairs.
10-1-2019: Hole in piston reported in 2.2 TDCI Ford engine in 2013 Land Rover Defender 110 at 40,750 miles. Land Rover initially refused any liability.
13-3-2019: Report of injector problems with 2.0 EcoBlue diesel engine, with reader's van losing power and going into limp mode.
05-4-2019: Report of injector problems with 2.2 TDCI engine. Despite new injectors and software update, owner reports inconsistent performance and increased fuel consumption.
23-9-2019: Ford EcoBlue Injector statement: "An issue has arisen with certain diesel fuel injectors supplied by a third party for the 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine. Ford has been working with its supplier to secure additional injectors and, when sufficient stocks are available, intend to work with dealers to update customers’ vehicles not yet exhibiting issues in such a way as will minimise operating downtime. Ford is increasing the size of its commercial vehicle courtesy fleet significantly to support customers affected by the diesel engine fuel injector issue. Ford realises that vehicle repairs are inconvenient to all customers, but especially for commercial vehicle operators where they can be disruptive to their business. While Ford will support all customers affected by this issue, Ford aims to assist our customers as soon as possible who experience issues in order to minimize downtime and impact on their business. Transit, Transit Custom and Ranger customers will be prioritised including providing suitable courtesy vehicles where possible."