Buyers' advice, Ford, Motoring News, new models

It’s a Ford Transit panel van – but not as you know them…

 

  • ‘Bold new design’  for Ford’s Transit Custom
  • Updated cabin can double as mobile office
  • Five models, long/short wheelbase, 3 trims
2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA
2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA

PRETORIA, South Africa – Ford’s new Transit Custom, already claiming to be Europe’s top seller, has reached South Africa and will be used by Santa Claus for deliveries this Christmas.

OK, maybe a bit of that intro was a fib, but it does have aircon and heating to counter the chill of the North Pole.

The looks are a far cry from the original Transit – though back in the 1960’s it was a fresh take on the old butcher’s delivery van and no plumber made it into the top league unless he was a Transitter.

2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA
2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA

The 2019 one-tonner vans have, Ford says, a bold new front with a three-bar Transit grille, and the cabin can double as an ideal mobile office with stowage, improved comfort and ergonomics.

‘WE LISTENED…’

Doreen Mashinini,  Ford SA’s marketing manager, explained: “With its commerical vehicle pedigree, the new Transit Custom raises the game. We listened to our customers and are proud to deliver a one-ton van that is even more stylish, even more productive, and packed with smart features.”

The modern Transit was introduced in Europe in late 2012 and in South Africa early in the following year and the Custom was the first of Ford’s expanded all-new range.

2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA
2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA

It was eventually joined by the Transit medium commercial vehicle line-up  and in 2015 played a key role in making Ford Europe’s No.1  commercial vehicle brand in 2015.

MOBILE OFFICE

The Transit Custom was named International Van of the Year in 2012.

The Transit Custom has a dynamic and professional nose that shares design DNA with current Ford cars: a high trapezoidal grille and slim headlights; some models have signature daytime running lights and auto quad-beam halogen headlights.

”The cabin layout,” Ford says, ”has a versatile array of touches designed for drivers who treat the cabin like a mobile office.”

READ MORE Ford features on Carman’s Corner

There are storage compartments across the cab, among them a lidded unit above the instrument panel, large bottle-holders, and spacious buckets in the door panels.

2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA
2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA

The seats have been redesigned and trim materials changed with, Ford says, ”a focus on outstanding quality, durability and appearance”. The upholstery passed tough wear tests.

The new Transit Custom introduces a range of advanced driver assistance features that share technologies found on Ford’s latest models.

ALL-ROAD PARKING RADAR

Traction and crash avoidance/protection employ electronic stability control across the range which works with hill-start control, adaptive loading control, roll-over mitigation and trailer sway control – fitted as standard with a tow ball.

Vital when heavily loaded are anti-lock brakes.

2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA
2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA

Driver and passenger crash bags are standard, as are  front and rear parking radar that display on the rearview mirror.

LOTS OF ‘LUXURIES’

No longer are delivery van drivers deprived of car comforts:  aircon and audio control son the steering-wheel are standard, as are pollen filters, power-operated windows, auto central locking, perimeter anti-theft alarm and cruise control.

The audio system includes Bluetooth, USB port and input sockets.

The Transit Custom is available in two wheelbases, two body styles in the three-seater panel or Kombi vans that can seat six. There are three – as with all Ford models – trim levels: Ambiente, Sport and Trend.

There are various gross payload ratings ranging from 1155kg on the Sport short-wheelbase to 1505kg on the 92 kW Ambiente long-wheelbase and load-space variants can accommodate a variety of loads, including a load-through hatch in the bulkhead for items as long as  3.5m.

2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA
2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA

Custom LWB units have a maximum load volume of 6.83m3 up to the steel bulkhead, or 5.95 3 for the Sport SWB, each with tie-downs.

Access to cargo is through a sliding door on the passenger side; the Trend has another on the opposite side (option on other units). The rear doors can open through 180 degrees but there is a lock-stop at 90 degrees.

2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA
2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA

Depending on model, partial or full rubber floor covers are easy to clean. A sealed easy-clean load floor comes with the Sport, is an option on the other vans.

All derivatives are approved for a 750kg unbraked trailer or up to 1800kg if braked.

RANGE-TOPPING SPORT

Top-of-the-stock includes a short-wheelbase, ”high performance”, Sport series – the model for the images with this feature..

They come with two bonnet stripes and a body kit that includes distinguishing foul-weather light bezels, body-colour skirts, rear skirts and wheel-arch extensions to cover the 18” alloy wheel rims shod with low-profile 235/50 tyres.

The  cabin has part-leather upholstery with embossed fabric inserts.

2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA
2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA

Each Transit Custom comes with one of three Duratorq TDCi four-cylinder turbodiesel engines, starting off with a 74kW / 310Nm unit in the long-wheelbase Ambiente. A higher-output version makes 92kW / 350Nm.

The Custom Sport is the only unit with a 114kW / 385Nm version of this engine,

The two models in the Kombi Van range are an Ambiente long-wheelbase and a higher-spec Trend short wheelbase, each moved by the 92kW / 350Nm Duratorq TDCi engine spinning a six-speed manual transmission common to all models.

2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA
2019 FORD TRANSIT: Hot vans, hot colours, two lengths, and take your office with you. Image: Ford SA

…AND SO TO THE PRICES

PANEL VAN

2.2 TDCi LWB Ambiente 74kW – R436 000
2.2 TDCi LWB Ambiente 92kW – R443 400
2.2 TDCi SWB Sport 114kW – R482 200

KOMBI VAN
2.2 TDCi LWB Ambiente 92kW – R480 400
2.2 TDCi SWB Trend 92kW – R505 500

Each comes with a six-speed manual transmission, four-year or 120 000km warranty, three-year unlimited distance roadside assistance, and five-year unlimited km no rust-through warranty. A six-year or 90 000km service plan is included.

Service intervals: 15 000km.

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