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Ford Transit Custom Limited (2023 - )

It’s practical, reliable and comes in all manner of shapes and sizes to suit requirements.

Starting price:
£41,304 (excluding VAT)

Why we love it:
  • Easy to drive and deceptively quick
  • Wide choice of trims, powertrains and sizes
  • Impressive interior with a practical flat floor and lots of top-notch tech
Where it could be better:
  • Not the quietest of engines
  • Lacks physical climate control dials or switches
  • The price has crept up and it’s now quite an expensive choice
Secure your test drive today
Request a Ford Transit Custom test drive

Introduction

Ford Transit Custom Limited

Some vehicles need very little introduction and the Ford Transit Custom is certainly one such model. For what seems like decades, the Transit has been the functional load carrier that’s been trusted by the masses and it’s also been the van to beat.
With room for two or three occupants up front, plus a full bulkhead to protect occupants, the Transit Custom is available with a single or twin sliding side doors, plus hinged rear doors or a tailgate.
In addition, the all-new model is on sale with a selection of powertrains with owners able to choose from all-electric with a range of 163-209 miles, a plug-in hybrid which sees a 2.5-litre petrol engine working in tandem with an 11.8kWh battery and offering up to 35 miles of electric-only driving, or the 2.0-litre diesel version which is now available with all-wheel drive.
There is a choice of sizes to suit needs, along with trim levels called Leader, Trend, Limited, Trail, Sport and MS-RT. We opted for the Transit Custom Limited in the most compact L1H1 (short wheelbase, low roof height) guise powered by the 2.0-litre diesel engine with front-wheel drive for our test.
 

Ford Transit Custom Limited

The Ford Transit is instantly recognisable with its no-nonsense front end featuring the black grille housing the blue oval Ford badge, along with sweeping light clusters with fixed LED headlamps and daytime running lights. There are body-coloured front and rear bumpers, a near side sliding loading door, twin side-hinged rear doors, upright tail lamps and 16-inch alloy wheels. Our test vehicle featured solid Grey Matter paintwork that added £650 to the asking price.
Climbing inside with the use of side steps and a grab handle, and the interior is deceptively upmarket for what is, in reality, a practical, working van. The neatly upholstered cloth seats, that could be heated, were set out in a single driver and double passenger bench formation, and there was plenty of manual seat and steering wheel adjustment to easily find a comfortable driving position.
A 13-inch infotainment screen is the main access point to the many on-board features, including Ford’s Sync 4 system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, AppLink voice-activated assistant and advanced over-the-air updates. A Navigation Pack was an optional extra that cost £1,275, although you would need to weigh up its worth as most people connect their mobile phones these days.
All the vital data is clearly displayed on a driver information display behind the flat-bottomed steering wheel and the gears are controlled via a steering wheel-mounted stalk.
 

On The Road

Ford Transit Custom Limited

Handling & Performance

One of the factors that has always made the Transit such a popular choice is just how easy it is to drive. And this latest model is a perfect example of that sentiment.
With 170PS and 390Nm of torque on tap we were testing the most powerful in the Transit Custom line-up and it was matched to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. This version is not available with a manual transmission and there are no paddles to take control of gear switches either.
Despite ticking the practicality boxes, the Transit is still a great vehicle to drive with sharp acceleration out the starting blocks. Although Ford does not give official 0-62mph sprint times or a top speed figure for its commercial vehicles, it’s certainly no slouch.
But it’s the Transit’s manners on the road that really impress. It is nimble and very easy to manoeuvre in busy town centres, making it ideal for lots of drop-offs, yet it can put in a motorway shift too (especially in diesel guise).
There are drive modes called Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Tow/Haul and these alter the responses of the vehicle accordingly. It’s confident enough on stretching country lanes with decent levels of grip, but I did notice the engine gets quite vocal under heavier acceleration.
With the full-sized bulkhead completely blocking any rearview, there is no need for an interior mirror. Instead, you will need to rely on the door mirrors along with a rear-view reversing camera, plus front and rear parking aids.
 

Ford Transit Custom Limited

Space & Practicality

Our Transit Custom Limited was classed as L1H1 which stands for short wheelbase and low roof. It is the most compact in size stretching 5,050mm in length, 2,275mm across (with mirrors) and between 1,963 and 1,981mm tall with a wheelbase of 3,100mm. If you are looking for slightly more space, then the L2 model with its longer wheelbase sees an overall length increasing to 5,450mm and a wheelbase at 3,500mm.
The height has been reduced by 50mm on the latest model which means the vehicle can now fit in many multi-storey car parks. With two side-hinged rear doors, along with a single sliding side door, there is easy access to the back of the vehicle and the solid bulkhead offers full occupant protection in the event items start sliding forwards during transportation.
The flat floor up front makes moving across to exit via the passenger door that much easier than in previous generation models, and the load floor is also lower making it more convenient to lift heavier goods in and out of the Transit.
The vehicle in L1H1 format has a payload capacity of up to 1,336kg across an area measuring 5.8 cubic metres. This is ample space for three pallets. There are six tie-down loops, plus super bright lights in the loading area so you can see exactly what you’re doing.
Up front, there’s plenty of space for the driver and two passengers and when not needed, the armrest between the passengers can fold down to create extra storage for paperwork with trays to accommodate pens etc.
In addition, there is a locking glovebox, door bins with room to store bottles, a covered tray on top of the dash similar to a second glovebox, two deep uncovered trays, USB and USB-C ports, a pull-out cup holder and two further cup holders at each end of the dashboard.
 

Ownership

Ford Transit Custom Limited

Running Costs

The extensive Ford Transit Custom L1H1 line-up costs from £34,204 (£40,967 including VAT) for the Leader 280 powered by the 2.0 EcoBlue diesel engine with 110PS and six-speed manual gearbox. At the other end of the scale is the fully electric MS-RT model with 285PS and this costs £62,009 (£74,400 including VAT).
The larger Transit Custom L2H1 range costs from £34,904 (£41,807 with VAT) and rises to £62,709 (£75,240 with VAT).
Our test model – the Limited grade powered by the 2.0-litre 170PS diesel engine, cost £41,304 (£49,487 with VAT included). A few optional extras bumped up the price and these included the upgraded paintwork (£650), a Navigation Pack (£1,275) and a Limited Complete Dual Passenger Seat (£345).
Under WLTP-testing, our Transit Custom Limited could deliver a combined 36.7mpg with carbon emissions of 203g/km. 
Unlike passenger cars, vans are charged at a flat rate when it comes to road tax, so Transit Custom owners will have to pay £320 for the 2024/25 tax year.
There is also a flat-rate Van Benefit Charge (similar to BiK for company car drivers). The current rate is £792 for a 20 per cent taxpayer which is £66 per month, increasing to £1,584 for anyone in the 40 per cent threshold which equates to £132 per month.

 

Verdict

Ford Transit Custom Limited

When it comes to mid-sized vans, the Ford Transit has always been the ‘go-to’ model for many businesses. It’s practical, reliable and comes in all manner of shapes and sizes to suit requirements.

There are now electrified versions which make it ideal for city driving where Congestion Charge fees may apply, and despite the price climbing over the generations, it still feels great value for money.

Secure your test drive today
Request a Ford Transit Custom test drive
By Maxine Ashford
Jun 27, 2024

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