As expected, following the unveil of an updated Ford Tourneo Custom van, the more commercial-focused Transit Custom has now broke cover in Europe. It features many of the same design, interior and mechanical changes that appeared in the people mover. Though, it should be at least a year until either model arrives on our shores.
Just like before, the Transit Custom will be offered with a choice of two wheelbase options, arranged as either a van, kombi, and double-cab-in-van body styles. Power is sourced from an EcoBlue 2.0-litre turbodiesel powering the majority of variants.
Ford is pushing this motor in particular due to its versatility, fuel efficiency, and reduced carbon emissions. It’s offered with power outputs ranging from 77kW to 125kW, while claiming efficiency gains by 13 percent and improved low-end torque by 20 percent over the 2.2-litre Duratorq turbodiesel it replaces.
However, Ford also offers the Transit Custom as the carry-over ECOnetic variant with optimisations for lowest-possible running costs, featuring the aforementioned engine in its least powerful tune and comes as standard with automatic stop/start, low rolling resistance tyres, a fixed speed limiter at 100km/h, and an Acceleration Control feature. It’s claimed to deliver approximately 4.7-litres/100km and just emits 148g/km of CO2.
This will be followed in 2019 with the introduction of a Transit Custom with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, beginning with a fleet customer trial in London later this year for the model’s first-ever zero emissions-capable variant. All versions of the Transit Custom, though, will have a 6-speed automatic transmission option while only the Kombi M1 range is eligible to receive the unique-to-segment rear air suspension.
While styling on something this utilitarian matters much less than on passenger cars, the visual alternations here do quite a bit to mould the Transit Custom (as well as its Tourneo spin-off) into a more pleasing thing to spot on the road.
Obviously, these changes are mostly focused on the front end, where that new corporate face takes over with the bold hexagonal grille and slanted headlights that are now endowed with LED daytime running lights and xenon projectors. There’s also a range-topping (and antithetical) Sport series with an exterior body kit and more heavily bolstered partial leather seats.
Inside, the entire dashboard has been given a thorough go-around. It’s a new layout that, as you can see, borrows a fair few touches from Ford’s newest model, the Fiesta. It’s a more modern, ergonomic, and less cluttered fascia that implements a free-standing 8-inch SYNC3 infotainment unit. However, lower-tier variants will receive a MyFord Dock instead, allowing for easy mounting of smartphones for charging while it pulls double duty as a media and navigation solution.
The new Transit Custom range comes with a more comprehensive list of safety tech, including blind spot monitoring with cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision assist (Autonomous Emergency Braking) with pedestrian detection, and side wind stabilisation.