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Monday 18 December 2017

Ford Transit Custom 2018 raises the bar

Ford Transit Custom 2018Now six years old, the Transit Custom has had a mid-life overhaul with a redesigned front end, all new cab interior and fascia and new active safety features. Additionally, Ford has announced the availability of a new ECOnetic variant delivering 148g/km CO2 emissions.

Based on the 105hp EcoBlue 2.0-litre diesel it returns an official combined consumption figure of 49.6mpg; a six per cent improvement over the most efficient current model. It features a unique engine calibration and Auto-Stop-Start, low rolling resistance tyres, Ford’s Acceleration Control system and a fixed 62mph speed limiter.

Other engine options, carried over from the current range, are available at 130hp and 170hp. All variants — there’s a choice of two wheelbases and roof heights — have a six-speed manual transmission fitted as standard with a six-speed SelectShift auto ’box, introduced earlier in 2017, available as an alternative mated to the two most powerful diesels.

Custom’s front-end has had a makeover with a new three-bar grille, redesigned headlamp clusters (including optional ‘halo’ DRLs) and repositioned fog lights. The rear styling stays as is, but there’s good news for the aficionados out there. The range-topping 170hp Custom Sport’s signature twin bonnet stripes and exterior body kit have been redesigned for the revised line-up, including distinctive two-tone stripes in black with orange or silver accents, body kit and 17in alloy wheels. Inside the cab there’s partial Ebony leather trim that combines new embossed fabric inserts and leather bolsters, available in a choice of eight body and seating options including van, kombi and double-cab-in-van models in both short and long wheelbase versions.

Ford Transit Custom 2018Speaking of the cab, Ford has gone to town and redesigned the fascia completely, including new instrumentation, and claims that it provides up to 25 litres of built-in storage. Three levels of infotainment are on offer. Top sped models feature a floating, tablet-inspired 8.0in colour touchscreen with Ford’s SYNC 3 comms and entertainment system that can be operated with pinch and swipe gestures. SYNC 3 enables drivers to control audio, navigation and connected smartphones using simple voice commands and is also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

For models not equipped with 8.0in or 4.0in displays, the MyFord Dock in the centre of the instrument panel provides the ideal location for drivers to mount, store and charge their smartphone, MP3 player or sat nav system. USB and 12v power sockets are located in the upper storage bin in front of the driver — which, incidentally, has lost its lid — and alongside the gearlever.

Ford Transit Custom 2018Last, but not least, Ford has upped the ante when it comes to driver assistance tech by offering a host of the latest systems found on passenger cars as pick ’n’ mix options. These include Intelligent Speed Assist, that uses Traffic Sign Recognition to automatically keep within the speed limit, and  enhanced capabilities to the Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection emergency braking system introduced to Custom in 2016. (Click here for more info.)

These new features add to the suite of technologies already available for Transit Custom, including Lane Keeping Alert, Driver Alert, Auto High Beam, Rear View Camera, Adaptive Cruise Control and Side Wind Stabilisation.

There is nothing inherently wrong with the current Transit Custom, but Ford is to be congratulated on making a hell of a good van a hell of a lot better for the 2018 model year. This round of mid-life updates will ensure that the recent ramp-up in production at the Turkish plant will be put to good use. Order book opens Europewide in December and UK pricing/specification will be announced in the not too distant future.

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Ford Transit Custom 2018

Ford Transit Custom 2018

Ford Transit Custom 2018

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