Ford Transit 2.4TD 90PS LWB - 3,556 miles


Vehicles on our long term test fleet tend to get a bit of a hammering - that's what this column is all about.

It's all very well manufacturers sending us a highly specced, specially prepared vehicle for a week for us hacks to write glowing reports about.

Nothing ever goes wrong with them - and nor should it.

But when that vehicle has been with us for between six months and a year, regularly driven hard by all on the staff, it's often a different story.

Enter the latest test vehicle to join the throng - the long wheelbase 3.5-tonne Ford Transit rear wheel drive complete with 89bhp DuraTorq turbodiesel powerplant.

This vehicle, above all the others, is likely to be pushed the hardest as its driver will be our courier Sal Haj, who regularly clocks up more than 1,000 miles a week on his journeys the length and breadth of Britain on company business.

His previous van was an old-style Transit, so it will be interesting to see how the new contender shapes up.

Initial impressions were marred by an unfortunate incident on Haj's second day with the Transit - the starter motor packed up with just 600 miles on the clock as he stopped for a cuppa at a garage in Birmingham, with a full load on board.

Luckily, the garage owner agreed to tow-start the van and he was able to return in safety to Fleet Towers in Peterborough.

The engine was left running while he unloaded and the van was taken straight to local dealer TC Harrison, which replaced the faulty part overnight.

In the meantime, Haj was given a car to get home that evening and back again in the morning to pick the vehicle up.

This little problem apart, the Transit is proving an ideal partner for our hard-working courier, who is quite taken with its winning ways.

We'll be reporting on his driving impressions next month.


Trevor Gelken

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.