CommercialFleet

Ford Transit 2.4TD 90PS LWB - 8,232 miles

Review

If you have any doubt the Ford Transit is king of the light commercial vehicle road, these four facts might help persuade you otherwise.

1) Now boasting front and rear wheel drive options, the Transit has a larger choice of roof heights, body lengths, weights and transmissions than any other panel van.

2) A recent survey from Lex Vehicle Leasing raised serious doubts about the security measures offered as standard by some panel van manufacturers.

But in that survey, the Transit shone out, with visible VIN, immobiliser, locking bonnet, remote locking, steel rear windows and detachable radio panel all coming as standard.

3) Many van journalists (including myself) said at the launch of the Transit last year that it lagged behind certain other models - i.e Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Citroen Dispatch, Peugeot Boxer and Fiat Ducato - because it lacked a common rail diesel engine.

Now, in the latest edition of our sister print publication Commercials In Business, experts from CAP Red Book believe Ford's DuraTorq powerplant is at least as good as the present common rail offerings.

The RAC achieved more than 40mpg with the Transit and no other van manufacturer claims this kind of fuel consumption is possible.

4) The Transit has just been voted International Van of the Year by a panel of commercial vehicle editors.

That impressive list of achievements puts the Transit way ahead of its very worthy competitors in my book - and the driver of our long term test Transit, courier Sal Haj, would readily agree.

He has now clocked up more than 8,000 miles and has no complaints at all about its performance.

The van has been giving such sterling service that he has (almost) forgiven it for leaving him stranded on the M6 on its very first outing after the starter motor packed up.

I had not driven a Transit since its launch, but the other weekend we renewed our acquaintance when I borrowed our long-termer to help transport a large desk.

Climbing aboard, I'd forgotten just how comfortable that driver's seat was. It adjusts every way you can imagine and manages to feel soft and comfy, yet firm and supportive at the same time.

The seating position is high, giving a commanding view of the road ahead and endowing the Transit with that big truck feel.

All my paraphernalia (mobile phone, sweets, crisps, drinks) found a cubby hole built specially for it (yes, the Transit is the only panel van with a mobile phone holder built in).

Both my passengers were amazed at the quiet ambience in the cab and a good quality stereo radio/cassette kept us all amused during the trip.

My only complaint is that the wiper blades seem to have become unreasonably worn, leaving a series of lines on the screen.

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.