Road test: Ford Transit Custom Econetic 310


Fuel economy is becoming a valuable marketing tool for van manufacturers. Fleet operators running company cars will be well aware of the Econetic, Bluemotion and Ecoflex labels among others, knowing that car manufacturers use these badges for the most efficient models in the range.

The terminology has also crept into the van market as manufacturers also have targets to cut average CO2 emissions, and a few months after the new Ford Transit Custom arrived on the market, an Econetic version has appeared.

Using a 100bhp version of the 2.2-litre TDCi engine, the Custom Econetic offers significant improvements in fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions compared with its predecessor, so could be a more desirable choice in the range for fleets wanting to minimise fuel spend or to comply with any overall environmental policy that takes into account vehicle emissions.

For its part, the Transit Custom Econetic probably offers the most sophisticated off-the-shelf fuel-saving features of any conventional van.

As standard, it comes with Acceleration Control, an innovative new technology that limits the acceleration to levels achievable when the vehicle is fully laden (with a maximum payload of 1,295kg in this particular model), enabling significant fuel savings when the vehicle is unladen or part-laden.

Ford says field tests show this system can reduce real-world fuel consumption by 4% to 15% and cut wear and tear on brakes, tyres and other components.

The Econetic model also offers standard stop-start that, according to Ford, can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10% in urban driving.

Additional fuel-saving features include a switchable 70mph speed limiter (disabled by pressing the Eco button on the dashboard although it is always activated by default on start-up), unique engine calibration, a coolant bypass valve for quicker warm-up, optimised gearing with a 6% longer final drive ratio, low rolling resistance tyres and aerodynamic wheel trims.

Customers can also specify fixed speed limiters for speeds of 56mph, 62mph and 70mph to suit their own operating requirements as an optional feature.

But Econetic isn’t the only low-CO2 technology offered on the van market, so we need to investigate what makes the Transit so special.

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Comment as guest

Login / Register


  • keith Gillingham - 09/03/2014 22:55

    I have a Custom LWB 310 Limited 125 PS,from new, now done 14000, mainly town driving, computer says i drive economically, but only getting 31/32 mpg, have just done a 200 mile motorway trip and managed 37mpg @70mph , which i think is pretty rubbish, bearing in mind all its supposed eco toys.It has been back to the garage , but nothing found, and also Ford have developed a special engine oil for the van to improve economy, but three of my local dealers don't stock it, so to top up they sell you the old oil, and in the book it says not to use any oil apart from the New D spec oil, as it can increase fuel consumption, the reason they dont sell it, is that they arent expecting any vans in for servicing and oil change for two years, Genuis, You couldn't make it up could you!!! brilliant van to drive etc, apart from poor fuel efficiency, crap paint finish, mine is metallic blue, shows every mark, touch it at your peril, even rubbing a hair off the paint with a clean thumb has scratched it, and thats with a professionally applied ceramic coating from new, two coats actually

    Reply as guest

    Login / Register
    • Michael Dickinson - 21/07/2014 18:56

      @keith Gillingham - Keith, I agree with every word u say. All this on-board P C crap is simple bullshit. To many electric's and not enough paint. Someone should bring out a KIT VAN and let the owners kit it out themselves. I hate it when I see FULL electrics, I can wind down my own widows thanks, don't even start me on electric mirrors, ROBBERS!

      Reply as guest

      Login / Register
  • Michael Dickinson - 21/07/2014 18:40

    When will we be able to buy a good van without all that electric garbage, which by the way,we pay a fortune for. We want a bloody good van, we don't need electric windows etc etc etc etc so stop telling us they come as standard, if people want electric's FINE but some of us want a good STANDARD work horse. Ford have lost the plot here, give us a good standard van please, we are working class men not professional footballer's. The Transporter has also lost the plot with electric's. V W used to make vans for the working class, I can't believe how expensive VANS have become, I don't mine you making vans for fairies but WISE UP and build us a MAN'S van.

    Reply as guest

    Login / Register
  • chris marshall - 21/11/2014 18:55

    Do not buy. Euro 5 engine is rubbish. Ford's do not now how to fix the engine when there is a problem. Mine is still in the garage at the moment.Dpf' s block up at 30.000 miles and are over a thousand pounds and have to be reset after replacement by only fords. Egr valves block up at 20.000 miles. Fuel injectors fail often as the pressures are so high. And if the oil is not changed regular the variable geo turbos fail also. Stay well clear!!!!

    Reply as guest

    Login / Register