Looking at the picture of this van, you may come to the conclusion that it is in no way, shape or form a fleet van. But the needs of a modern van fleet are many nowadays and we can think of a few instances where a vehicle like this will be just the ticket.
Many users don’t actually want to drive vans so for, say, a photocopier salesman who really wants a company car and is a valued employee, this vehicle ticks all the right boxes.
The Fiesta Van was upgraded last year as part of Ford’s commitment to replace every single one of its vans with new models in the space of two years.
This particular model is one of the range of Sport vans that Ford offers, whereby the looks are ramped up but the power remains the same. So while employees will be chuffed with their swanky-looking vans, they won’t be able to waste fuel and risk more accidents with excessive speed.
That doesn’t mean to say that this van is slow. The 95bhp on offer is delivered smoothly and gives plenty of acceleration.
Costing £13,670 ex-VAT, the Fiesta Sport Van offers a combined fuel economy figure of 78.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 95g/km from its 1.6 TDCi common rail powerplant, while in the back there is exactly one cubic metre of space and payload of 505kg.
The vehicle features a high standard of specification, including 16-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured side skirts, sports style bumpers and grille, sports seats, scuff plates, a Quickclear heated windscreen, leather-trimmed steering wheel, air-conditioning, power heated and folding mirrors, USB connectivity, front, side and knee airbags and Electronic Stability Control.
Options include rear parking sensors at £250 and Ford’s Active City Stop system which automatically applies the brakes if it senses an object ahead (£210).
On the ‘wow’ factor scale, this van comes pretty much near the top of the class – it looks fantastic. Parked on my driveway at home I noticed several of my neighbours stopping to take an admiring look.
And, looking at the spec above, there’s a lot to go ‘wow’ about for any driver too, as few employees who use commercial vehicles will ever get so much many goodies.
Climbing aboard, its figure-hugging sports seats make it feel as though you are in a sports car and not a van, although larger drivers might find them rather tight.
Storage space is at a premium but at least there are two coffee cup holders and a wire to plug in smartphones. There’s a half-height solid bulkhead with mesh above it and in the rear the floor is carpeted. However, the lip at the rear means loads cannot be slid in and out.
Even without a solid bulkhead behind there isn’t a lot of noise in the cab and the Fiesta Sport Van has impeccable road manners with taut, pin-sharp handling that proves a joy on the highway. It’s top marks on safety too as electronic stability control comes as standard on this van.
The Active City Stop option is a godsend too. Although I didn’t manage to test it with the Fiesta Sport Van, I’ve tried it on a track with the bigger Transit Connect and it works a treat when faced with the possibility of a rear-end shunt, automatically bringing the vehicle to a safe stop.
On the downside, we didn’t manage to get anywhere near the claimed 78.5mpg during our test week. The best average fuel economy we got from the trip computer was 59.2mpg.
By Trevor Gehlcken